Speakers



Michelle Visser

Michelle Visser is a senior lecturer in Industrial Psychology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa and holds a PhD in Industrial Psychology. She is a registered Industrial Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of SA and has over 22 years’ experience at senior Human Resource management level at various large organisations. She has consulted in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates in the areas of talent management, psychological assessment, and management development. She is also actively involved in community service and development and served as programme manager for various social development projects in South Africa. Industrial Psychologist (HPCSA), Chartered Human Resource Practitioner (SABPP), Senior Lecturer in Applied Psychological Assessment, Career Counselling and Psychology in Healthcare, Stellenbosch University.



Liezel Rossouw

Dr. Liezel Rossouw has been a qualified family physician since 2011 with the experience of working as a family physician in 3 different District Hospitals in the provincial government of western cape. She was part of the commissioning of Khayelisha District hospital where she worked for 4 years before transferring to Falsebay District hospital. At Falsebay Hospital the high burden of cardiovascular disease and the access in care for these patients highlighted the need for primary based care. She had the opportunity to do a cardiac outreach clinic with a cardiologist for 4 years and manage the high burden of cardiac failure patients on primary care level. She has been involved in family medicine registrar training since 2012 and is currently the training complex coordinator for the Cape Winelands. She is currently working as a family physician in the Langeberg Substrict since 2022.



Raksha Balbadhur

Raksha is a palliative medical doctor offering home-based care, with a Masters degree on understanding the dignity experience of patients with advanced disease a SA perspective. She is part of the Board Member for Palprac , and Steering Committee Member of Palnet.  KZN, Director of Beacon of Care, and Volunteer at Verulam Hospice.  The Founder and Chairperson of VIHASA (the Values in Healthcare Assoc of SA), she has run 100’s of experiential workshops across Southern Africa to support healthcare practitioners. She is a student and teacher of meditation; she brings meaning and peace to her patients at the most challenging time of their lives.



Takshita Sookan Kassie

Dr Takshita Sookan Kassie is a registered Biokineticist, Senior Lecturer and Research Coordinator in the Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences (BELS) at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Her PhD study looked at the effects of combined resistance training and whey protein intake on strength, body composition, immunity, cardiometabolic disease risk and quality of life in HIV-infected individuals receiving ART. Her goal is to find novel sustainable interventions such as exercise to decrease the burden on health care systems in South Africa and promote healthy lifestyles with emphasis on exercise as medicine. Her broad research aim is Tailored Exercise Prescribed as Medicine (TEPAM). Dr Sookan Kassie has received the National Research Foundations grants and the University of KwaZulu Natal’s, College of Health Sciences young researchers competitive grant for a novel new method in Africa using Microdialysis in determining TEPAM for type 2 diabetics. Her work in promoting Biokinetics has made an impact in the public sector and she has initiated opportunities for students within the field at the DoH sites, which is one of the first in South Africa. Dr Sookan Kassie is also a member of the Biomedical Research Ethics Committee at UKZN.



Olufemi Omole

Prof Olufemi B Omole is the Academic Head: Division of Family medicine, and an Associate Professor in the Department of
Family medicine and Primary care, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. His clinical, teaching and research interests are in the non-communicable diseases in primary care, particularly tobacco use and chronic diseases of lifestyle. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and is a scientific reviewer for various scientific journals. He currently serves as a Council member, College of Family physicians of the Colleges of Medicine, South Africa (CMSA). He is an examiner of the final Fellowship [FCFP (SA)] exit examination of
the College of Family physician, CMSA.



Mabowa Makhomisane

Dr Mabowa Makhomisane is a graduate from the University of Kwazulu-Natal : Nelson R Mandela school of Medicine class of 2005. He holds a higher certificate in travel Medicine form Wits(SASTM) and a Higher certificate in Health practice management from the Foundation of professional development.  Dr Makhomisane is also a SAHPRA approved principal
investigator, involved in conducting numerous clinical trials and providing supervision of sub investigators and other clinical trial staff. His area of study interest is diabetes.  He recently completed his post graduate diploma in diabetes with the university of South Wales and has published on international journals.



Lehlohonolo Makhakhe

Dr. Lehlohonolo Makhakhe is an executive director at Epicutis Skincare Range, CEO of the South African Institute of Dermatology. He is an accomplished author of many books, including a dermatology textbook used in pre and postgrad level at various universities. Dr. Makhakhe is also a senior lecturer at the University of the Free State. As a skin specialist, he encounters a wide variety of skin diseases. His passion lies in treating skin diseases, advancing health education and ongoing research as a PhD candidate, particularly in the African setting.



