Global Health
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

2019-2020 Global Health Seminar Series


Ms Elsabe Brits

Storytelling & Science communication: When the curse of knowledge hits the jargon wall

​Elsabé Brits is an award-winning South African journalist and author.

​Prof Kath​ryn Chu

The Role of Global Surgery in Universal Health Care

•        What is global surgery?
•        Global surgery as a global health priority
•        Surgery as a component of universal health care
•        Centre for Global Surgery @ Stellenbosch

Kathryn Chu, the founder of a global surgery initiative, Equitable Surgical Access for Africa (ESAFA). Kathryn’s research interests are in global surgery, in particular, in the intersection of surgery and public health.  She currently serves on the board of directors of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)-Southern Africa as well as the MSF International General Assembly.​

Dr Erik Von E​​lm

Transparent Repo​rting of Research – Role of Reporting Guidelines

Erik von Elm is co-founder and director of Cochrane Switzerland, the Swiss branch of the international Cochrane Collaboration, based in Lausanne and Berne, and is a senior physician at the Unisanté Centre at the University of Lausanne. After studying in Germany and France, he received his doctorate from the University of Tübingen / Germany. He then obtained a master's degree in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK), a specialist degree in prevention and health care in Switzerland, and worked in several cities in Switzerland (Geneva, Berne, Lucerne, Lausanne).

He is co-initiator and author of initiatives to improve the quality of scientific articles, such as the STROBE statement for observational study reports, and reviewer for medical journals and funding agencies in Switzerland and abroad. As a lecturer, he teaches in several postgraduate programs, mainly on questions of methodology of intervention and observational studies in clinical medicine and public health, synthesis and best use of scientific evidence in health care (mainly through systematic reviews), and quality of scientific publications.

Dr Oliver J​​ohnson

Getting to Zero - Lessons in Social Justice and Health System Strengthening from the Ebola Frontline

Oliver Johnson was the founding Director of the Kings College-Sierra Leone Partnership in Freetown from 2013-2015, during which time he was actively involved in the country’s Ebola response. Oliver was awarded an OBE for this work in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2015. Oliver will share some of the health systems and leadership challenges and lessons learnt in the local and international response to this overwhelming outbreak.

Jeanette R Hun​​​ter

Reflections on the implementation of the Id​eal Clinic Initiative in South Africa

Jeanette R Hunter (BA Cur-UNISA, Post Graduate Diploma in Health Services Management – University of Cape Town, Masters Degree in Business Administration - Free State University) has worked in senior management positions in and outside of the public sector for the past 17 years. She is currently the Deputy Director General Primary Health Care at the Department of Health of South Africa. Jeanette came into this post from the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Health Systems Trust. Jeanette has a solid track record of achievement through a thorough understanding and successful application of strategic and operational planning processes, change management, project management, continuous quality improvement and human dimensions management strategies. As the HST CEO she lead the design and implementation of key organisational reforms. 

Key achievements at NDoH to date are the approval by the National Health Council of key policies and strategic implementation frameworks in the areas of the district health system, primary health care, health promotion and non-communicable diseases, leading the piloting of health professional contracting and leading the government of South Africa's  Operation Phakisa Ideal Clinic programme.
Jeanette has been the Administrator of the North West Department of Health since May 2018, where she spearheads key health systems strengthening reforms.

Philippe Vandekerck​​hove​

Evidence-Based Practise in the Aid Sector

Prehospital care is an underutilized part of healthcare systems worldwide: 400 million people have no access to primary care, and tens of thousands of people die every day needlessly for want of simple, low-cost interventions. One of the reasons prehospital care (including humanitarian aid) is underutilized is the lack of reliable scientific guidelines. The lack thereof has to do with two main elements: the type of topics addressed and the lack of funding available. Several initiatives and organizations – e.g. the Belgian Red Cross Science Foundation – now try to address this.

Philippe Vandekerckhove is associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Leuven (Belgium) and Professor Extraordinary at Stellenbosch University. He holds non-executive positions as honorary president of the European Blood Alliance and president of GAP (Global Advisory Panel (GAP) on Corporate Governance and Risk Management of Blood Services in Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies). Prior to this position Philippe worked as Clinical Director of the University Hospital Leuven from where he also obtained his M.D./PhD and Pathology degree. His clinical and pathology training was further carried out in South Africa (Baragwanath - University of Johannesburg, and Groote Schuur Hospital - University of Cape Town), the US (Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory, University of Hawaii, New York University), and The Netherlands (Erasmus University, Rotterdam). In addition, Philippe studied healthcare management at INSEAD (France) and general management at Harvard Business School. He has published about 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and 8 chapters in textbooks, mainly in the field of immunology, hematology, blood banking and evidence-based medicine. 

Dr Áine Av​​entin

Using Intervention Mapping to Promote Gender Equality in Sexual and Reproductive Health among Adolescent Men in South Africa and Lesotho​

To expedite impact ​and reduce costs, existing evidence-based interventions to address global health challenges are increasingly being implemented with new populations and in new contexts. Yet the processes used to optimise adaptation of these interventions for new settings are rarely reported. Reflecting on a project being conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the Institute for Life Course Health Research at Stellenbosch University, Dr Aventin will outline an approach to co-producing adapted versions of an existing UK sexual and reproductive health intervention for local use. She will reflect on how Intervention Mapping was used to adapt an intervention that promotes social justice and gender equality, and offer considerations for global health researchers involved in similar work.   

Dr Áine Aventin is Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at the School of Nursing and Midwifery and Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland. A social psychologist and social research methodologist, she specialises in the application of mixed methods research to optimise the development, evaluation and implementation of complex behavioural interventions in health and educational settings. Her research focuses on sexual and reproductive health, in particular, the impact of gendered norms on health and men's role in enabling maternal health. In 2018, Áine was awarded a prestigious Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship at Queen's University Belfast. She is currently involved in research involving the development and evaluation of gender transformative interventions in low- and middle-income countries.​

Rachel Kamcha​​​cha Kachaje, Malawi​

The Use Of Partnerships, A Driver And Facilitator O​f Disability Research In Africa

Ms Rachel Kamchacha Kachaje a disability activist and previous minister for disability and the elderly from Malawi will share her experience on how she has used partnerships and collaboration to achieve success with various organisations and stakeholders on her advocacy role for persons with disabilities. Kamchacha claims that important documents such as the UN Standard Rules for Equilization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, the UNCRPD and the SDGs used partnerships to ensure success. She presents partnerships as a strategic alliance built on trust, equality and mutual understanding and obligations to ac​hieve a common purpose. For persons with disabilities interactions with trusted partners enable them to fully express their true concerns about the society we live in. It is during these interactions terms such as “Nothing about us without us" and “Leaving no one behind" are expressed.

Kachaje will further expand on disability research and partnerships, highlighting the historically and traditionally approaches to disability research which previously was based on and aimed at finding ways of preventing and rehabilitating disability. The current questions often asked of professionals are: "How do we know if current professional scope of practices are effective in bringing about the desired outcomes and change?"  “How must society change to ensure that to have a disability does not mean exclusion and discrimination?" She will end her paper by specifying the role of each stakeholder in advancing true partnerships in disability research. 

CUGH Webinar: The Impact of COVID-19 in Africa & Latin America: Challenges & Opportunities