Annual David Sanders Lecture

davidsThe series honours Emeritus Prof David Sanders' legacy as founder of the SOPH and recognises his considerable contributions to UWC and to the field of public health, both locally and internationally. This was also recently acknowledged by the University of cape Town who awarded David an honorary doctorate. Each year an eminent speaker is invited to engage scholars, practioners, policy makers and activists in contemporary challenges and opportunities for public health research, teaching and practice, brining scientific excellence and implications for political and social action to bear on their chosen issue. In so doing, they will continue the vigorous, socially engage, scholarly debate and practice that has characterized much of David's engagement. 


2018 David Sanders Lecture - Prof Anthony Costello

2018dslectureProf Anthony Costello delivered the 2018 Annual David Sanders lecture entitled "The Social Edge: The Power of sympathy groups for health and sustainable development". (Download the slides or watch the lecture)


Dr Costello discussed the concept of ‘sympathy groups’ , and his multi-disciplinary research into how social capital is built and what this offers for addressing contemporary challenges in health and development.  For 20 years, he led large studies on the health effects of women’s groups in Asia and Africa, finding that functional sympathy groups cut down dramatically on maternal and newborn deaths – even in areas where health services were rudimentary. Defining ‘sympathy groups’ as a gathering of around 15 people who share a common interest and who meet to face a challenge, he described his multi-disciplinary research into how social capital is built and what this offers for addressing contemporary challenges in health and development.2018dslecture2

 Dr Anthony Costello recently stepped down as Director of the Department of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health at the World Health Organisation in Geneva. Until 2015 he was Professor of International Child Health and Director of the Institute for Global Health at University College London (UCL). He founded an international charity, Women and Children First, which helped mobilise women’s groups across Africa and south Asia. Until 2015 he was Professor of International Child Health and Director of the Institute for Global Health at University College London. He chaired the 2009 Lancet Commission on Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change, and was co-chair of the 2015 Lancet Commission on emergency actions to tackle the climate health crisis; and holds fellowships of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians(UK).









2017 David Sanders Lecture - Prof Hoosen Coovadia


Prof. Hoosen Coovadia addressed in his lecture the concepts of fairness, equality and equity with a focus primarily on the stratifcations based on race, gender and the private/public dichotomoies.

Prof. Coovadia is a Director at MatCH (Maternal Adolescent & Child Health) (Wits), Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health and Emeritus Victor Daitz Professor of HIV (UKZN). He has devoted his life to the pursuit of justice, democracy and freedom -- chairing the Mandela government’s frst Commission on Maternal and Child Health and designing appropriate national policies. He has published more than 320 papers in national and international journals.

The Lancet once described Prof Coovadia as "an icon of South African health", who "broke through the barriers of racist rule to establish himself as a top paediatrician and then became an international authority on HIV/AIDS, especially mother-to-child transmission".

Click here to download slides.

Click here to Watch lecture. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

2016 David Sanders Lecture - Prof Sundararaman

2016dslectureThe 2016 Lecture was delivered by Prof Sundararaman from the School of Health Systems Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India. Dr Sundararaman, a former professor of medicine and activist in the People’s Health Movement in India, spoke on the topic “Public Health Systems. What Works – What does Not?” and the important challenges that face societies and governments alike in the Global South.  

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2014 David Sanders Lecture - Prof Richard Laing

2014richardlaingProf Richard Laing delivered the Annual David Sanders Lecture 2014: “Access to Medicines: the Struggle Continues”

Over forty years ago Richard Laing and David Sanders were medical students together in Zimbabwe, where they were both subsequently involved in various capacities in the health services. During his last threeyears in the country (1987- 89) Richard developed the Zimbabwean Essential Drugs Programme (ZEDAP).

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2015 David Sanders Lecture - Dr Mary Bassett

2015dslectureThe 2015 Annual David Sanders Lecture was delivered by Dr Mary Bassett, Commissioner of Health of New York City. Dr Mary Bassett, moved by the recent attacks on Americans of African descent in the US, addressed the link between race and health in her lecture, entitled “#BlackLivesMater”. Can such a link be made? Most definitely, argued Dr Bassett in an earlier editorial in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM, March, 2015). Her article provides statistics on health disparities as they affect people of colour and refers to the dearth of scholarly research on this link.

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