Effective Care Research Unit (ECRU)

The Effective Care Research Unit (ECRU) was established as a research unit of the University of the Witwatersrand in 1988. In 2000 the unit relocated to the East London Hospital Complex and continued functioning as a Wits University Unit, in collaboration with University of Fort Hare and the Eastern Cape Department of Health.

The Unit focuses on high quality randomized clinical trials, Cochrane Systematic reviews and research training to improve reproductive health outcomes in low-income countries. The ECRU has been accredited as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaboration Centre in Reproductive Health Research Synthesis.

Since 2001 the Unit has held annual Research Methods courses, partly funded by WHO CWS grants, to provide practical training in methods for randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews. The courses offered by the Unit have been highly rated by the participants, and several have gone on to publish Cochrane systematic reviews and conduct randomized clinical trials, sometimes with ongoing mentoring from the centre staff.