Rendani Tshikosi

Obstetrician and gynecologist, reproductive medicine subspecialist. Laparoscopic surgeoanin and neuropelveology certified.



 Reinhard Böhmer

Dr Reinhard Böhmer obtained the degree MB Ch.B. at the University of Pretoria and qualified as a medical microbiologist (M.Med. (Path)) at the University of Cape Town. He has vast international experience in microbiology, including a clinical fellowship in the United States of America as well as a doctorate of medicine (MD) from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, the latter on HIV and tuberculosis in South Africa. He also passed the clinical specialist examination in laboratory medicine (clinical pathologist) in Munich. Reinhard was a senior consultant at Bogenhausen Academic Hospital for 12 years, and he was also the medical director of the largest private clinical laboratory in Munich. Having passed his infectious diseases specialist examination, he also managed an infectious disease related practice in Munich. He returned to his beloved Cape Town in 2012.



Madeleine Muller

Dr Madeleine Muller is a Family Physician and Senior lecturer at Walter Sisulu University, providing clinical services at Cecilia Makiwane hospital in Mdantsane, East London, as well as mentoring medical students and doctors.  She is the convenor for the CMSA Diploma in HIV Management and serves on the CMSA Senate Examinations and Credentials Committee as well as the College of Family Physicians Council.  On the RuDASA (Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa) exec committee she carries the mentoring portfolio and oversees the Rural Onboarding program, as well as serving on the executive board of PATHSA (Professional Association of Transgender Health). She is currently enrolled for her MPhil in Health Professional Education through Stellenbosch.  Dr Muller is passionate about clinical care, teaching, curriculum development and supporting the growth of patient centred clinicians.



Simon Le Roux

Simon’s background lies in Global Health and anaesthesia where he has worked in rural and urban district hospitals.  He has a particular interest in strengthening surgical capacity at District Hospital and is currently collaborating with various hospitals in the Eastern Cape, South Africa in an effort to reimagine ways of expanding surgical services offered to this extremely rural community.  Simon also recently completed his Master in Global Health from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and has an interest in Maternal Health, and Health Systems Strengthening – in particular the role of collaborations and partnerships in increasing impact.



Asafika Mbangata

Dr Asafika Mbangata is a Family Medicine Specialist Doctor currently working as a Medical Advisor for Diabetes and Established Products at Sanofi. She is also the Medical Lead for the Diabetes Patient Support Program and Managed Access Program.  She obtained her MBChB degree at Walter Sisulu University (2013), Obstetrics Diploma from the Colleges Medicine of South Africa (2017), HIV Diploma from the CMSA (2019), and Fellowship of the Colleges of Family Medicine (2022). She is completing her MMed at the University of Pretoria.  Her passion lies in empowering people from all walks of life through health education as she firmly holds the view that quality health care services should be standardized for all, and not a privilege for the elite.



Jason Marcus

Jason Marcus a senior lecturer: undergraduate education in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cape Town. His clinical and public health experience gives him a wide overview of best practices in Safe Motherhood and
Perinatal Care, which he harnesses in curriculum design, teaching and assessment of undergraduate medical students and post-graduate students in the Faculty of Health Sciences. He has extensive programme-based expertise in clinical aspects of maternal and newborn health in developing country contexts as a specialist midwife with a master’s degree in medical education, which enables him to provide technical consulting in Limpopo Province and educational consulting in Lesotho. Jason also holds a Fellowship of the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional FAIMER Institute (SAFRI).  He was formerly the director of studies of the Master’s in International Public Health (Sexual and Reproductive Health) programme, co-ordinating the delivery and evaluation of the programme at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He was the technical lead for the implementation of a multi-country capacity building programme aimed at improving the quality and availability of emergency obstetric and newborn care in Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe and has experience in curriculum design, delivery and evaluation in Africa and Asia.



