Prof. Helen Schneider
  • Position: Professor
    Qualifications: PhD (Cape Town), MBChB (Cape Town), MMed (Witwatersrand), DCH (SA College of Medicine), DTMH (Witwatersrand)
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Helen Schneider is a public health specialist and health systems and policy researcher who has worked for more than 25 years on the problematics of South Africa’s health system. She joined the SOPH in 2011 and assumed the Directorship in 2013. Since 2015 she is also the Director of the UWC/MRC Health Services to Systems Research Unit, and was recently awarded a SARChI Chair in Health Systems Governance. She started her career as a trainer of primary health care nurses in rural Limpopo in the mid-1980s and went on to train as a public health specialist at Wits University. She was based there until 2007, working mainly at the Centre for Health Policy which she directed for eight years. Helen has been a long-standing active participant in, and commentator on, health policy in South Africa and has served on, amongst others, the board of the Medical Research Council, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and the Department of Health’s Task Team on Primary Health Care Re-engineering. Her research and policy interests included in the past an understanding of the political dynamics of AIDS policy under the Mbeki government and the health system-wide implications of programmatic interventions such as ARV scale-up. More recently, her research interests have shifted towards documenting policy implementation processes and strategies to formalise and integrate lay work and community-based care and support initiatives into primary health care. This feeds into a new agenda of work linked to her South African Research Chair in Health Systems Governance.


Langelihle Mlotshwa, Bronwyn Harris, Helen Schneider and Mosa Moshabela. Exploring the Perceptions and Experiences of Community Health Workers using Role Identity Theory. Global Health Action 2015, 8: 28045 -

Helen Schneider, Nikki Schaay, Lilian Dudley, Charlyn Goliath, Tobeka Qukula. “The Challenges of Reshaping Disease Specific and Care Oriented Community based Services towards Comprehensive Goals: A Situation Appraisal in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.” BMC Health Services Research (2015) 15:436, DOI 10.1186/s12913-015-1109-4

Charalambous S, Grant AD, Churchyard GJ, Mukora R, Schneider H, Fielding KL. Clinic-level factors influencing patient outcomes on antiretroviral therapy in primary health clinics in South Africa. AIDS. 2016 Apr 24;30(7):1099-109. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000001014.

Helen Schneider and Uta Lehmann. From Community Health Workers to Community Health Systems: Time to Widen the Horizon? Health Systems & Reform, 2(2):112–118, 2016. Published with license by Taylor & Francis. ISSN: 2328-8604 print / 2328-8620 online DOI: 10.1080/23288604.2016.1166307

Kabir Sheikh, Helen Schneider, Irene Akua Agyepong, Uta Lehmann, Lucy Gilson. Boundary-spanning: reflections on the practices and principles of Global Health. BMJ Glob Health 2016;1:e000058. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000058

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