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Inaugural lecture of Professor Laetitia Rispel

When: Friday, 16 December 2016 - Wednesday, 14 December 2016
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
Start time:13:44

You're invited to attend the inaugural lecture of Professor Laetitia Rispel.

While South Africa’s public health care system has come a long way since the end of apartheid, three major issues are worrying Professor Laetitia Rispel.

“We have come to tolerate ineptitude and leadership, management and governance failures; we do not have a fully functional district health system (DHS), which is the main vehicle for the delivery of primary health care; and we have not dealt decisively with the health workforce crisis,” said Rispel, the Head of the School of Public Health at Wits, at her inaugural lecture.

Her analysis comes from a 21-year journey in the public health sector, where she worked as a health worker at the Groote Schuur and Red Cross Children’s Hospitals in the Western Cape.

“I know what it feels like to be at the bottom of the health hierarchy, in a racially segregated and unequal health care system,” she said.

She also was at Wits Centre for Health Policy as an emerging researcher and experiencing the euphoria of contributing to health policy and systems changes in a post-apartheid period. Rispel was the Head of the Gauteng Health Department where she was involved in developing and implementing transformative health policies.

Faculty of Health Sciences 43RD Annual Awards Ceremony

When: Wednesday, 05 April 2017 - Wednesday, 05 April 2017
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
Start time:17:30


The Faculty of Health Sciences will celebrate the extraordinary achievements of staff and students on Wednesday 5th April 2017.

Prizes are awarded for exceptional work and in recognition of  future leaders in health care delivery, teaching and innovation.

More information from Kasturi Naidoo at Kasturi Naidoo

45th Meeting of the Surgical Research Society of Southern Africa

When: Thursday, 06 July 2017 - Friday, 07 July 2017
Where: Parktown Education Campus
Start time:21:00

The Faculty of Health Sciences’ Department of Surgery is hosting the 45th SRS meeting.

The Faculty of Health Sciences’ Department of Surgery is hosting the 45th SRS meeting from the  6– 7th July 2017 as well as  the 2017 Registrars Symposium 4-5th July 2017. For more information contact Dyanadree Subroyen at

Faculty of Health Science’s Teaching and Learning Symposium

When: Wednesday, 06 September 2017 - Wednesday, 06 September 2017
Where: Parktown Education Campus
Start time:16:00

Keynote speaker is Cees van der Vleuten, Professor of Education at Maastricht University.

The Faculty’s 8th teaching and learning symposium takes place on 6th September 2017. Keynote speaker is Cees van der Vleuten, Professor of Education at Maastricht University, Department of Educational Development and Research in the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences.

For more information please contact Prof. Trish McInerney at

2017 Health Sciences Alumni Week

When: Wednesday, 06 September 2017 - Saturday, 09 September 2017
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
Start time:8:00

Dr Paul Davis

President, Health Graduates’ Association 

Lisa Rautenbach

Faculty Development Officer, Tel: +27 11 717 2771


Please RSVP and register on our website, or contact Lisa Rautenbach, tel: +27 11 717 2771 or email:

Our programme for the reunion is designed to offer you a comprehensive view of the Faculty’s developments in teaching and research.

It also offers engagement with international and local experts, along with networking and connection with your Alma Mater.

To view the programme, please click here.

2017 Ethics Alive Symposium

When: Monday, 13 March 2017 - Friday, 17 March 2017
Constitution Hill, Women’s Gaol Law 11 Kotze Street, Old Fort Building Braamfontein
Start time:8:00

The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics hosts Ethics Alive Week 2017.

Ethics Alive 2017, a week-long programme of debates and discussions exploring issues of ethics, law and human rights in healthcare kicks off on 13 March 2017.

The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics and the Faculty of Health Sciences are hosting Ethics Alive 2017, a week-long programme of debates and discussions exploring issues of ethics, law and human rights in healthcare practice.  The week will run from Monday 13 to Friday 17 March 2010. 

Central to the week are discussions around the issue of transformation –as it relates to health professionals and the role they play in society, the healthcare system and more broadly in the context of the overall wellness of society.

