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Transforming Global Health Through Hope, Health, Action and Knowledge: Lessons from the Largest Continuing Education Programme in Public Health in Africa

Resource type: Research Report

Marian Jacobs |

This report describes how with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies, the School of Public Health at the University of Western Cape (UWC) became a leading training institution for practitioners who today are advancing health equity in South Africa.

Prior to the formal establishment of the school in 2002, public health schools in South Africa largely focused on training only physicians and conducting narrowly focused research rather than on educating all health professionals and addressing the needs of the public as a whole. UWC aimed to infuse a public health perspective that was rooted in a social justice and health equity framework.

Over more than a decade, grants from Atlantic enabled the school to increase its staff from three people working in an overcrowded prefabricated building to almost 50 who are housed in a new, spacious, and well-equipped building; develop and implement critical public health projects; and strengthen its organizational and infrastructural capacity.

By providing summer and winter institutes for all those working in the health care sector, the school has reached managers and health-care practitioners including community health workers throughout the African continent who would otherwise not have access to postgraduate studies in public health.

Among UWC’s graduates are senior ministry of health officials, practitioners at the frontline of the Ebola epidemic, and activists campaigning against sterilization campaigns in India.

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University of the Western Cape is an Atlantic grantee. Atlantic commissioned this report.

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Health, Population Health

Global Impact:

South Africa