SIG meetings at PHASA 2015

Mental Health Special Interest Group


Chairperson: Dr Mercy Hlungwani

Vice Chair: Ms Wiedaad Slemming

Secretary: Ms Janine White

5 most important messages:

  1. The main aim of the meeting was to gather support and members for the Mental Health SIG among attendees at the conference.
  2. To encourage  each member to go back to their respective institutions and create awareness about our existence.
  3. To identify strategic partners for collaboration in order to advance the SIG’s mission.
  4. The South African Association of Psychiatrists (SASOP) has already made contact with the SIG and has already started working in collaboration with the SIG.
  5. All new members are encouraged to make suggestions related to advocacy and research focus of the SIG.

Integrative, Complementary, Alternative and Traditional Health Practices Interest Group

 Founding Members:

  • Professor Gail D. Hughes, UWC, Interim Chair
  • Dr. Tracey Naledi, Western Cape DOH
  • Msokoli Qotole, Western Cape, DOH
  • Emeritus Professor Thandi Puoane UWC
  • Dr. Seyi Aboyade, MRC/Tshwane University of Technology, Arcadia

On 7 October 2015, the PHASA I-CATHP Special Interest Group (SIG) had a meeting at the conference.

The facilitator was Professor Gail D Hughes, interim chair, I-CATHP (Professor at University of Western Cape).

This was the first meeting of the newly formed SIG. Professor Hughes provided overview of the I-CATHP based on the founding members contributions and documentation submitted to PHASA for formation of this SIG.

Several key points were discussed and should be conveyed to the wider public and those interested in this SIG:

  1. Activities performed thus far:
    1. PHASA Newsletter dedicated to topic of Complementary and Alternative and Traditional Practice in May 2015 with 4 articles;
    2. SIG established and founding members: Professor Gail D. Hughes, UWC, Interim Chair; Dr. Tracey Naledi, Western Cape DOH; Msokoli Qotole, Western Cape, DOH; Emeritus Professor Thandi Puoane UWC; Dr. Seyi Aboyade, MRC/Tshwane University of Technology, Arcadia;
    3. Launch of SIG;
    4. Link to other International organizations SIG: APHA (American Public Health Association) and PHAA (Public Health Association of Australia) and networks (SABINA);
    5. I-CATHP Workshop held on 7 October 2015 .

Additional items that were discussed:

  1. Target Community Health Outreach Workers for engagement in larger community.
  2. Identified key goals: Group of diverse professionals and students         dedicated to promoting public health aspects of I-CATHP; Advancement of Science—research, training, and advocacy; Development of key sources and relevant information/research; and potential for promoting better health and wellness within integrative medicine/practice.
  3. Increase membership to PHASA members and especially student outreach.
  4. Focus on Advocacy.
  5. Create database of PHASA members and beyond that have interest and focus on I-CATHP.
  6. Need to have elections for officers on the SIG.
  7. Dedicated session on I-CATHP in PHASA scientific presentations.
  8. This is an opportunity to engage and generate advocacy on the topical area of I-CATHP inclusion especially given the re-engineering of South African PHC.

For additional information, access the SIG at the PHASA website.
or contact Professor Gail D. Hughes at

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