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The School of Public Health and Family Medicine is committed to the concept of a healthy population having equitable access to resources and highly competent health care professionals to achieve a better quality of life. Some of the guiding values include: Openness, Social engagement, Mutual respect, Social justice and Lifelong learning.

Cognisant of the social and biological determinants of health, we in the SOPHFM, imbued with the guiding values, strive to employ our skills in knowledge generation and support action to promote health equity by:

  • providing a creative learning environment
  • promoting the provision of high quality health care
  • engaging with health care providers, communities and agencies charged with protecting, improving and promoting family and population health
so as to contribute towards just social development locally, nationally and on the African continent.

School Structure
The School has 8 Divisions and 4 Research Centres / Units.

School of Public Health and Family Medicine (Director: Prof Mohamed Jeebhay)


Public Health Medicine (Head: Prof Leslie London)

Family Medicine (Head: A/Prof Derek Hellenberg)

Occupational Medicine (Head: Prof Rodney Ehrlich)

Occupational and Environmental Health (Head: Prof Mohamed Jeebhay)

Health Economics (Head: Dr Edina Sinanovic)

Health Policy and Systems (Head: Prof Lucy Gilson)

Social and Behavioural Sciences (Head: Dr Christopher Colvin)

Epidemiology & Biostatistics (Head: A/Prof Landon Myer)

Research Centres / Units:

>>> Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology & Research (Director: A/Prof Andrew Boulle)

>>> Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health Research (Director: A/Prof Aqiel Dalvie)

>>> Health Economics Unit (Director: Dr Edina Sinanovic)

>>> Women's Health Research Unit (Director: A/Prof Jane Harries)

Developing a health system capable of promoting health, preventing injury and disease and resultant disability and premature death, providing appropriate care for patients and reducing health inequalities constitutes a social challenge of the highest order. In the School of Public Health and Family Medicine we seek to contribute to these goals through service and consultancy, education and research.

Service and consultancy
Via joint appointments the School is closely associated with the Department of Health of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape. We also have consultancy arrangements with the national Departments of Labour, Mineral and Energy Affairs and Finance among others, and with international and local NGOs, trade unions and private companies. Our staff provide services in clinical care, health personnel training, measurement and evaluation and policy formulation. This service platform enables the School to build its teaching and research on a firm understanding of social need and practice.

Teaching and Learning
In 2013 the School had 351 postgraduate students registered for one of 17 different post-graduate qualifications in public health, family medicine, palliative medicine, health economics, health management and occupational health. A number of these are offered as flexible on-off campus programmes. In our teaching of medical undergraduates we emphasise primary health care principles, including community oriented practice, holistic patient management and the use of public health sciences to promote health and prevent disease.

The School has four dedicated research units – in health economics, women’s health, occupational and environmental health and infectious disease epidemiology – and programmes in health and human rights, health policy / health systems and birth defects surveillance. Our research questions derive from local and regional priorities – HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, cervical cancer, occupational and environmental lung disease, health care access and financing, health rights and many more. This enables the School to sustain a range of research projects, from student initiated dissertation research to multicentre trials, many of these in collaboration with local and international partners.

Latest Research Report - 2012

Latest Annual Report - 2012

Overview of the School of Public Health & Family Medicine

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