Academics and policy makers engage on alignment of research and implementation of interventions

28 Dec 2015 - 09:45

Solving pressing health problems through  inter-sectoral approaches was the focus of a recent meeting attended by members of the Western Cape Provincial Government and academics of the Pan University Network for Global Health (PUNGH).

Dr Beth Engelbrecht (Head: Western Cape Department of Health) engaging with Dr Collins Airhihenbuwa (Pennsylvania State University) during a Q&A session after her address. 

Hosted by the UCT School of Public Health and Family Medicine, the PUNGH meeting saw network partners from universities in South Africa, Germany, India, USA and the West Indies participate. PUNGH’s approach is to foster more meaningful collaborations in research to ensure it is aligned with government priorities and to facilitate uptake and implementation of successful interventions. 
Deputy Dean for Research, Professor Tania Douglas, opened the meeting on behalf of UCT, and Dr Beth Engelbrecht, Head of the Western Cape Department of Health, gave a special address.

Dr Engelbrecht detailed the key provincial priority areas including increasing wellness and safety, sustainable environmental interventions and governance. She noted that the two priority themes of the network: Urbanisation & Health, and the Intersection between infectious and non-communicable disease, are aligned with these provincial strategic areas. Members of the network also attended a meeting with the Western Cape Provincial Departments of Human Settlements, Environmental Affairs & Development Planning, Health, Transport & Public Works, and the Department of the Premier. 

Pictured from L to R:  Dr Collins Airhihenbuwa (Pennsylvania State University), Prof Tania Douglas (Deputy Dean:  Research), Dr Beth Engelbrecht (Head:  Western Cape Department of Health), Dr Tolu Oni (Senior Lecturer: Public Health Medicine Division) and Prof Mohamed Jeebhay (Director and Head of the School)