Dr. Nonhlanhla Nxumalo

Roles: Director, Management Committee, Researcher
Position: Senior Researcher
Qualifications: PhD, MPH, BA (Speech & Hearing Therapy)

Phone: +27 11 717 3432 


Dr Nonhlanhla Nxumalo is Director and senior researcher at the Centre for Health Policy (CHP) in the Wits School of Public Health. She has more than 10 years’ experience as a health policy and systems researcher, collaborating with both national and international partners. Dr Nxumalo’s research has included studies on leadership and management, the implementation of accountability mechanisms and the micro-practices of governance at the district health level in South Africa.

Her current research aims to examine the implementation of the CHW programme in South Africa, the policy and practice lessons from other countries, and the extent to which the CHW programme can or should contribute to universal health coverage. She is also interested in exploring the role of community health workers in mental health.

Research Interests

Dr Nxumalo’s research interests are health policy analysis, access to health care, and human resources for health, particularly community health workers (CHWs) who straddle the informal and formal health system.

Prof. Jane Goudge

Roles: Management Committee, Researcher
Position: Professor of Health Policy and Systems
Qualifications: PhD, MSc, MA
Phone: +27 11 717 3425 Email:

Professor Centre for Health Policy in the Wits School of Public Health and has been conducting research in the field of health systems and policy research for over 25 years. She has a PhD in development economics from London University. Key themes of her work include barriers to access to care, inequities in the financing of health care, strategies to improve universal coverage and implementation of national health insurance in South Africa. She has developed a district learning site to support an organizational change with district and facility managers.

Recent major themes in her work include the role of community health workers in bridging the gap between households and the health system, supporting the provision of integrated chronic care, community mental health systems, implementation of electronic health records, public financial management, strategic purchasing, and understanding how health organizations respond to austerity. Her methodological approach is predominantly qualitative, but has included pragmatic RCTs, intervention research with realist and other evaluations. She has also established an evidence review service at the Centre.

Dr. Duane Blaauw

Roles: Management Committee, Researcher
Position: Senior Researcher
Qualifications: BSc (Medical), MBBCh, Fellow of College of Public Health Medicine (FCOHM), Masters in Public & Development Management , Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, Diploma in Public Health, Diploma in occupational Health
Phone: +27 11 717 3422 Email:

Duane has nearly 20 years of experience in supporting health service development at various levels of the public health system in South Africa with an emphasis on human resources, health policy analysis, health planning, health information systems and health management. He has been actively engaged in research since 1996. His early research focused on cancer epidemiology and the epidemiology of infectious diseases in South Africa.

Since 2001 he has been working in health systems and health policy research at CHP, where he has led the development of work on maternal health services and the application of organisational studies to health systems research. He has participated in a number of DFID-funded international collaborative research programmes on health systems and is the joint programme leader for human resources research on the current RESYST programme. He is also the principal investigator of a multi-country research project on the linkages between maternal health and health systems strengthening.

Research Interests

His current research interests include maternal health, human resources for health, health worker practice and motivation, incentives, discrete choice experiments and institutional economics.

Dr. Prudence Ditlopo

Position: Senior Researcher
Qualifications: PhD, M.A (Research Psychology), Honours (Psychology), B.A.
Phone: +27 11 717 3433 Email:

Dr Prudence Ditlopo is a senior researcher at the Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health. She has nearly 20 years of experience in conducting research in the field of health systems and policy, specifically in human resources for health (HRH). Her other research experience includes the intersections between health care provision, gender, and reproductive health. At CHP, she has worked on several HRH projects including participating in international collaborative research programme of health systems. She has recently led a project focusing on health workforce governance at primary health care level. Dr Ditlopo is also a fellow of the Chancellor’s network of Female Academic Leaders (FALF). Her current research interests are health workforce governance and management, health worker practice, motivation and incentives, health policy analysis, and mental health. In terms of teaching, she is the academic coordinator of the health systems and policy field of study within the Master of Public Health programme.

Vigie Govender

Roles: Management Committee, Support Staff
Position: Grants, Operations & Development Manager

Vigie Govender joined the Centre for Health Policy as the Grants, Operations & Development Manager on 1 August 2020. She holds a B Comm Honours in Accounting and has 10 years’ service with the University of the Witwatersrand. She has managed the finances of various research centres within the university.

Dr Olukemi Babalola

Roles: Researcher
Position: Researcher/Project Manager
Qualifications: MD, MSc (Epidemiology & Biostatistics)
Phone: +27 (0)11 717 3434 Email:

Olukemi Babalola is the current Project Manager and Researcher on the Batlhokomedi Community Health Worker’s Study. Prior to this, she was involved in data and project management research functions and quality assurance processes in a large cohort study where over 35,000 mothers and their infants were enrolled, at the Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogen Research Unit (RMPRU), Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg. In this capacity, she was given a Recognition Award for Excellent Performance in 2015. She had over 15 years of academic and clinical experience on HIV/AIDS/STI/TB in Nigeria and more than four years of academic, teaching and clinical/socio-behavioural research experience in maternal & child health, HIV/AIDS and health system strengthening in South Africa.

Research Interests

Kemi is avidly interested in health system strengthening and the reach of health delivery particularly to the very vulnerable groups such as out-of-school teenage mothers and adolescents. This includes enhancing access to healthcare services and products through the development of strategic policy decisions, health system interventions, the understanding of the complex interaction between human behavior, community actions and access to healthcare. She is also particularly interested in epidemiological approaches to the validation of data collection tools using both qualitative and quantitative approaches...

