Mandisa Jwara CHRU CAB in Johannesburg South Africa
Mandisa Jwara, a dedicated mother, esteemed educator, and passionate health advocate, has been at the forefront of transformative community initiatives since 2013. Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Mandisa’s journey as a health advocate commenced with her pivotal involvement in the Thembalethu Clinical HIV Research Unit CAB, driven by a personal tragedy—the loss of her late brother to HIV opportunistic diseases.
Her motivation to delve into HIV research was rooted in a profound desire to enhance the well-being of individuals living with HIV, particularly in a community where the pervasive stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS persists. Mandisa’s tenure in the CAB became a rich learning experience, providing her with valuable insights into the intricacies of disease, research methodologies, and the pivotal role of vaccines.
As an ardent educator, Mandisa extends her advocacy to the underrepresented, focusing on the marginalized community of young people. Recognizing the need for their active involvement in research, she tirelessly champions their cause, striving to ensure that studies are tailored to address their unique needs.
From 2019 to 2022, Mandisa served as a dedicated GCAB representative, a role that afforded her the opportunity to attend ACTG annual meetings in Washington DC. Here, she engaged with community representatives from across the globe, sharing advocacy experiences and contributing to the global dialogue on health.
Presently, Mandisa serves as CSS representative, a role that empowers her to actively shape research protocols and be the voice of her community. In this capacity, she steadfastly advocates for the consideration of community needs and dignity within research.
Mandisa’s commitment to community well-being extends beyond HIV studies; she actively recruits participants for TB, cancer, and COVID-19 studies. Engaging in outreach programs, Mandisa and her team educate and disseminate knowledge about research while facilitating community testing referrals.
Volunteering as a CAB member provides Mandisa with immense satisfaction and a profound sense of responsibility. She recognizes the pivotal role that CAB members play in bridging the gap between research and the community, ensuring that voices are heard, concerns addressed, and lives improved. Mandisa Jwara exemplifies the transformative impact an individual can have when driven by a commitment to community betterment and a passion for fostering positive change.