Head of Division: Professor Hanna-Andrea Rother BA MA PhD Michigan
The Environmental Health Division commenced in 2014. According to the World Health Organization, environmental factors account for approximately one third of the global burden of disease, with children under five carrying the brunt. The key objective of the Environmental Health Division is to develop capacity in Low and Middle Income Countries, particularly Africa, to address environmental health risks and reduce the resulting burden of disease. We do this through a post graduate programme in Pesticide Risk Management, teaching seminars and supervising PhD and MPH students in Environmental Health, training of government professionals addressing environmental health risks, and building capacity through innovative electronic forums and networking.
Environmental health is the study of how environmental factors can harm and impact on human health, as well as how to identify, prevent and manage such effects. The Division of Environmental Health (DEH) offers a selection of activities to facilitate addressing environmental health, particularly in Low and Middle Income Countries, from teaching, research to community and government engagement. The DEH offers students and professionals post graduate and capacity building training and skills development for application to diverse environments. Our primary research informs and contributes to our active involvement with national and international policies.
We invite you to contact us and review our activities which range from:
Division of Environmental Health
School of Public Health and Family Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town
Environmental Health Seminars
The Division provides teaching on the 1st year’s course ‘Becoming a Health Professional’, offered to all students in the Faculty of Health Sciences. The seminar introduces students to the concept of environmental health, including exposure history taking, as it fits in the social determinants of health framework.
The Division also delivers seminars to 4th-year medical students in the ‘Health in Context’ course. The environmental health teaching focuses on equipping students with skills to be able to diagnose environment-related diseases through environmental exposure history taking and advise patients on prevention measures.
Climate Change and Health Seminars
These are offered to the following UG students by means of a class lecture, related readings and assessment by means of a short essay question (yr 3) and EOB exam question (yr 4):
Prof Hanna-Andrea Rother
Ms Rebecca Mlelwa
Mr James Irlam
Prof Aqiel Dalvie
The DPRM Programme is a two-year part-time flexible learning programme (large distance learning component) targeting professionals in the field of pesticide and chemicals risk management. It includes a mandatory two-week residential session at UCT at the beginning of the two-year cycle. There will be substantial requirements for homework in the form of assignments and project related work, expected self-directed learning and regular distance communication between students and lecturers extending over the two years. Applications for 2021 now open.
Programme Convenor: Prof Hanna-Andrea Rother
Direct all enquiries to the Division Administrator, email@example.com
Download the Programme Brochure for more details.
Diploma in Pesticide Risk Management - Class of 2019
The Environmental Health track is intended for those candidates who are interested in understanding the environmental influences on human health, the policy implications, and how to identify, reduce and manage environmental health risks. Candidates will develop an understanding of key environmental health burden of diseases (i.e., chemicals, climate change, indoor and outdoor air pollution and the built environment) with a particular focus on children's environmental health issues. Coursework will prepare candidates to identify suitable interventions from decision makers to community residents.
Track Convenor: Prof Hanna-Andrea Rother
Direct all enquiries to the Programme Administrator, Mrs Tshamani Netshifhefhe
Short Courses and Training
The Environmental Health Division offers a range of short courses and training for institutions, inspectors and other professionals.
The division uses electronic formats for building capacity in environmental health risks for professionals globally.
The Pesticide List server is an electronic list server where participants are emailed the latest information on research, policy, training opportunities and funding related to pesticide risk management. Participants can also pose questions. Subscribe
The Division contributes to policy work nationally, regionally and globally which have included:
Environmental Health Intervention and Risk Communication Materials
The Environmental Health Division has developed a range of materials for developing capacity and educating/training low literate populations. These materials can be used and adapted under a creative commons license.
The Division of Environmental Health conducts research on identifying and implementing the most suitable approaches for capacity building of professionals in Low and Middle Income Countries. These include, yet are not limited to, distance learning, electronic networking and environmental health seminars via the internet.
Possible PhD and Master of Public Health thesis topics to be pursued under the supervision of Division staff include:
UCT Pesticide risk communication materials that can be copied and used under a creative common licence:
Andrea Rother, Professor and Head of Division
Phone: 021 406 6721
Professor Andrea Rother is an environmental health specialist with over 25 years of research, teaching and policy analysis experience. Her focus areas include:
Prof Rother is the convenor of UCT’s Postgraduate Diploma in Pesticide Risk Management and the Master of Public Health Environmental Health Track. Nationally she is a member of government’s Multi-stakeholder Committee on Chemicals Management and the South African Bureau of Standards Pesticide Technical Committee. Prof Rother is also a WHO expert advisor and current chair of the FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Management.
Aqiel Dalvie, Professor and Director: Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Research (CEOHR)
Phone: 021 406 6610
Prof Aqiel Dalvie is the South African Swiss Bilateral SARChi Chair in Global Environmental Health and the Director of the Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health and Family Medicine. His main research interests is health effects due to endocrine disrupting compounds especially pesticides but also have a keen interest in air pollution, water pollution, climate change, asthma, toxic metals and exposure assessment. He also teaches environmental and occupational health.
Leslie London, Professor and Head of Division: Public Health Medicine
Phone: 021 406 6524
Leslie London is a public health specialist with an interest in human rights, public health ethics, farm worker health, prevention of alcohol related harms and the health hazards of pesticides. He is the head of the Division of Public Health Medicine, leads the Health and Human Rights programme and is an active researcher in the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health Research. He provides technical support to the provincial XDR TB panel and to the public health functions of the Health Impact Assessment Directorate in the Health Department.
James Irlam, Senior Lecturer
Phone: 021 406 6377
Teaching & Research Fields
Rebecca Mlelwa, Assistant Lecturer
Phone: 021 404 7661
Rebecca Mlelwa is an assistant lecturer in the Division of Environmental Health at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. She has training in environmental and occupational health. Ms Mlelwa is co-convening Children’s Environmental Health course and teaches on a Postgraduate diploma in Pesticide Risk Management. She is currently a PhD student; her research focuses on toxic chemicals in childcare products and toys.
Fiona Bennin, Research Co-ordinator
Phone: 021 404 7661
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Chapters in books
Risk Communication and Health Promotion Materials
Chapters in books
London L, Joshi TK, Cairncross E and Claudio L. (2011). Environmental Justice: an international perspective. In : Nriagu JO (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Envrionmental Health, volume 2, pp. 441-448 Burlington: Elsevier.
Rother HA, London L. Classification and Labelling of Chemicals: New Globally Harmonized System (GHS). Encyclopaedia of Pest Management. 1:1, 1-6, Marcel Dekker, Inc, New York, 2008.
Risk Communication and Health Promotion Materials