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Dr Wezile Chitha Appointed as Acting Assistant Dean: Strategic Affairs

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Dr Wezile Chitha Appointed as Acting Assistant Dean: Strategic Affairs

Dr Wezile Chitha, former Dean of Health Sciences at Walter Sisulu University, and the founding Director of the Albertina Sisulu Centre for Global Health & Research has been appointed Acting Assistant Dean: Strategic Affairs for the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits effective 1 July 2017.

He will lead the Faculty’s efforts in terms of building robust partnerships and strategic relationships, extending community engagement as well as tackling cross-cutting issues vital to advancing the goals of the Faculty and University. He will make a significant contribution to the Programme for integration of South African students doing medicine in Cuba.

He is a medical doctor, health economist, and award-winning public health manager with extensive experience within the South African health care environment. He has had significant exposure to transformation opportunities, partnership governance, and the implementation of priority health programmes at primary, tertiary and academic levels. His experience includes work and collaboration with South African government institutions, the NGO sector, research institutions, and national and international universities.

He obtained his medical degree in 2000 and Master’s in Public Health (Health Economics) from the University of Cape Town in 2006. Later he achieved the Advanced Management Development Programme from the University of Stellenbosch and most recently his PhD in Public Health from Walter Sisulu University.

As a taskmaster with a unique blend of managerial, professional, research and practice experience, Dr Chitha has had success in producing transformation and innovation outcomes. He played vital roles in transforming a rural district hospital into a respected rural referral specialist hospital and in creating a framework for the implementation of continuous quality improvement in clinical care at Frontier Hospital.

As head of Mowbray Maternity Hospital, he managed both an urban regional hospital level obstetric and neonatal service and the peri-urban community-based midwife obstetric units in a functional District Health System.

Under his leadership, the Mowbray Maternity Hospital won the Western Cape Premier’s Service Excellence Award announced at the beginning of 2008. With his contribution as a new chief medical superintendent, Frontier Hospital was named Best Performing Hospital by the Eastern Cape Department of Health towards the end of 2008.

As Dean of Health Sciences at Walter Sisulu University, Chitha led the successful restructuring, transformation and expansion of the faculty including the implementation of the integrated longitudinal clinical clerkship, deaneries in Port Elizabeth and East London, community engagement initiatives and strategic research initiatives.

“As an exceptional academic and dynamic leader, Dr Chitha will play a key role in driving the Faculty’s strategic imperatives to increase research intensity and expand the reputation of the Faculty of Health Sciences as a globally competitive and locally responsive institution,” says Professor Martin Veller, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits.


Chitha is delighted at the opportunity to help advance the goals of the faculty and university as well as provide the leadership and stewardship to strengthen the Faculty’s local and regional responsiveness.

“I believe, with careful assessment of both macro and micro trends and the consolidation of strategic relationships, the Faculty will be well positioned to devise strategies that connect the Faculty’s actions and messages with a diverse and expanding set of stakeholders, supporting its broadest transformation processes successfully,” says Chitha.