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Wednesday, 12 August 2015 02:00

First fellowship

by Josee Koch, Technical Lead

These are exciting times as EHPSA launches its very first Fellowship Scheme in Swaziland, linking their national AIDS commission, NERCHA, to Prof. Alan Whiteside from the Balsillie School of International Affairs & Wilfrid Laurier University.

In July, I facilitated an opportunity in Mababane for Whiteside to meet NERCHA’s Director Dr Khanye Mabuza to discuss and agree upon the Terms of Reference and the working modalities for the Scheme. The enthusiasm in the scheme was noticeable and for good reasons as the Fellowship will provide an opportunity for both parties to work on quantifying the economic costs of school dropout in a context of HIV and AIDS, as well as the cost of incentivising adolescent girls to remain in school.

The scheme will make use of data that is already collected and the skills and expertise of Whiteside will be shared over the next couple of months with several national policy makers in various ministries. The fellowship will bring back to Swaziland for two fact-finding visits between November 2015 and July 2016. One of the anticipated outputs is a gathering themed "The worst epidemic in the world: How Swaziland is beating AIDS", which would result in a special issue of a journal or a book.

EHPSA is piloting an approach to improve HIV prevention policy and implementation in eastern and southern Africa. We work to strengthen the relationship between academic institutions and policy makers in the field of HIV prevention, with a focus on vulnerable groups: adolescents, prisoners and LGBTI.
For more information on the EHPSA Fellowship Scheme and/or to express an interest in participating from the policy, practice or evidence point of view, do not hesitate to email me at or visit

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