The Wits Health Hubb is a project of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development and a division of Wits Health Consortium.
It was established in 2020 by Dr Lisa Ware, with co-founders Dr Delan Naidoo and Mr Lethu Kapueja with the core funding from the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
Insufficient access to community health promotion services in Soweto has resulted in increased levels of chronic disease. This places an enormous burden on the public health system.
The Hubb engages youth who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) from the local area and provides NQF accredited training in community healthcare.
Supported by the HUBB the youth engage in:
- Community health screening
- Health promotion
- Health research
The HUBB encourages innovation and the creation of health entrepreneurs. When possible, pipelines are created for youth into tertiary education.
Young people aged 18-35 years enroll in a 12-month skills development course for NEET (not in education, employment or training) youth. We provide psychosocial support and frequent health checks for young people as they undertake formal training in community health promotion and how to conduct health research.
Youth are supervised and supported to conduct community health screening, to promote health through understanding behaviour change, and to advocate for health within the community.
We are particularly interested in implementation science to answer the following questions:
- What is the impact of undertaking the training on the health of the young people themselves?
- How does the Health Hubb programme impact the broader local community?
As the young people are trained in conducting health research and spend time in the community, there is also an opportunity to answer important health questions collaborating with the community.
- Read more about one such project evaluating home-testing kits for hypertension
Jabulani in Soweto is our first Health Hubb site and we are looking for partners to implement the programme in many more communities.
Our hope in Soweto is to be able to train up to 1000 youth health advocates in the next five years, to enhance economic opportunities for NEET youth, to expand community access to health promotion and to reach all households in Soweto with basic health screening.
To achieve our goals and have the most impact, we must work closely with the local primary healthcare infrastructure and realise opportunities for our undergraduate and postgraduate health trainees to work more closely with the communities while in training.
Our health advocates are also trained to support better health literacy in the community and to help community members navigate the range of health services available to improve health outcomes for all.
Ms Mimi Mhlaba,
Tel: +27 11 717 2366
School of Public Health
27 St Andrews Road
University of the Witwatersrand