• Welcome to the School of Public Health

    Welcome to SOPH, part of the Faculty of Community Health Science (CHS) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). This website will introduce you to our vision, our staff and our teaching and research programmes.

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  • SOPH Academic Programme

    Popular in South Africa and other African countries for its flexible, modular, part-time design and growing array of distance learning materials.

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  • Annual Summer and Winter Schools

    Probably the largest continuing education programmes in Public Health in Africa, which has trained over 12000 participants since 1992.

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  • SARCHI Chairs

    We host two South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChi) Chairs

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  • Open Education Resources in Public Health

    We have lodged as OER several of our distance learning modules and case studies to share our resources and expertise and to build the network for public health education in Africa and the global South.

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  • Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health

    Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health

    The PGD in Public Health aims to provide graduates with an overview of Public Health, with an emphasis on health sector transformation, district health services, and Primary Health Care: Prioritise health needs at population level; Design, implement and evaluate Public Health programmes.

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  • Masters in Public Health (coursework, mini-thesis)

    Masters in Public Health (coursework, mini-thesis)

    The Programme is designed for a range of health and welfare professionals and managers from middle to senior level, at district, provincial or national levels, staff of NGO’s and academic research contexts.

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  • Masters in Public Health (full thesis)

    Masters in Public Health (full thesis)

    The Programme is designed for a range of health and welfare professionals and managers from middle to senior level, at district, provincial or national levels, staff of NGO’s and academic research contexts.

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  • PhD in Public Health

    PhD in Public Health

    Currently offered by thesis only, which implies a very large research project, either written up in a full thesis, or in a format of manuscripts with a beginning and ending sections forming part of the whole thesis. This work should contribute new and original knowledge to your chosen field.

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  • Winter School / Summer School

    Winter School / Summer School

    Exposes health and health-related workers to the latest thinking in Public Health and enables them to exchange ideas on improved planning and implementation of Primary Health Care in the changing environment of the developing world.

Overview

South Africa is a middle-income country of around 55 million people, two thirds of whom live in urban areas. Public primary health care (PHC) is provided through a  nurse-based, doctor-supported infrastructure of over 3500 clinics and community health centres, available within 5 kms to more than 90% of the population, and free at the point of use. It is supported by an emerging system of community-based outreach teams consisting of community health workers. This PHC system has enabled access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) to more than 3 million people, and reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 1.5%. In parallel, primary care is also provided by private, fee-for-service general practitioners as well as traditional healers.

PHC progress has been achieved in South Africa despite a backdrop of significant health system, social and economic challenges. South Africa has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the world, with a Gini co-efficient of 0.69. In the health sector, these inequalities are visible as stark differences between two realities: A well-resourced, insurance-based private sector serving only 16% of the population, but consuming half the total funds flowing through the health sector in the country; and the tax-funded, public health system providing care for the remaining 84%.

Download case study (pdf) here bit.ly/2dh2aH2​

School of Public Health
University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road
Bellville 7535
Republic of South Africa

Tel: +27-21 - 959 2809
Fax: +27- 21 - 959 2872
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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University of the Western Cape Contact Centre

University of the Western Cape,
Robert Sobukwe Road, 
Bellville, 7535, 
Republic of South Africa

email: info@uwc.ac.za

phone: +27 21 959 2911