Welcome to the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research

The Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER) conducts multi-disciplinary research on priority infectious diseases in Southern Africa, in order to improve disease prevention and management. The Centre has strong links to service providers at provincial and national level, and a long track record of conducting operations research around program effectiveness and service delivery challenges. 

With HIV/Aids and tuberculosis contributing enormously to the disease burden in the Western Cape Province, a research grouping focussing on priority infectious diseases was formed in 2000 within the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. Since 2000, the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER) has been involved in a wide range of interdisciplinary research and teaching spanning surveillance, HIV-prevention clinical trials, clinical epidemiology of tuberculosis and HIV therapy, socio-behavioural and health systems research. The Centre is comprised of a diverse group of staff, with strengths in epidemiology,  biostatistics, mathematical modelling and medical anthropology.

The Centre works closely with provincial and national government.

Current areas of research include:

  • Cohort studies of HIV treatment, evaluating individual treatment projects, provincial and national programs, and the co-hosting of a regional data centre for collaborative HIV cohort research in Southern Africa (IeDEA-SA), and a global data centre for paediatric HIV treatment cohorts (CIPHER)
  • Population-level surveillance of infectious disease interventions in the Western Cape Province
  • Novel service delivery approaches to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, and the identification of gaps in PMTCT services and optimal strategies to minimise these gaps
  • Health systems research projects including evaluating models of care for HIV service delivery, models of HIV/TB service integration, and issues around task shifting and the use of lay health workers to support infectious diseases services.
  • Mathematical modeling of HIV, TB, HPV and other infectious diseases and their prevention and treatment
  • Context-appropriate information systems to monitor HIV, TB and PMTCT service delivery
  • Collaboration on birth cohort studies

CIDER staff are actively involved in policy processes and advisory groups, provincially, nationally and globally, including:

  • Staff who are jointly appointed as public health specialists with the Western Cape Department of Health, with service responsibilities in surveillance and impact evaluations
  • CIDER provides support to the HIV, AIDS, STI and tuberculosis (HAST) directorate in the Provincial Department of Health both through the joint appointees and through a long standing Global Fund grant to support routine HAST information systems
  • Staff serve on provincial and national HIV guideline committees, and regularly participate in WHO reference groups on HIV treatment, PMTCT, and HIV information systems development
  • CIDER works closely with a number of civil society organisations including a long standing collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières, and the South African National AIDS Council
  • CIDER develop and maintain one of the key information systems used for monitoring HIV and tuberculosis treatment in South Africa (Three Interlinked Electronic Registers – TIER.Net), and provide support to users of the system in ten other countries


The African Health Information Exchange (AHIE) Project


In late 2016 CIDER was awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a reference African Health Information Exchange (AHIE). The aim was to deliver a replicable and context-appropriate implementation of a health information exchange for clinical data, working across national and provincial health departments in South Africa. An important outcome of this would be successful interoperability implementations for key systems that were critical to the HIV and TB response in South Africa. The AHIE project was undertaken by a consortium led by UCT CIDER. Consortium members were the National Department of Health (NDoH), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Jembi Health Systems, and the South African National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS).  AHIE Video

The components of AHIE were:

HPRS: The scale up of the national health identifier and patient registration system, the Health Patient Registration System (HPRS) led by NDoH. Development of the HPRS was done by a team at the CSIR.  HPRS Video

PHDC: The maturation of a set of technologies that could harmonize person-level health data and enable disease cascade reporting from diagnosis through to treatment success to assist patient management at all levels of the health system. The Western Cape Provincial Health Data Centre (PHDC) would serve as the innovation incubator for this component.  PHDC Video

OpenHIM: The consolidation of a standards-based health information exchange (HIE) by adapting and maturing an open interoperability layer, the Open Health Information Mediator (OpenHIM), into a robust standards-based technology stack for widespread adoption.  OpenHIM Video

SPV: The development of a viewing application for clinicians to access consolidated longitudinal clinical data, the single patient viewer (SPV).  SPV Video

