29 July 2021
SAPRIN mourns the untimely passing of DIMAMO stalwart, Ms Mary Mogashoa. Our thoughts are with her colleagues and family. It is the dedication of individuals like Mary that make our network of health and demographic surveillance (HDSS) nodes possible.
Ms Mary Mogashoa was one of the fieldworkers who started with field work when the DIkgale HDSS was initiated in 1996. She has thus been a member of the University of Limpopo’s HDSS project for over 25 years. Initially she was primarily involved in collecting census data however after the then research leaders in the HDSS observed her communication skills, her positive interactions with the communities and her ability to advocate health research conducted in the HDSS she was also given the responsibility for recruiting participants and data collection for spin off health related projects at the HDSS. Furthermore, she was also helpful in making researchers aware of the dynamics of conducting research in rural areas.
During this period, she has been empowered through various workshops related to both data collections for census and health project. These included data collection process for HDSS, nutritional data collection, anthropometric measurements. She also worked as a supervisor and promoted to being the data quality controller and again worked as community engagement officer during the expansion of Dikgale HDSS into DIMAMO Population Health Research Centre (PHRC).
At the time of her passing she was the Supervisor for Call Centre Agents for the SAPRIN linked DIMAMO PHRC. She has thus seen and been part of a team that saw the Dikgale HDSS grow bigger and transformed from a HDSS with total population of 8 000 and gradually grew and transformed into the current, DIMAMO HDSS which covers over 100 000 people.
Her contribution to the genesis of the Dikgale HDSS its transformation to DIMAMO PHRC and fieldwork stability in the HDSS will always be embraced and have a special place in our minds and hearts.
May your soul rest in peace. Dr Eric Maimela, DIMAMO PHRC Director said: “You were not an ordinary fields worker but a community engager”