Imtiaz Ismail Sooliman

Dr Sooliman was born in Potchefstroom, in South Africa’s Northwest Province, on 07 March 1962.  He attended Sastri College in Durban and matriculated in 1978, going on to study medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Medical School, qualifying as a medical doctor in 1984.  Dr Sooliman commenced private practice in Pietermaritzburg in 1986 but chose to close his flourishing practice in mid-1994, choosing instead to focus his attention on Gift of the Givers Foundation, which he had founded in early August 1992. His establishment of Gift of the Givers Foundation was the consequence of a message Dr Sooliman, then aged 30, received from Sufi Sheikh Muhammed Saffer Effendi al Jerrahi, his spiritual leader in Istanbul, Turkey, who called on him to serve all people of all races, of all religions, of all colours, of all classes, of all political affiliations and of any geographical location… a calling he honoured then and continues to honour today.  His endeavour in this regard has seen Gift of the Givers Foundation emerge as one of the most respected humanitarian organisations in the world and is today the largest disaster response agency of African origin anywhere on the continent.  Since 1992, Dr Sooliman has steered the organisation to many Notable Achievements and World Firsts.



Nick Davies

Following on the heels of his midlife crisis, and his own lifechanging experience of psychotherapy, Nick altered careers, abandoning his erstwhile wannabe-actuary trajectory and transitioning to Clinical Psychologist. He has never looked back.
As a psychodynamic therapist in private practice he delighted, alongside his clients, in the archeological excavations of their
unconscious. The predominance of the maternal influence in most psychodynamic theory, and the relative absence of the
role of the father in children’s development prompted a PhD in which Nick explored the importance of the paternal function on the developing personality. Life can turn on a sixpence and personal circumstances introduced Nick to the field of neurodivergence, triggering a need and desire to know more about it. After a two-year sojourn in the UK NHS, exploring
options and support for neurodevelopmental conditions he and his family returned to South Africa firmly of the belief that the
understanding of Autism and neurodivergence and associated support structures were just as good in our own South Africa. Since returning, Nick has found working in the rapidly developing area of neurodivergence both stimulating and deeply rewarding. His passion is destigmatizing autism through education and increasing early recognition to ensure early intervention.



Robin Dyers

Dr Robin Dyers is a public health medicine specialist in the Western Cape Government: Health and Wellness department. He qualified as a medical doctor at Stellenbosch University in 2006 and has since continued with post-graduate studies in Epidemiology and Community Health. He is also a senior lecturer in the Division of Health Systems and Public Health at Stellenbosch University.  While supporting the development of electronic medical record systems for the province, Robin completed a PhD in Public Health by applying Design Science Research methods to the emerging practice of User Experience Design in Data Visualisation. His other interests include health policy analysis, geographic information systems, blockchain cryptography for health, health terminological systems, diagnosis related groups, interventions to support continuity of care, and health professions education.



Rowan Duys

Rowan Duys is a specialist anaesthetist at UCT’s Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, and the Director of Implementation in the Division of Global Surgery. He runs the Chronic Pain Clinic, delivers obstetric and orthopaedic
anaesthesia, is a director and founder of both the Simulation Launchpad, a faculty development workshop, and the Anaesthesia Launchpad, a District Hospital Anaesthesia programme. He hopes to unleash frontline workers as change agents who improve the quality of surgical care they provide. Rowan would like to be remembered as the husband behind his wonderful wife, the father of three girls, and someone who ran enthusiastically, but slowly, up mountains.



André van Niekerk

André qualified as a Paediatrician and Paediatric Pulmonologist. He is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Allergy Society of South Africa (ALLSA) and a founder member of the Allergy and Clinical Immunology Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) and the ALLSA Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases Working Group (PIDDSA). He worked in the private sector for most of his career but remained involved with academic medicine and established the service for primary immunodeficiency diseases at the University of Pretoria and Steve Biko Academic Hospital. André received an extraordinary professorship while serving as a parttime consultant. He returned to full-time academic medicine, as the Chair to The University of Pretoria Chair for Inborn Errors of Immunity and Allergology (founded by Ampath National Laboratories). He is an associate professor in the Department of Paediatrics and extraordinary professor in the Department of Immunology at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria. He was recently elected as a board member of the African Society for Immune Deficiencies (ASID).



William Mapham

Dr William Mapham founded Vula to connect health worker professionals. His personal experience as the Vice-Chair of the
Rural Doctors Association and later as a specialist helped form the solution. Health workers use Vula to get advice, make
referrals, organise appointments. Health leaders use the Vula data to optimise health systems. William has published academic articles on the role of innovation and technology in improving healthcare delivery. To date Vula has 34,558 registered health workers on the platform. Over 1.4million patients have benefitted to date. William believes that partnerships are the key to delivering healthcare. Vula is part of the Health Tech Hub in Rwanda and the Solve program at MIT.  In South Africa Health workers have used data collected via Vula to publish academic articles on impact. Vula welcomes more health workers to do the same to measure impact at the primary care facilities.