TIER.Net: The adaptation of TIER.Net to interoperate with other systems such as the HPRS and the NHLS laboratory information system. TIER.Net is an HIV and TB patient information system developed by CIDER and is used from facility level through to national level in about 4,000 facilities in South Africa.  TIER Video

Exciting outcome of AHIE – The OpenIHP:

As software development work progressed throughout the AHIE project, it became clear that there was a need for an online solution to manage and monitor treatment of patients with HIV and TB. A dynamic data-driven forms engine was added to SPV that enabled the capture of new data to complement and be integrated with existing data in the PHDC, enabling users to view and capture on the same platform, reducing the need to import data from a separate, stand-alone system.

This new converged software platform is called the Open Integrated Health Platform (OpenIHP). Convergence to OpenIHP means that the PHDC, SPV, TIER.Net and enterprise reporting functionality can now be replicated and supported as one consolidated platform. In 2020 the effectiveness and adaptability of OpenIHP was successfully established and the platform has been playing an important role in the Western Cape Province’s response to COVID-19.  OpenIHP Video


Mary-Ann Davies, Professor and Director







Email:  Mary-Ann.Davies@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 406 6051


Mary-Ann Davies is a Public Health Medicine Specialist and Paediatric Clinical Epidemiologist at the University of Cape Town, where she is Director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER). She convenes the MPH module on Infectious Disease Epidemiology. She is joint Principal Investigator of IeDEA Southern Africa, together with Matthias Egger from the University of Bern in Switzerland. Here major research interests are paediatric HIV treatment and prevention, especially HIV cohort research to address key policy and implementation questions.

Andrew Boulle, Professor









Email:  Andrew.Boulle@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 406 6715


Andrew Boulle is a Public Health Medicine specialist with the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health and Professor of Public Health Medicine at the University of Cape Town.  His research has predominantly addressed operational and clinical questions related to HIV service provision, often through analyses of HIV cohorts or population-based analyses.  A further focus is context-appropriate information systems development in health care and the use and harmonisation of person-level health data for service and patient benefit.  He currently provides oversight for the Provincial Health Data Centre in the Provincial Department of Health and leads the African Health Information Exchange consortium which brings together organisations working on interoperability and technical solutions in support of services for HIV and tuberculosis.

Research Groups
Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER)
Wellcome Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa)
Health Intelligence Initiative (HII)

Public Health Medicine specialist training
MBChB - Public Health undergraduate teaching semesters 3 and 4
MPH - Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PhD, MMed and MPH supervision

Landon Myer, Professor and Head of Division: Epidemiology and Biostatistics









Email:  Landon.Myer@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 406 6661


Landon Myer is Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He has training in social anthropology, clinical medicine and epidemiology. His research focuses on women's, maternal and child health in the context of HIV. He has lead multiple clinical and health systems studies investigating the health of HIV-infected women receiving ART during pregnancy and postpartum, as well as the health and development of HIV-exposed and -infected children and adolescents.

Leigh Johnson, Associate Professor







Email:  Leigh.Johnson@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 406 6981


Leigh Johnson is an epidemiologist and actuary, working at the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (University of Cape Town). His research interests are in modelling of HIV and other infectious diseases, and most of his published work has focused on evaluating the impact of HIV prevention and treatment programmes in South Africa. He is the lead developer of the Thembisa model, a combined HIV and demographic model developed for South Africa (see www.thembisa.org). He is a member of the International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) collaboration and the UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling and Projections. He is also an editor of the journals AIDS and Infectious Disease Modelling.

Emma Kalk, Associate Professor







Email:  Emma.Kalk@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 406 6074


Emma Kalk is a Clinical Epidemiologist in the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology & Research where she manages projects linked to maternal and child health. She has a medical background in paediatric HIV clinical studies. The main focus of her current research has been the impact of HIV and ART in vertical transmission of HIV; this has expanded to include all pregnancy exposures with a special interest in pharmacovigilance during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Dr Kalk is also involved in projects designed to support a population-based database which links operational health data sources and sentinel site-based implementation science studies (most recently, this has included the Western Cape Pregnancy Exposure Registry). She collaborates nationally and within Africa.

