Elizabeth Lutge is a public health specialist (FCPHM 2005) and currently manages the Epidemiology, Health Research and Knowledge Management Units at the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health. She is also the current Chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Health Research and Ethics Committee, which has a stewardship role in health research in the province, and provides gatekeeper approval for research to be conducted in public health facilities in KZN.
She graduated with an MBChB degree from the University of Cape Town in 1994. After her internship, she worked primarily in paediatrics and radiology, before joining the Health Systems Trust as the Editor of their HealthLink programe in 1998. Whilst at HST, she enrolled for the part time MPH programme through the University of the Witwatersrand which she completed in 2004. From 2002 to 2005, she was a registrar in Public Health Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and during this time, she was funded through a Fogarty grant to complete an MSc in Epidemiology through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2005). She re-joined the Health Systems Trust as a Senior Researcher in 2006. In 2009 she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship, which was administered by HST and which funded a cluster randomized controlled trial on which she was the principal investigator. The trial investigated the use of economic incentives/enablers in improving the adherence of patients on treatment for tuberculosis. This trial formed the basis of her PhD (Epidemiology) through the University of Stellenbosch which she was awarded in 2013.
Her interests are primarily in public health and research ethics and social epidemiology, on which she has presented and published in local and international conferences and peer-reviewed journals.
Dr Nisha Naicker specialised in Public Health Medicine and obtained a PhD in the field of Public Health Medicine from the University of Witwatersrand in 2012. Further to this she has successfully completed the Senior Management and Development Programme from the University of Stellenbosch. Following her qualification as a medical doctor in 1994, she has worked as a clinician at various health care facilities for over eight years. Her interest in pursuing a career in research, public health & environment led her to pursue a postgraduate program at the School of Public Health Medicine, University of Witwatersrand. Upon qualifying as a specialist in Public Health Medicine, she was invited to join as a Senior Scientist at the Environment and Health Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council. This allowed her to interact, grow and expand her research, academic, clinical & public heath career within environment and health research. She is currently a senior specialist scientist at the MRC, with a portfolio of research and academic activities, including management of staff and finances of all projects under her leadership.
Ziyanda Vundle qualified as a medical doctor in 2002 and as a Community Medicine specialist in 2009. As a clinician she realised the need for a more population based approach to health care delivery and health systems challenges. This was influenced by the recognition of upstream factors that influenced disease epidemiology and control. Hence her choice to specialise in Community Medicine
Specialising in Community Medicine empowered her with varied knowledge and expertise of health system components, their management and their influence in disease control; as well as the influence social factors have on health. Although her career interests are very broad, her main focus currently is on health systems strengthening and development, quality improvement in its broader sense, and in improving health services delivery in organisations and communities. Public Health’s numerous challenges offer opportunities for change, development and improving communities. Every day is new and interesting.
As there are many determinants of health, she believes that health can be used as a yardstick for the general well-being of the community and as a point of departure in identifying and/or addressing many community challenges. Significant impact on change can be sought through various approaches: Political systems, civil organisations, philanthropy, and scientific research and implementation, amongst others. Currently she is employed at the Walter Sisulu University and she has chosen to use the scientific approach to influence the most significant impact in addressing the social and health challenges.
Atiy Mosam is a registar at the School of Public Health, University of the Witswatersrand. Before that she was a medical officer in the Gauteng Department of Health from 2010-2015. She has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and is currently busy with a MPH at Wits.