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. David Sanders, 5 August 1945 – 30 August 2019

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. 


2019 David Sanders Lecture - Advocate Adila Hassim

Dslecture AdilaAdvocate Adila Hassim  discussed how we value the life and dignity within and beyond the health system. She explored the issues through the evidence that was presented at the Life Esidimeni hearings in relation to engagement with the state officials, and the limits of the law for those who are vulnerable. 

Adv Adila Hassim is a Counsel at Thulamela Chambers. She has been involved in a range of litigation regarding socio-economic rights, and was lead Counsel in the Life Esidimeni arbitration. She has a long history of engaging in the intersections between policy, law and health spanning back to being a clerk with Judge Pius Langa in the Soobramoney v Minister of Health (KwaZulu-Natal) case in 1997. She has published in various legal and health journals and co-edited Health & Democracy: A Guide to Human Rights and Health Law and Policy in Post-apartheid South Africa, with Mark Heywood and Jonathan Berger (2007). After serving as a head of litigation at the AIDS Law Project, Adv Hassim was Co-founder and Director of Litigation at SECTION27 until 2017. She holds a BALLB from the University of Natal, a LLM from the St Louis University School of Law, and a JSD from University of Notre Dame Law School. She also co-founded Corruption Watch and serves on its board of directors; and is a trustee of the Constitution Hill Trust. 

The 2019 David Sanders Lecture is supported through the NRF/DST/UWC Research Chair in Health Systems, Complexity and Social Change. 

Watch the recordings of the lecture here --> Part 1 and Part 2

2018 David Sanders Lecture - Prof Anthony Costello

DSlecture CostellowProf 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.

 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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