Ms. Nonhlanhla Nxumalo

Roles: Director, Management Committee, Researcher
Position: Dr Nonhlanhla Nxumalo. Senior Researcher of Health Policy and Systems Research. 
Qualifications: PhD, MPH, BA.

Nonhlanhla Nxumalo is the Director at the Centre for Health Policy and a Senior Researcher. She has a Master of Public Health degree and a PhD in Health Policy & Systems. She has 14 years’ experience as a health policy and systems researcher focusing on patient access to care and CHW programmes using anthropological and other qualitative methods. Her research interests are also in human resources for health, health systems governance and translation of research evidence into policy. Her growing body of work in the area of Primary Health Care and Human Resources for Health continues to link to the community health worker theme. Nonhlanhla’s PhD focused on the role of community Health Workers in comprehensive primary Health care and in their contribution activities that relate to the Social Determinants of Health. Her interest in this cadre is focused on the governance structures that enable their incorporation into the health system. Nonhlanhla was involved in research that sought to understand governance and accountability mechanisms in a District Health System. She was also involved in the development of an intervention on management skills amongst district health managers and facility managers within a learning site approach. Her recent themes under research on community health workers focusses on the leadership and governance of the community health worker programme in South Africa, including the strengths and weaknesses of its implementation and the implications of these factors for Universal Health Coverage.

Prof. Jane Goudge

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

Jane Goudge is research professor at the Centre for Health Policy in the Wits School of Public Health. She has been conducting research in the field of health systems and policy research for over 20 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. Other 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, and retention in care of adults with chronic illnesses. This has included a pragmatic RCT to examine effect of shifting some tasks of chronic disease management, particularly hypertension, to lay health workers, and an implementation study assessing the benefits of skilled supervision on household coverage by the national community health worker programe (WBOT) prorgramme. She works closely in the SARChI programme at the Centre. Recent themes under this programme include rapid evidence reviews on LMIC experience of strategic purchasing, strategies to strengthen community-based mental health care, as well as primary research on the impact of austerity on public financial management and functioning of public hospitals.

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.

Ms. Prudence Ditlopo

Roles: Management Committee, Researcher
Position: Researcher
Qualifications: MA
Phone: +27 11 717 3433 Email:

Prudence Ditlopo holds a Masters Degree in Research Psychology from the University of the Western Cape. Her working experience has been mainly in public health research in the fields of sexual and reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS and gender and maternal health. She is currently working on a 3-country project aimed at investigating the recruitment, motivation and retention of health care workers.

Research Interests

Prudence's main research interests include HIV/AIDS, gender based violence, strategies for male involvement in reproductive health issues, health policy and health systems.

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. Fiona Scorgie

Roles: Honorary/Visiting Staff
Position: Visiting Senior Researcher
Qualifications: MPhil (Cambridge University); PhD (Cambridge University)

As a social anthropologist, Dr Scorgie has 15 years’ experience in the use of qualitative research methods in reproductive health research and policy. She has a particular interest in ethnography and feminist methodologies. Her research interests lie in the fields of women’s health, HIV prevention, gender and sexuality, sex work, religion and ritual

Thanduxolo Elford Fana

Roles: Honorary/Visiting Staff

Thanduxolo Elford Fana was a Post Doctoral Fellow at Wits School of Public Health (Centre for Health Policy) from February 2018 up until April 2020 under the supervision of Prof Jane Goudge. He has a PhD in Public Administration (UFH), a Masters in HIV/AIDS Management (Stellenbosch), a B Tech in Human Resources Management (NMMU) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation (Stellenbosch). Prior to joining Wits School of Public Health (CHP) as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and progressing to his appointment as a Honorary staff, he worked for the Eastern Cape Department of Health (Jose Pearson Hospital) as a Human Resources Practitioner

Research Interests

Thando’s Thandoxolo is interested in the field of performance management, employee engagement, organisational commitment and access to healthcare.

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: Intern
Position: Pre-PhD intern
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.

Dr Joshua Sumankuuro

Roles: Fellow
Position: Postdoc fellow

Sumankuuro Joshua has a firm disciplinary grounding in both social science and interdisciplinary research using qualitative, and quantitative methods. His growing interest in global public health and the health care needs of populations groups in low- and middle-income countries such as pregnant women and newborns motivated me to pursue a PhD programme in Public Health. Joshua’s PhD project focussed on understanding access to primary health care (PHC) services and health service delivery for pregnant women in rural Ghana. He has independently researched in Ghana and has published some peer-reviewed papers. Evidence from some of his research has been widely acknowledged in the literature.

Joshua has successfully led teams to complete the full cycle of development projects in Ghana. Helping to improve the livelihoods of women and children in rural communities through research has been Sumankuuro’s passion over the years. From February – June 2019, he was a co-investigator in a baseline survey funded by DFID-UK, in two regions (Upper West and Upper East) of Ghana. Further, he independently evaluated all institutional maternal and neonatal mortalities in the Upper West Region (Ghana). Joshua’s current research at CHP highlights the complexities, system reforms, political economy and the management of those tensions in strategic purchasing in healthcare in low-middle-income settings, with emphasis on country-level policy reforms towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.

Miss Tintswalo Mabasa

Roles: Intern
Position: Pre-PhD Intern

Miss Tintswalo Mabasa is a Pre-PhD Intern at the Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand.

Qualifications: Tintswalo holds a Master of Arts in Social Work by Dissertation (research). She also holds a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the same University, Witwatersrand.

Research interests: Tintswalo has a keen interest in the discharge process for people living with serious mental illness from hospital to community-based care and how to improve continuity of care and user experience. 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.

Nadine Nanji

Roles: Intern
Position: Pre-PhD Intern
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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