Health Systems and Public Health
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Health Systems and ​​Public Health​


​Academic​ and Research S​​taff

Associate Prof René English

Head of Division
Qualifications: MBChB, MMED, FCPHM, PhD
Tel: +27 21 938 9566
Secretary email:

Professor René English is a Medical Doctor and Public Health Medicine Specialist and holds a Doctorate Degree. She has experience in clinical and health systems research and in the development of responsive and innovative health systems solutions. She developed the first syndromic respiratory guideline in South Africa, then called the Practical Approach to Lung Health in South Africa (PALSA) which has subsequently been expanded into the PAK guideline. She was head of the Health Systems Research Unit at the Health Systems Trust, and has served as a co-editor for the South African Health Review and District Health Barometer publications. She was a past fellow of the Africa Science Leadership Programme. She is currently the Head of the Health Systems and Public Health Division in the Department of Global Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University. She served on the South African Health Ministerial Task Team for Human Resources for Health and was the Chair of the Information, Monitoring and Evaluation Workstream. She has served on the South African Lancet National Commission on High Quality Health Systems.​

Dr WAJ (Jack) Meintjes

Specialist in Occupational Medicine 
Qualifications: MBChB; DOM; FCPHM(SA) Occ Med; MMed (Occ Med)
Tel: +27 21 938 9272

Dr Jack Meintjes is a specialist in Occupational Medicine, with a special interest in the health of the healthcare worker and maritime and diving medicine.  He is the programme coordinator of all the baromedicine programmes at the university.  He serves on a number of national and international committees, including the Diving Advisory Board of the Department of Labour, the European Diving Technology Committee (EDTC), the Diving Medical Advisory Committee (DMAC), the Southern African Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Association (SAUHMA), the Divers Alert Network Southern Africa (DANSA).

Dr Meintjes also has a special interest in epidemiology and biostatistics and has supervised a number of research projects and has authored epidemiology chapters in two textbooks.​

Mrs Maryke Geldenhuys

Clinical Trainer 
Qualifications: B. Occupational Therapy, ​M. Early Childhood Intervention 
Tel: +27 21 938 9816


Mrs Maryke Geldenhuys is a clinical trainer within the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch. She assists with the coordination of public health and community based education in the undergraduate MBChB curriculum. 

Dr Lungiswa Nkonki

Senior Lecturer
Qualifications: MSc Economics, Phd Health Economics
Tel: +27 21 938 9440

Dr Lungiswa Nkonki completed her PhD in Health Economics at the University of Bergen in 2012. Her doctoral dissertation title was: “Health systems challenges in South Africa: Effective and equitable delivery of interventions to improve infant feeding and reduce mother to child transmission of HIV". Her research interests include economic evaluation of healthcare programmes, measuring inequality in health outcomes, and understanding the determinants of attrition/retention of lay health workers. Dr Nkonki has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and has also worked as a specialist scientist at the Medical Research Council.​

Ziyanda Vundle.jpg
Dr Ziyanda Vundle
Public Health Medicine Specialist and Senior Lecturer
Qualifications: MBCHB, MMed, FCPHM​ ​
​Tel: +27 21 483 4429

Dr Ziyanda Vundle is a specialist in Public Health Medicine; with special interests in Health Systems Management, Social Determinants of Health, and Non-communicable diseases epidemiology and control.  She is a specialist within the Western Government: Health, providing public health technical expertise to the portfolios of Quality Assurance, Occupational Health and Infection prevention and control; jointly appointed as a senior lecturer in the Division of Health Systems and Public Health. ​

Dr Annibale Cois

Qualifications: MEng, MPH, PhD

Dr Annibale Cois is an Epidemiologist and Biostatistician.
His background includes Master Degrees in Electrical Engineering (University of Cagliari, Italy) and Public Health (University of Cape Town), and a PhD in Public Health (University of Cape Town). 

His current research interests focus primarily on the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases and associated risk factors in low- and middle-income countries and the application of advanced statistical methods for the joint analysis of multiple heterogeneous data sources.  

Recent works include the application of latent variables techniques to the estimation and modelling of measurement error in anthropometric characteristics in large-scale surveys; the joint analysis of multiple datasets to recover long-term trends in blood pressure, body mass index and other cardiovascular risk factors; the study of seasonal patterns of cardiovascular risk factors in the South African population and their socioeconomic correlates; the application of Bayesian estimation methods for the study of population pattern of alcohol consumption. 

He holds an honorary position as a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Public Health of the University of Cape Town. ​

Ms Stacey Blows
Research Assistant
Qualifications: MA Psychology
Tel: +27 21 938 9569

Ms Stacey Blows is a psychology graduate who is focused on promoting and maintaining the overall health and well-being of marginalised and underserved communities through the prevention and treatment of disease across the entire lifespan. She intends to contribute to the improvement of systems that promote and maintain individuals' health and well-being. 

Moreover, Ms Blows seeks to develop innovative frameworks to highlight the importance of eliciting community views when developing targeted interventions, and the absolute need to adopt a bottom-up approach to disease prevention in communities. She promotes people-centred health services that consciously adopts the perspectives of individuals, families and communities, and sees them as participants as well as beneficiaries of trusted health systems that respond to their needs and preferences in humane and holistic ways.​​