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team-year-end finale


Professor Justus Hofmeyr

Deputy Director
Dr Mandisa Singata

Research Midwives
Mrs Nolusindiso Yonto

Mrs Mandisa Mdingi

Mrs Pamela Njikelana

Mrs Noxanti Nondlwana

Mrs Xoliswa Williams



Fieldworkers (16)



Associate Member of ECRU 
Dr Tess Lawrie


  • Graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand 1973
  • Worked at Holy Cross Mission Hospital, Transkei 1977-78
  • Specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (University of the Witwatersrand) 1982 
  • Studied fetal physiology under Prof Geoffrey Dawes in Oxford in 1983. 
  • Professor and Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Coronation Hospital and the University of the Witwatersrand 1988 to 2000
  • Transferred to the East London Hospital Complex in 2000, to contribute to health care, research and capacity development in the Eastern Cape
  • Honorary Lecturer, University of Cape Town since 2000
  • Objectives of research: t
  • Effective Care Research Unit (ECRU) has brought major international research funding into the Eastern Cape and been accredited as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Research Synthesis.
  • Co-editor of the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Database and the WHO Reproductive Health Library
  • Ongoing research programs focusing on calcium supplementation before and in early pregnancy, and comparing the copper intrauterine contraceptive device with injectable progestogen contraception with respect to effectiveness, side-effects and HIV acquisition and progression. Has championed the principles of evidence-based care’ through research and teaching for the last 30 years
  • South African Medical Association ‘Spirit of Medicine’ Award category winner, 2012
  • DSc, University of the Witwatersrand, 2013
  • Publications:  268 peer-reviewed papers, 27 book chapters.

Impact of Research

Working in collaboration with local and international colleagues, his research has had demonstrable impact on health care nationally and globally

  • Led a research program which discovered the major effect of supportive companionship during childbirth on the mothers’ psychological health and mother-child relationship; now promoted globally.
  • Pioneered research on external cephalic version at term for breech presentation, now included in national and international guidelines
  • Conceived the theory that delayed cord clamping may reduce periventricular haemorrhage in preterm babies and conducted the first trial – now widely adopted (including in WHO guidelines)
  • Conducted the first randomized trials of misoprostol for preventing postpartum haemorrhage, now being implemented in many countries
  • Introduced the buccal/sublingual route of misoprostol administration for treatment of postpartum haemorrhage – now included in WHO guidelines
  • Invented a novel method of ‘titrated oral misoprostol solution’ for labour induction, now included in SA national guidelines and used in many countries globally
  • Developed a model of on-site primary care midwife obstetric units, implemented at Dora NginzaHospital and Frere Maternity Hospital.
  • Discovered a new method to overcome shoulder dystocia ‘posterior axillary sling traction’, now taken up and taught in several countries.
  • Conducted primary research and Cochrane systematic reviews which have guided national and international clinical guidelines such as Calcium supplementation for preventing pre-eclampsia; misoprostol for preventing postpartum haemorrhage, misoprostol for labout induction, antibiotic prphylaxis for caesarean section, caesarean section for breech presentation, etc.

Research capacity-building

  • Supervised 8 successful PhD candidates
  • In-service training of research midwives over the last 24 years
  • Run annual research methods courses in East London since 2001 – attended by over 300 prospective researchers from South Africa and other African countries.


  • 268 papers in peer-review journals including 61 Cochrane systematic reviews
  • 27 textbook chapters
  • 9 audiovisual teaching programmes on the WHO Reproductive Health Library

Community involvement.

  • Organiser of Medical School bursary scheme for Soweto pupils, 1971-1973
  • Outreach to district hospital and clinics in Peddie district over 10 years
  • Personal and financial support together with Dr Carol Hofmeyr, to community development work in rural communities in Peddie South District, through the Keiskamma Trust: providing income for over 100 rural residents through creative artwork for 12 years and producing several acclaimed major works; provided life-saving ARV’s to several hundred rural residents in the years before government ARV programs commenced, using personal funds and donor funding.


2000 – Qualified as a Registered Nurse fromCiskei Nursing College at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane, East London.

2001 – joined ECRU

2008 – awarded MBA, Regent Business School, East London

2008 – Promoted to Deputy Director of ECRU - responsibilities included managing thirty-six staff, co-ordinating clinical trials, handling finances, training, the writing up and publishing of research results. Dr Singata spent a lot of time traveling, attending many international meetings and conferences in several different countries.

2008 – son born

2009 – daughter born

2014 -  age the age of 38 Dr Singata was awarded her PhD from UCT in June 2014, entitled
"A randomised controlled trial studying the effects of the copper intrauterine device and the injectable progestogen contraceptive on depression and sexual functioning of women in the Eastern Cape.”


1997 - Best 1st Year Practical student – Ciskei Nursing College, Mdantsane, East London

2000 - Good Organisational and Leadership Skills at Provincial and National level on Student Nurse Issues


SRC Deputy President at Ciskei Nursing College 1997

SRC President Ciskei Nursing College 1999 -2000

Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson for South African Student Nurse Organisation 1998-1999

National Organiser of South African Students Nurse Organisation 1998-1999

Member of the National Dept of Health Nurse National Curriculum Committee, serving on a subcommittee for selection criteria 1998

Organised Student Nurse leaders to attend the National Dept of Health 1999 Nursing Summit 1999

Country Representative for the International Mother Baby Childbirth Organisation

Expert Panelist on World Health Organization Postnatal Care guidelines 2013

World Health Organization Recommendations on postnatal care of the mother and new-born 2014.

 Collaboration with the Provincial Department of Health

Implementation of the Better Births Initiatives in the Eastern Cape 2002 - 2003

Better Births Initiatives :Workshops in all Eastern Cape districts Cape 2007 - 2008.

ECRU covered 50% of Dr Singata's MBA Registration Fee and 100% of her PhD Registration Fee. Her travel costs to Cape Town over the years and all other costs relating to her PhD were covered by ECRU.