Prof. Debra Jackson
  • Position:  Extraordinary professor
    Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Position: Extraordinary professor
Department: School of Public Health
Faculty: Faculty of Community and Health
Qualifications:     BSN (Florida State), MPH (San Diego State), DSc (Boston) 
(Left SOPH October 2013 – now extraordinary professor)
Fax:  + 27 21 959 2872
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Debra Jackson joined the Health Section of the UNICEF Knowledge Management and Implementation Research Unit as a Senior Health Scientist in 2013, leaving the SOPH where she had worked for 13 years. While at the School, she served as principal investigator for a range of research projects, such as the multi-country PROMISE-EBF trial on promoting exclusive breastfeeding, and the National South African PMTCT Evaluation. 

Debra has qualifications in nursing, public health, epidemiology and biostatistics. Her interests are maternal and child health, perinatal health, nutrition, ethics and health systems research. Her most recent research focus has been on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, infant feeding and community health workers. 
Debra lived in South Africa for 14 years and has experience in several African countries, including South Africa, Uganda,  Zambia, Burkina Faso, Malawi, South Sudan, Ghana and Rwanda. She has also worked in the Pacific Islands and the United States. 

Debra is active in several professional organisations, and in particular has held leadership positions within the American Public Health Association (APHA), including chair of the Maternal and Child Health Section, Governing Councilor, chair of the APHA Nominating Committee, member of the Intersectional Council Steering Committee and the APHA Awards Committee. 
Debra has over 60 peer-reviewed publications and has consulted for both WHO and UNICEF in the areas of PMTCT and iCCM.


Dinh TH, Delaney K, Goga A, Jackson D, Lombard C, Woldesenbet S, Mogashoa M, Pillay Y, Shaffer N. Impact of maternal HIV seroconversion during pregnancy on early HIV vertical transmission, South Africa 2011-2012. PLOS One. 2015; 10(5): e0125525. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125525

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,, doi: 10.7189/jogh.05.020412

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

Nicolas Nagot, Chipepo Kankasa, James K Tumwine, Nicolas Meda, G Justus Hofmeyr, Roselyne Vallo, Mwiya Mwiya, Mary Kwagala, Hugues Traore, Amwe Sunday, Mandisa Singata, Chafye Siuluta, Eric Some, David Rutagwera, Desire Neboua, Grace Ndeezi, Debra Jackson, Valérie Maréchal, Dorine Neveu, Ingunn M S Engebretsen, Carl Lombard, Stéphane Blanche, Halvor Sommerfelt, Claire Rekacewicz, Thorkild Tylleskär, Philippe Van de Perre, for the ANRS 12174 Trial Group. Extended pre-exposure prophylaxis with lopinavir–ritonavir versus lamivudine to prevent HIV-1 transmission through breastfeeding up to 50 weeks in infants in Africa (ANRS 12174): a randomised controlled trial. Published online November 18, 2015 

Naik R, Fox MP, Doherty T, Jackson D, Tabana H, Swanevelder S, Thea D, Feeley F. Factors associated with linkage to care following home-based HIV counseling and testing: a prospective cohort study in rural South Africa. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2015; 18:19843.

Vundli Ramokolo, Carl Lombard, Meera Chhagan, Ingunn MS Engebretsen, Tanya Doherty, Ameena E Goga, Lars Thore Fadnes, Wanga Zembe, Debra J Jackson and Jan Van den Broeck. Effects of early feeding on growth velocity and overweight/obesity in a cohort of HIV unexposed South African infants and children. International Breastfeeding Journal 2015, 10:14 doi:10.1186/s13006-015-0041-x

Tabana H, Nkonki L, Hongoro C, Doherty T, Ekström AM, Naik R, Zembe-Mkabile W, Jackson D, Thorson A. (2015). A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Home-Based HIV Counselling and Testing Intervention versus the Standard (Facility Based) HIV Testing Strategy in Rural South Africa. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0135048. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135048

Selamawit Woldesenbet, Debra Jackson, Carl Lombard, Thu-Ha Dinh, Adrian Puren, Gayle Sherman, Vundli Ramokolo, Tanya Doherty, Mary Mogashoa, Sanjana Bhardwaj, Mickey Chopra, Nathan Shaffer, Yogan Pillay, Ameena Goga, South African PMTCT Evaluation (SAPMCTE) Team. Missed Opportunities along the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Services Cascade in South Africa: Uptake, Determinants, and Attributable Risk (the SAPMTCTE). PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0132425 July 6, 2015 1/15

Woldesenbet S Jackson D, Doherty T and 5 others. Missed opportunities for early infant HIV Diagnosis: Results of a National Study in South Africa. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 2015 68 (3) 1525-4135

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

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

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