Ntando Yola is the community engagement lead at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF). In this role, he has worked with various national and international HIV prevention networks. Ntando is also involved in HIV prevention advocacy nationally through APHA as well as through the Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group (VARG) and Africa free of New HIV infections (AfNHi). His advocacy has involved working with various community stakeholders, developing and implementing community education programmes and forming partnerships with health service providers and other community-based organizations as key stakeholders in HIV prevention research. His work is driven by an interest in effectively engaging and involving communities as part of achieving an end to the AIDS epidemic.
Ntando strengthened community engagement efforts within trial sites and communities, influenced relevant policies and guidelines and explored key ethical issues in trials. He facilitated the development of strategy for national stakeholder engagement in clinical trials for South Africa, using the Good Participatory Guidelines as the framework for how research teams engage communities during the research process. He held consultations with a wide range of key stakeholders, including trial communities, HIV prevention advocates, ethics committees, policy makers and national government. He influenced changes on key ethical issues in the conduct of trials, such as post-trial access and commitment by researchers and government, and also influenced changes in necessary policies and guidelines. He sought a consolidated approach toward continuing stakeholder engagement during and beyond HIV prevention clinical trials.
In Their Own Words
The efforts of clinical research from basic concepts to large-scale trials are extremely important investments towards finding health solutions. All forms of medical treatment we enjoy today are a different type of miracle that takes a lot from varied scientific fields, communities who take part, civil society, media and most importantly people and governments who fund this work. Every individual in the world has a role to play and more people are needed to play that role so we can reach a solution faster.
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