There are multiple research initiatives involved with the Community Health in Limpopo (CHIL) collaboration. The most recent project is a health research study of alcohol-related sexual risks, and the risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancy in university students in Limpopo that will lead to a community study in subsequent years. A second study seeks to understand palliative care interventions used by professional nurses and Community Health Workers (CHWs) in rural areas of South Africa. A third project involves continuing the prospective cohort study of people living with HIV to determine how the usage of Western vs. traditional medications influences biomarkers of health outcomes.
The Community Health in Limpopo collaboration began as an inter-professional training program for Medical and Nursing students supported by the Center for Global Health and with funding from the Josiah H. Macy Foundation. The CHIL research initiatives are community health-focused projects conducted in Limpopo Province by faculty-student teams from the University of Venda (UNIVEN) and the University of Virginia (UVA). These teams collaborate with the Ministry of Health and the UNIVEN in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Research focuses on support and capacity building opportunities for community health workers from local communities in Limpopo Province. CHIL is a community driven project, meaning that issues and health challenges are identified by community members, then addressed by collaborations between UVA and University of Venda faculty. This collaboration offers a unique opportunity for nursing and medical students to work together on important community health challenges at a critical point in their respective training. CHIL is supported by the infrastructure, professional network and funding sustained by WHIL, the Center for Global Health and the University of Venda.