Gareth Kantor

Dr Gareth Kantor is an anaesthesiologist, Honorary Lecturer, University of Cape Town, assistant professor, Case Western
Reserve University and a consultant to actuarial, health and health insurance businesses and entities across South Africa’s
public and private healthcare sectors and internationally. Dr Kantor is based in Cape Town, South Africa. His special interests include patient safety and perioperative medicine; measurement of health and patient-reported outcomes; health
economics, administrative data and quality assessment; precision medicine and AI. Dr Kantor was Senior Clinical Consultant, Discovery Health in Risk Intelligence and special projects, a co-founder of Best Care Always! (BCA) the SA private-public partnership and patient safety campaign, co-chair of Quality Improvement Summits. Dr Kantor obtained his
medical degree from the University of Cape Town, did his anesthesia residency at the University of Toronto and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, obtained certification in health systems administration from Case Western, and completed the
IHI Improvement Advisor course in 2012. Before medical school (and before the internet was invented) he started a computer science degree and has pursued the intersection of better data/information and better medicine ever since.



Buyelwa Majikela-Dlangamadla

Buyelwa is a registered nurse who obtained her BA Cur degree at the University of South Africa. She has worked in various
clinical areas for many years at Groote Schuur Hospital as a professional nurse. In year 2000 she joined the Division of
Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit, Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as a Diabetes educator. In
2014 she obtained a master’s degree (MSc) Nursing at UCT and was involved in several research projects for the chronic
disease initiative for Africa (CDIA). She currently works as a Diabetes coordinator at GSH.  Buyelwa was a member of the diabetes education consultative section of the IDF for many years and contributed to the update of the IDF education modules. In 2019 she was a committee member of the 2019 IDF Education and Integrated Care team.



Shaun Shelly

Shaun Shelly brings clinical, academic, programmatic, research, and lived experience together into a 360 view of the complex issues that inform our understanding and response to the use of certain drugs and the people who use them. I have developed models of care for people who use drugs, including the Contemplation Group which is currently being implemented in several Global Fund sites. I have coauthored harm reduction guides for opioid and stimulant use.



Bernhard Gaede

Bernhard Gaede is a family physician currently appointed as Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa. Prior to this appointment, he was the Director of the Centre for Rural Health at UKZN. He worked in rural hospital settings for well over a decade prior to joining UKZN, the bulk of it in the Bergville area, KwaZulu-Natal. He was deeply involved in the setting up of the anti-retroviral treatment program in the mid-2000s, working with traditional healers, home-based carers, and community structures. He has also been actively involved in the Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa and the Rural Health Advocacy Project, with a strong focus on policy development and advocacy. Bernhard completed his medical undergraduate studies at the University of the Witwatersrand and qualified as a family physician from MEDUNSA in 2004. In 2014 he completed his PhD through the University of Pretoria, focusing on the experiences and challenges of health professionals working in the public sector bureaucracy. He is also a SAFRI/FAIMER fellow and is actively focusing on health professions education, curriculum development, and community engagement. Areas of research and publication include healthcare systems, community-level care, and medical anthropology.



Mergan Naidoo

Mergan Naidoo is an Associate Professor and Head: Clinical Unit in the Discipline of Family Medicine (FM) at UKZN and Wentworth Hospital (WWH). He coordinates the FM intern programme at WWH, the FM registrar programme at UKZN and a module for the Postgraduate Diploma in FM at UKZN. He is a practising clinician doing clinical work at WWH and supervising interns, medical officers and registrars. He is also involved in various clinical governance activities in the hospital. As an NRF-rated researcher, his interests include infectious diseases, NCDs, maternal health and primary emergency care, and Health Professions Education, especially assessment and workplace-based training. He has supervised Masters and PhD students and has published in various journals locally and internationally. He currently chairs the eThekwini Family Medicine forum and is the President of the College of Family Physicians.  He is a member of the Education and Training Committee of the South African Academy of Family Medicine (SAAFP), an active member of the Next5 Initiative and the SAAFP PhD interest group, and the SAAFP treasurer. He is one of the editors of the South African Family Practice Manual, a textbook used for African undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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