Dr Trust Gangaidzo

Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
Qualifications: PhD, MSc, BSc Hons (Economics)
Phone: +27 11 717 2100

Dr Trust Gangaidzo is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Health Policy (CHP). Trust’s academic background equipped him with strong quantitative skills that have become integral to his research pursuits. He has lent his expertise to several organisations mainly through data gathering and analyses. Dr Gangaidzo has conducted research in the areas of early childhood development, human capital development, the determinants of physical and mental health, and on inequality in health. At present, Dr Gangaidzo’s research is centred on mental health within urban areas, reflecting his ongoing dedication to understanding and addressing complex interrelationships between socioeconomic factors and health.

Research interests

Dr Gangaidzo’s research interests encompass a wide spectrum of topics, including poverty, inequality, economics, education, health, mental health, early childhood development, and development economics.

Professor Frances Griffiths

Roles: Honorary/Visiting Staff
Position: Honorary Professor
Phone: +44 (0)24765 22534 Email:

Frances is Professor of Medicine in Society and Head of the Social Science and Systems in Health Research Unit within the Division of Health Sciences at Warwick Medical School. She is also the course leader of MSc Health Research at Warwick Medical School. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Hlologelo Malatji

Roles: Fellow
Position: PhD Fellow
Qualifications: MA: Social Development; Bachelor of Social Work
Phone: +27 11 717 2252 Email:

Hlologelo, is a Pre-PhD Intern in the Centre for Health Policy (CHP) and participating in the Batlkomedi Project. Prior to joining the Centre, He worked as a qualitative fieldworker in the same project. He holds a Master’s Degree in the field of Social Development, from the Wits Department of Social Work. His Master’s thesis focused on the challenges confronting teenage mothers when they re-engaged with education post-pregnancy.

Currently, He is preparing for a PhD study which will explore how the Community Health Worker Programme is developed and implemented in the context of Community-Oriented Primary Care (COPC) in Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Achievements Hlologelo is a Wits School of Governance PhD Grant-holder and former Centre of Excellence in Human Development Masters fellow.

Research interests Health systems, health access, community participation in policy development and implementation and social determinants of health.

Campion Zharima

Roles: Fellow
Position: PhD Fellow
Qualifications: MA: Research Psychology; Bachelor of Social Work

Campion is a SARChI (Health Systems and Policy) PhD research fellow specializing in the implementation of electronic health systems in primary health care. He currently holds a Master’s degree in research Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. Before joining the Centre for Health Policy, he was a bio-behavioral research intern at the Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

Research interests Digital health implementation, Gender dynamics and HIV/AIDS, health systems and policy analysis.

Saira Abdulla

Roles: Fellow
Position: PhD Fellow
Qualifications: MA in Demography and Population Studies

Saira Abdulla is a SARChI PhD research fellow, and holds a Masters degree in Demography and Population studies. Prior to joining the PhD program, Saira was a M&E manager at I-TECH SA . She has worked on various projects including HIV prevention interventions, Mental health integration (MhINT) and Key Population programmes. Her PhD focus is on strengthening community-based collaborative strategies for people living with serious mental illness in SA.

Research interests Saira has a keen interest in implementation research, and her research focus includes improving care for people living with mental illness, HIV/AIDS prevention, and health policy implementation.

Samantha Mhlanga

Roles: Intern
Position: Pre-PhD intern
Qualifications: MA: Demography and population studies, Bachelor of Social Work

Samantha is a SARChi (health systems and policy) Pre-PhD intern. She currently holds a master’s degree in Demography and population studies from the University of Witwatersrand. Her master’s report focused on the socio-demographic and household factors associated with the type of employment among South Africa women. Before joining the centre for health policy, she worked as a research assistant and qualitative fieldworker. Currently, she is preparing for a PhD study which will evaluate the residential care services for people with mental illness.

Research interests Social justice, equality, health systems and mental health care services.

Miss Tintswalo Mabasa

Roles: Intern
Position: PhD Fellow

Qualifications: Master of Arts in Social Work by Dissertion, Bachelor of Social Work

Phone: +27 11 717 2236


A PhD student at Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. She is a tenacious researcher, as demonstrated by her determination to pursue a PhD degree. Her passion is to conduct policy-relevant research in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in South Africa. She is strongly committed to generating academic knowledge that can be translated into new policies on mental health. For her PhD, she's looking at the transition of people living with serious mental illness between the hospital and community mental health services. She worked for Consortium for Advance Research Training in Africa (CARTA) where she participated in a research project exploring the feasibility of using Stokvels as a platform to screen women for hypertension in Soweto Township. During her master’s degree, her research focus was on the beliefs and perceptions of adolescents about sexual relationships: a case of two public secondary schools in Soweto, Gauteng. For her Bachelor of Social Work degree, she explored the role of child support grant in keeping adolescents in secondary schools, in Malamulele Township.

Research Interests

Tintswalo’s research interests are health policy and systems research, with special focus on strengthening health systems to deliver quality mental healthcare.

Nadine Nanji

Roles: Intern
Position: PhD Fellow
Qualifications: Masters in Public Health (Health Systems & Policy)

Nadine’s Masters in Public Health thesis was on Faith-based mental health provision in Africa: A Mixed-Methods Systematic Review. Prior to joining CHP as a Pre-PhD intern, Nadine has worked as a research assistant at University of Cape Town and was a Secretary Board Member for the International Working Group for Health Systems Strengthening (IWG). Research interests: Health financing, health systems resilience in conflict and crises settings, as well as the overall, strengthening of mental health services and systems. Currently, she is preparing for a PhD study which will create a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) intervention in South Africa.

Chandré Fisher

Roles: Support Staff
Position: Admin and Finance Intern
Phone: +27 11 717 2226 Email:

Chandré joined CHP as the Administrative and finance intern on the 07 February 2022. With over 10 years’ experience in a finance and administrative role she has a goal to complete her Bcom degree.

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