Emeritus Professor David Sanders
  • Position: Emeritus Professor
    Qualifications:     MBChB (Birm), DCH (RCS Eng), MRCP (UK), DTPH (London), DSc (Hon Causa) (UCT)
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    ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Sanders19

David Sanders headed the SOPH from its inception in 1993 till 2009. He has over 30 years’ experience in public health and primary health care in Zimbabwe and South Africa and has worked extensively with governments, the WHO, UNICEF and other agencies in child health, nutrition and health human resources. He is active in various civil society organisations that promote social justice and Health for All.

David’s qualifications are in paediatrics and public health and his main interests are health and development, child health, nutrition, primary health care and human resource development. He is the author of many peer reviewed articles and three books: The Struggle for Health; Questioning the Solution; and Fatal Indifference:The G8, Africa and Global Health.

David was Heath Clark Visiting Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2005 and an Honorary Professor at that institution from 2005 to 2007. He is a Visiting Professor at Charité–Universitätsmedizin, Berlin as well as at the Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway, with which he continues to collaborate. He has been appointed as an Honorary Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT from July 2013 and as Professor in the School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia from August 2013.

In 2012 David was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by UCT in recognition of his contribution to the development of policies and programmes in primary health care nationally and internationally. In 2013 he was the recipient of the International Academic Partnership Merit Award from the Faculty of Medicine, University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique, and in 2014 he received the Public Health Innovation and Lifetime Achievement (PHILA) Award from the Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA).


Crush J, Chikanda A, Sanders D, Maswikwa B. The rise of medical tourism to South Africa. In: Lunt N, Horsfall D, Hanefeld J, eds. Handbook on Medical Tourism and Patient Mobility 2015. Published by Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. U.K. Chapter 32, pp 323-331

Daniels K, Sanders D, Daviaud E, Doherty T. Valuing and Sustaining (or Not) the Ability of Volunteer Community Health Workers to Deliver Integrated Community Case Management in Northern Ghana: A Qualitative Study. PLoS ONE 10(6):e0126322. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126322, June 16, 2015

Doherty T, Zembe W, Ngandu N, Kinney M, Manda S, Besada D, Jackson D, Daniels K, Rohde S, van Damme W, Kerber K, Daviaud E, Rudan I, Muniz M, Oliphant NP, Zamasiya T, Rohde J, Sanders D. Assessment of Malawi’s success in child mortality reduction through the lens of the Catalytic Initiative Integrated Health Systems Strengthening programme: Retrospective evaluation.  Journal of Global Health Vol. 5 No. 2 • 020412, December 2015, www.jogh.org, doi: 10.7189/jogh.05.020412

Freeman T, Baum F, Lawless A, Javanparast S, Jolley G, Labonté R, Bentley M, Boffa J and Sanders D. Revisiting the ability of Australian primary healthcare services to respond to health inequity. Australian Journal of Primary Health Research. 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY14180

Petrida Ijumba, Tanya Doherty, Debra Jackson, Mark Tomlinson, David Sanders, Sonja Swanevelder and Lars-Åke Persson. Effect of an integrated community-based package for maternal and newborn care on feeding patterns during the first 12 weeks of life: a cluster-randomized trial in a South African township. Public Health Nutrition / Volume 18 / Issue 14 / October 2015, pp 2660 - 2668

Leng HMJ, Sanders D, Pollock AM. Pro-generics policies and the backlog in medicines registration in South Africa: implications for access to essential and affordable medicines. Generics and Biosimilars Initiative Journal (GaBI Journal), Vol 4, Issue 2, 2015

Natalie Leon, David Sanders, Wim Van Damme, Donela Besada1, Emmanuelle Daviaud, Nicholas P. Oliphant, Rocio Berzal, John Mason and Tanya Doherty. The role of 'hidden; community volunteers in community-based health service delivery platforms: examples from sub-Saharan Africa. Glob Health Action 2015, 8: 27214 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v8.27214

Libman, K., Freudenberg, N., Sanders, D., Puoane, T., & Tsolekile, L. (2015). The role of urban food policy in preventing diet-related non-communicable diseases in Cape Town and New York. Public health, 129(4), 327-335.

