The Sheiham Family / Wits Programme on Social Determinants of Health and Health Inequality
Towards the end of 2015, Professor Aubrey Sheiham, and his wife Dr Helena Sheiham generously donated R 8.8 million to the School of Public Health to support a broad programme on researching and addressing health inequalities and the social environmental determinants of health. Dr Molefi Paul Sefularo was South African Deputy Minister of Health until his untimely death in 2010
The Sheiham program’s bold and ambitious goal to generate new knowledge and foster a collaborative and interdisciplinary programme through teaching, research and social activism have never been more important in contemporary South Africa.
The programme has four key goals:
- Recruiting candidates for a funded PhD fellowship programme focusing on social determinants of Health
- Enhance the skills and capacity to teach, analyse and/or research the distribution and determinants of health inequities and the social determinants of health,
- Host the annual Sefularo-Sheiham Memorial Lecture on Health Equity to put the spotlight on health [in]equity,
- Foster links with South African universities, University College London and beyond
The desired outcomes are to create a programme of excellence at the school, where a critical mass of ethical, multi-disciplinary scholars are able to generate new knowledge on the distribution and determinants of health inequities in South Africa. Furthermore, a deepened and enhanced understanding among School of Public Health academics to teach, research and develop policies that have a positive impact on the social determinants of health and the reduction of health inequities. Shifts in the public discourse on the unacceptability of societal and health inequalities and greater advocacy for social and health equity in laws, policies, jurisprudence and implementation.