The highlight of the programme is the 2017 Ethics Alive Symposium being held on Wednesday, 16 March 2010 at 17:30 at Constitutional Hill. This symposium is themed "Transformation: Is it a Bitter Pill to Swallow"

The key speakers at the Symposium are Dr Freda Lewis-Hall, Global pharma Company Exec who has defied race and gender -  previous political exilist and staunch patient rights advocate UCT - Emeritus Professor Dan Ncayiyana and national and Black Consciousness advocate and Executive Trustee of the Steve Biko Foundation - Mr Nkosinathi Biko as speakers.

Prof. Ames Dhai, Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics commented: “This event is being held at a crucial time in the history of healthcare in the country. The Symposium will address pertinent issues that are currently impacting healthcare practice. The activities are just ahead of  Human Rights Day – an appropriate time for the reflection, discussion and debate during the week”.

Symposium on Interdisciplinary Research for TB Elimination

When: Thursday, 23 March 2017 - Thursday, 23 March 2017
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
The Adler Museum
Start time:8:00


The Faculty of Health Sciences and the Office of Research & Postgraduate Affairs are hosting a Symposium for Interdisciplinary Research for TB Elimination.

The Symposium will profile the work being done at Wits to eliminate, treat and better understand the disease and is being held to commemorate World TB Day on 24 March 2017.

Wits researchers have made significant inroads in understanding more about TB. Most recently researchers from DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB research (CBTBR) at Wits published landmark studies revealing profound insights into the way the TB mycobacteria grows and mutates and greater insight into the complexity of successful treatment in tuberculosis patients.

Professor Bavesh Kana, Co-Director DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research will present these studies as part of his talk entitled: " Can we find all the bacteria?". He will be joined by several other researchers and clinicians who are experts in their fields.

View the programme here.


Wits to host cancer research symposium

When: Thursday, 09 February 2017 - Thursday, 09 February 2017
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
The Adler Museum
Start time:8:00

Tel: +27 11 488 3623

Showcasing cancer research at Wits.

The Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (SBIMB) and Wits-MRC Common Epithelial Cancer Research Centre (CECRC) are hosting a Cancer Research Symposium on the 9th February 2017 which is being sponsored by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).

The aim of the symposium is to showcase cancer research at Wits, provide networking opportunities and promote research collaborations.The programme will cover sessions on Epidemiology and Surveillance, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Pathophysiology and Therapy.

Analysing the microbiome

When: Wednesday, 29 March 2017 - Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
Start time:14:00

Analysing the microbiome short course 29-31 March 2017

The development of next generation sequencing technology has led to rapid advances in microbiome study. The Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience and the Pan-African Bioinformatics Network for H3Africa will offer a short-course on the bioinformatics of analysing the microbiome. The course will give an overview of conducting a microbiome study, present some of the most important techniques, and will include hands-on use of key tools. The course will cover analysis both using both 16S RNA gene sequences and shotgun sequencing.

Ami Bhatt, Departments of Medicine and Genetics, Stanford University Gerrit Botha, Computational Biology Division, University of Cape Town

Practice changing advances in common cancers (breast and colorectal)

When: Tuesday, 20 June 2017 - Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
School of Public Health Auditorium, School of Public Health Building
Start time:17:30


The Wits Faculty of Health Sciences Research Office will host the 15th Prestigious Research Lecture.

The lecture will be presented by Professor Paul Ruff, Head of the Division of Medical Oncology at the  Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Dr Georgia Demetriou, lecturer and medical oncologist at the Donald Gordon Medical Centre.

Albertina Sisulu Lecture 2017

When: Thursday, 13 July 2017 - Thursday, 13 July 2017
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
Marie Curie Lecture Theatre
Start time:16:30

Mrs Irene Janse van Noordwyk on 100 717 2063 or



Mrs Irene Janse van Noordwyk on 100 717 2063 or

Cost: None

The Albertina Sisulu Memorial Lecture is held annually to honour the life and work of Mrs Albertina Sisulu: a nurse, a humanitarian and activist.

The Albertina Sisulu Memorial Lecture which is held annually to honour the life and work of Mrs Albertina Sisulu: a nurse, a humanitarian, an activist and a woman of integrity and courage, who epitomises the highest ideals of nursing and the health professions at large.

 This year’s lecture will be given by Dr Mary Lou Galantino, Distinguished Professor at the Stockhon University, New Jersey and Adjunct Scholar and Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania, under the title : “ The Kaleidoscope of Cancer: A survivor’s journey on all sides of the table.”