Sanders D, McCoy D, Legge D, Birn AE, Sengupta A. Social and political remedies needed for the Ebola tragedy. The Lancet, Vol 386, pp 738, August 22, 2015

Sanders D, Sengupta A, and Scott V. 2015. Ebola Epidemic Exposes the Pathology of the Global Economic and Political System. International Journal of Health Services 45(4):643–56.

Sanders D. Comrades in Health: U.S. Health Internationalists, Abroad and at Home. ed. by Anne-Emmanuelle Birn and Theodore M. Brown (review) Book review. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Volume 89, Number 3, Fall 2015, pp. 633-635. Project MUSE. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. DOI: 10.1353/bhm.2015.0093

Swanson RC, Atun R, Best A, Betigeri A, de Campos F, Chunharas S, Collins T, Currie G, Jan S, McCoy D, Omaswa F, Sanders D, Sundararaman T and Van Damme W. Strengthening health systems in low-income countries by enhancing organizational capacities and improving institutions. Globalization and Health (2015) 11:5. DOI 10.1186/s12992-015-0090-3

Thow AM, Sanders D, Drury E, Puoane T, Chowdhury SN, Tsolekile L, Negin J. Regional trade and the nutrition transition: opportunities to strengthen NCD prevention policy in the Southern African Development Community. Global Health Action 2015, 8: 28338 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v8.28338

Wanga Zembe-Mkabile, Rebecca Surrender, David Sanders, Debra Jackson and Tanya Doherty. The experience of cash transfers in alleviating childhood poverty in South Africa: Mothers' experiences of the Child Support Grant. Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice Volume 10, Issue 7, 2015

Besada D, Kerber K, Leon N, Sanders D, Daviaud E, Rohde S, Rohde J, van Damme W, Kinney M, Manda S, Oliphant NP, Hachimou F, Ouedraogo A, Ghali AY, Doherty T. Niger’s Child Survival Success, Contributing Factors and Challenges to Sustainability: A Retrospective Analysis. PLOS ONE DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0146945 January 19, 2016

Delobelle P, Sanders D, Puoane T, Freudenberg N. Reducing the Role of the Food, Tobacco, and Alcohol Industries in Noncommunicable Disease Risk in South Africa. Health Education & Behavior 2016, Vol. 43(1S) 70S–81S

Doherty T, Kroon M, Rhoda N, Sanders D. Ending preventable child deaths in South Africa: What role can ward-based outreach teams play? SAMJ Vol. 106, No. 7, pp 672-674, July 2016.

Muzigaba, M., Puoane, T., & Sanders, D. (2016). The Paradox of Undernutrition and Obesity in South Africa: A Contextual Overview of Food Quality, Access and Availability in the New Democracy. In Food Poverty and Insecurity: International Food Inequalities (pp. 31-41). Springer International Publishing.

David Sanders. Nutrition may be as big a Challenge Today as HIV/AIDS was 15 Years ago. 2016.

Setorglo, J., Steiner-Asiedu, M., Puoane, T., Sanders, D., & Pereko, K. K. A. (2016). Achieving Success in Community-based Nutrition Programmes.Community Nutrition for Developing Countries, 321.

Mark Spires, Peter Delobelle, David Sanders, Thandi Puoane, Philipp Hoelzel, Rina Swart. Diet-related Non-communicable Diseases in South Africa: Determinants and Policy Responses. South African Health Review 2016. 

Zembe-Mkabile WZ, Jackson D, Sanders D, Besada D, Daniels K, Zamasiya T and Doherty T. The ‘community’ in community case management of childhood illnesses in Malawi. Global Health Action 2016. 9: 29177

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