Ushma Mehta, Associate Professor and Deputy Director

Email:  Ushma.Mehta@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 650 1558


Mpho Tlali, Clinical Research Officer

Email:  Mpho.Tlali@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 650 4550


Morna Cornell, Senior Research Officer









Email:  Morna.Cornell@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 406 6487


Morna Cornell is Senior Research Officer at the Southern African IeDEA (International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS) data centre based in the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology (CIDER), School of Public Health.

Morna has worked in HIV/AIDS since 1992, as Director of the AIDS Consortium, as a consultant for the Western Cape Department of Health, and subsequently as project manager of the CIPRA-SA (Comprehensive International Programme of Research on HIV/AIDS) programme.

Reshma Kassanjee, Senior Research Officer









Email:  Reshma.Kassanjee@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 650 7194


Dr Reshma Kassanjee is a statistician at the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER), and a member of the International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) collaboration. Reshma has a background in both mathematical statistics and computational and applied mathematics, and is most passionate about their contribution to public health and epidemiology. She spent a number of years developing methodologies and generating key results to support the estimation of HIV incidence. Her primary focus is infectious disease surveillance, and she aims both to provide answers to topical patient- and population-level questions, as well as to advance the required methodologies and tools, all with the goal of better informing decision making.

Carl Morrow,  Senior Research Officer

Email:  carl.morrow@uct.ac.za

Meg Osler, Senior Research Officer




Email:  meg.osler@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 406 6717


Meg Osler is a Senior Technical Advisor for Strategic Information and stewards the development of the TIER.Net health information system being used in multiple countries in Africa. In addition, Meg continues her work as a PhD candidate considering the impact of policies on morbidity and mortality within the HIV services. Meg Osler's interests lie in improving health information ecosystems and using the resulting population-level data to improve patient management and service delivery.

Kim Anderson, Research Officer







Email kim.anderson@uct.ac.za

Phone:  021 406 6602


Kim Anderson is a clinical epidemiologist at CIDER and a member of the International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) collaboration. She has a medical background in paediatic and adolescent HIV medicine. Her research areas of interest include health outcomes in perinatally-HIV-infected children and adolescents, morbidity in HIV-exposed uninfected children and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.  Dr Anderson chairs the Global Paediatric Working Group for the IeDEA consortium, a global consortium of HIV care programmes.

Research Officers

Name Email Telephone No
Jonathan Euvrard 021 406 6636
Patience Nyakato 021 404 7737
Gem Patten 021 406 6482

Project Managers

Name Email Telephone No
Nontobeko Tena-Coki 021 650 2406
Wendy Wiemers  

Data Scientists

Name Email Telephone No
Chido Chinogurei
Alexa Heekes  
Nicola Maxwell
021 406 6602
Themba Mutemaringa
Mariette Smith
021 406 6482

Software Managers

Name Email Telephone No
Robin Burley
021 406 6937
Prakash Buddiga

Honorary Senior Lecturers

David Pienaar
Michael Schomaker

Honorary Research Associate

Gilles van Cutsem

Centre Manager

Name Email Telephone No
Carmelita Sylvester 021 406 6808

Research Administrators

Name Email Telephone No
Karin van Wyk 021 650 2316















  • Pienaar D., Myer L., Cleary S., Coetzee D., Michaels D., Cloete K., Schneider H. & Boulle A. Models of Care for Antiretroviral Service Delivery. (2006). Cape Town, University of Cape Town.
  • Osler, M., Bock, P., White, C., Cloete, K., Smuts, B., Slingers, N., Zweigenthal, V., Naidoo, P., Van Niekerk, L., Channing, L., Cragg, C., Kredo, T., Mehta, U., Naledi, T. & Boulle, A. The Western Cape Antiretroviral Programme: Monitoring Report. (2006), Cape Town, Provincial Government of the Western Cape.Bloemfontein, University of the Free State.