 As a co-survivor, researcher, clinician and educator in cancer rehabilitation, she will share her point of view from these various vantage points.

 Date:     Thursday 13 July 2017

Time:      16h30 for 17h00

Venue:   Marie Curie Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Health Sciences, 7 York Road, Parktown

RSVP:     Mrs Irene Janse van Noordwyk on 011 717 2063 or

Precision Medicine in Africa

- L.R

The Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience Short Course in Precision Medicine in Africa

Precision medicine is an emerging approach for treatment and prevention of diseases, which couples established approaches with molecular profiling to create diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies precisely tailored to each patient's requirements. It takes into consideration the individual variability of each patient, but can also be applied in a Precision Public Health setting. Given this new wave of innovation in medicine, we have a vital role to play in enabling precision medicine in Africa through promoting and conducting research on the people of this continent. Building capacity and resources in this area is critical. It is therefore our objective to create awareness and to support and strengthen local and regional capacity development.


The course intends to introduce health professionals including clinicians, academic clinicians, dieticians, as well as research investigators, postgraduate students, health related counsellors, and people working in the Health Industry, to the concept of precision medicine and some of the issues related to developing a precision medicine agenda in Africa. It will highlight how an enhanced understanding of the human genome and its function could have an impact on modern clinical practice in an African context.


Time: 08h00 to 17h00 daily

Venue: SBIMB Seminar Room, 9 Jubilee Road, Parktown, Johannesburg

Application closing date extended to: Monday, 07  August  2017

Register online:

Cost: R3000 internal (Wits members), R3500 external

CPD points: 21 points (including 5 ethics points)

Wits Certificate of Attendance will be issued


Course lecturers include Michele Ramsay, Amanda Krause, Zane Lombard, Shelley Macaulay, Noelene Kinsley, Nadia Carstens and more.

 The course outline is available online at the link above.


For more information about the course contact:

Ms Jocelyne Gayenga – email: ; Tel: 011 717 6631

Memorial A.J. Orenstein Lecture presented by Professor Glenda Gray

When: Thursday, 07 September 2017 - Thursday, 07 September 2017
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
Public Health Auditorium, Public Health Building, 7 York Road, Parktown
Start time:5:00

Adler Museum of Medicine, 0117172081


Adler Museum of Medicine, 0117172081

Cost: No Charge

The Faculty of Health Sciences Annual Memorial A.J. Orenstein Lecture will take place on Thursday 7 September at 17h00

The Annual Memorial A.J. Orenstein Lecture will be presented by Professor Glenda Gray, NRF A-rated scientist, CEO and President of the South African Medical Research Council , named as  Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World 2017.

Her presentation is entitled HIV/AIDS: Battling to win the Battle.

This lecture is CPD accredited and ALL are welcome to attend.

The Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University instituted the series in 1962 as part of the inception of the Adler Museum of Medicine, with support from the Chamber of Mines.

 More About the Annual Memorial A.J. Orenstein Lecture:

Delivered for the first time by Major General Orenstein under the auspices of the Medical Graduates Association, the memorial lecture today perpetuates the memory of the late Major General Orenstein and serves to commemorate the part he played in the establishment of the medical services in the mining industry.

Major General Alexander Jeremiah Orenstein, an American physician who pioneered new methods of combating pneumonia during the construction of the Panama Canal, helped curb the devastating Spanish influenza epidemic that hit Kimberley just after the end of World War I.

Once the epidemic passed he turned his energies to 'Health Services' in the mining industry. He soon established a 'department of sanitation' and set about revolutionising the appalling medical care and sanitation conditions prevalent in the mining industry at the time. He contributed to the redesign and layout of mine hospitals, the appointment of full- time medical officers on the mines and the introduction of first-aid courses. He was socially recognised as the supreme authority on the health of mineworkers and was significantly influential in the field of nursing, so much so that he has been accorded the well-deserved title: 'The father of black nursing' in South Africa.

The lecture is the Faculty’s most prestigious lecture and is held as part of the Faculty’s Alumni Week in September of each year. Previous speakers of this prestigious lecture have included: Professor PV Tobias, Professor JHS Gear, Dr Sydney Brenner and most recently Dr Emmanuel Maksa.

