The day opened with an introduction from the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Wim de Villiers, who noted the growth of the School's research over the past decade and encouraged continued innovation in the work to address the future health challenges facing the country and the continent. Following this, 15 staff members and postgraduate students from across the School presented the results of recent and ongoing research, including work from the School's four URC-accredited research groupings: the Women's Health Research Unit (WHRU), the Health Economics Unit (HEU), the Centre for Environmental & Occupational Health Research (CEOHR), and the Centre for Infectious Diseases Epidemiology & Research (CIDER).
Among the highlights, Dr Olufunke Alaba (pictured) from the HEU won the award for the best presentation by a staff member for her investigations into the changing socioeconomic determinants of obesity in South Africa. The award for the best presentation by a student went to Mr Annibale Cois of the Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, for his analysis on the effects of seasonality in national surveys to investigate the prevalence of hypertension.
The day ended with a keynote address by William Pick, a leading figure in Public Health nationally and an Honorary Professor in the School, whose reflections on the past and future of public health research in South Africa provided the audience with pause to reflect and highlighting the need to strengthen the productive capacity among mid-level public health researchers going into the future. "This was a day to recognise the cutting-edge research taking place across the School of Public Health & Family Medicine," said Head of School, Professor Mohamed Jeebhay, "and the breadth and excellence of the presentations today, particularly from our postgraduate students, demonstrating that Public Health research has an exciting future at UCT and in South Africa."
School of Public Health and Family Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town