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Carnegie-WITS Alumni Diaspora Programme

Building bridges between past successes and future achievements

The Programme seeks to stimulate research collaboration and networking between our leading health sciences alumni, who now live and work in academic institutions around the globe, and their counterparts at Wits.

The Programme aims to capitalise on and boost the strength of the research networks which already exist, to stimulate dialogue, and help establish further collaborative and exchange partnerships with Wits Alumni at international health research institutions. The HSRO seeks to link with research-active alumni who would be willing to “come home” for short periods of time in order to encourage and foster research in the Faculty of Health Sciences, to develop research collaborations, to promote exchanges of postgraduate students and to explore the building of other joint initiatives.

Latest Activities

The Carnegie-WITS Alumni Diaspora Programme was honoured to host not one, but two distinguished alumni in October and November.

Professor Kokila Lakhoo is a consultant paediatric surgeon at the Children’s Hospital in Oxford and an honorary senior lecturer in paediatric surgery at the University of Oxford. She is chair of the international forum for the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons and is personally developing paediatric surgery through a link in Tanzania. This is her second visit to Wits as a Carnegie-WITS Fellow and was hosted by Professor Jerome Loveland (Paediatrics).

Prof. Lakhoo once again delivered a thought-provoking Faculty lecture on “Global access to children’s surgery in rural areas”, chronicling some of her experiences in Tanzania and how the lessons learnt could be applied to a South African setting.

Dr Michael Belfort is Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine and Obstetrician and Gynaecologist-in-Chief of Texas Children's Hospital. A specialist in maternal-fetal medicine and fetal intervention, Dr Belfort most recently served as a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, and also as the Director for Perinatal Research, Fetal Therapy and Obstetric Telemedicine at HCA Healthcare in Nashville, Tennessee.

Hosted by Dr Salome Maswime (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), Dr Belfort delivered an inspired Faculty lecture on “Leadership in Medicine”, offering personal insight into his own leadership journey.  

Dr Belfort is the keynote speaker at the Maternal Health Summit taking place in Bryanston from 9-11 November 2017.

For more information please contact Antonia Appel at