Neonatologist takes reins of Wits School of Clinical Medicine


Professor Daynia Ballot, a lifelong Witsie, has been appointed as Head of School : Clinical Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences from 1 October 2017.

Professor Daynia Ballot, a renowned paediatrician with a sub-specialty in neonatology and an NRF C2 rated researcher, takes the reins as Head of the School of Clinical Medicine.

Ballot assumes the role of Head of School after being Assistant Head of School: Cluster C (Obstetrics and Gynecology, Paediatrics and Child Health, Family Medicine and Primary Care).

As Assistant Head of School:Cluster C Ballot was instrumental in strengthening the research and teaching focus across the three departments to improve postgraduate output and collaboration between these departments.

“We are delighted that an academic and scientist of Professor Ballot’s calibre will take the reins of our largest school and drive the Faculty’s strategic imperatives to increase research intensity and extend the clinical training platform, with an emphasis on primary health care.” says Professor Martin Veller, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
When asked about the new appointment Prof Ballot said: “The School has a strong foundation and solid reputation contributing to the Faculty and the University. I see my role as leading the processes of strengthening the collaboration of the clusters, operationalising the fundamentals and managing the transformation process of both the undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and learning environments.  It’s a significant challenge to take the school to its next level but I am confident with the management team we have in place and with a strong focus on staff development and contribution, it can be achieved.”

Professor Daynia Ballot was inspired by her obstetrician mother to enter the health sciences. She gained her MBBCH from Wits in 1982 and then completed her internship at Hillbrow Hospital. Later she was a medical officer and a Registrar in Pediatrics at Wits. She pursued and completed her PhD (Wits) in 1989, focusing on iron nutrition, and went on to become a Research Registrar at the Neonatal Unit at the Johannesburg Hospital. In 1990 she was admitted as a fellow of the College of Paediatricians of South Africa and registered as a subspecialist in Neonatology with Health Professions Council of SA in 1993.

At Johannesburg Hospital she progressed to Specialist Paediatrician, then to Senior Specialist Paediatrician and later Associate Professor of Pediatrics in 2002. In 2004 she became Principal Specialist Pediatrician in the Neonatal Unit, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) before taking on the role of Assistant Head of School for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Paediatrics and Child Health, Family Medicine and Primary Care (Cluster C) in 2017.

Her volunteer work for the hospital and department of Paediatrics through the Wits Paediatric Fund has helped raise funds for more modern equipment for the Hospital. She has been awarded both the Wits Volunteer and Vice Chancellor’s Academic Citizenship awards for her community commitment.

As a researcher Ballot has published more than 60 papers and has established the Project for Improving Neonatal Care (PRINCE) Research programme based at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH), which undertakes research into quality improvement in neonatal care in three specific areas -perinatal asphyxia, extreme prematurity and prevention of infection.

She is invited to review many local and international journals and currently serves as a councilor on the Fellowship of the College of Paediatricians.

Ballot names her mentors as Professor Andrew MacPhail, her PhD supervisor who promoted her interest in research, and Professors Alan Rothberg and Peter Cooper, who allowed her to pursue neonatal research while working as a clinician in the department.

When she is not busy at work, Ballot enjoys family activities, reading, and travel.

Staying Human in Medicine

When: Monday, 27 November 2017 - Monday, 27 November 2017
Where: Parktown Health Sciences Campus
Resources Centre, School of Public Health, 9 York Road, Parktown
Start time:17:30

Cost: no charge

Special guest lecture by Samuel Shem, the pen name for Prof. Stephen Bergman, MD, author of The House of God.

The Faculty of Health Science will host a special guest lecture by Samuel Shem, pen name for Prof. Stephen Bergman, MD, author of several books of fiction including the bestseller, The House of God. A Rhodes Scholar, he was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for three decades and founded the Bill W. and Dr. Bob Project in the Division on Addictions at Harvard Medical School.

Samuel Shem will present his lecture entitled: “Staying Human in Medicine: from the House of God to the Spirit of Place.”


Giving to Wits

School of Public Health Building

Whether you invest in a promising young student, or contribute towards vital research or new buildings and facilities – giving to Wits brings great personal satisfaction and lasting results you can be proud of for years to come.

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