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South African Primary Health Care Conference


The South African National Department of Health, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, the World Health Organization and Health Systems Trust cordially invite you to participate in a Primary Health Care (PHC) themed conference, Towards Universal Health Coverage, Strengthening Primary Health Care: A whole of Government, whole of Society approach, to be held at the East London International Conference Centre from 14-17 November 2023.

Towards universal health coverage - Strengthening primary health care - A whole of Government, whole of Society approach.

Date: 14 to 17 November 2023

Venue: East London International Conference Centre


To reinvigorate South Africa’s commitment to the PHC approach as a strategic component of comprehensive health services in a unified health system, within a National Health Insurance (NHI) dispensation and to re-commit the country (i.e. government, citizens and social partners) to the PHC principles as being central to health promotion, disease prevention, and building a people-centred and resilient health system that is able to adapt and respond to emerging health challenges in a rapidly changing world. For more information do read the CONCEPT NOTE.


  1. Universal Health Coverage and National Health Insurance
  2. Integration of priority programmes into PHC
  3. Human resources for health and PHC 
  4. Technology, digitisation and innovation for client-focused public health 
  5. Addressing the social determinants of health and the effects of climate change through partnerships and collaboration
  6. Epidemic preparedness and emerging health challenges: building a resilient PHC system fit for the 21st century
  7. Supervision, monitoring and evaluation
  8. Community participation and the roll of civil society
  9. Governance and leadership
  10. Health promotion and behaviour change
  11. Continuous quality improvement
  12. The service delivery platform


Documents coming soon...


Abstracts are invited for the following types of submissions:

Scientific abstracts should comprise the following headings:  
  • Background: An opening sentence or two to introduce the study
  • Objectives: Indicating the purpose of the study or the hypothesis that was tested
  • Methodology: Presenting the study setting, participants, and type of analysis, if appropriate
  • Results: Presenting the results of the study. If the final results are not available, please state this clearly. Indicate any preliminary and anticipated final results.
  • Conclusions: Briefly discuss the implications of the data and emphasise the significance of the results.
  • Recommendations: What is the key recommendations arising from your research?
  • Three key words

Operational research abstracts (case study / good practice write-up) should comprise the following headings: 
  • Background: An opening sentence or two that introducing the study or project
  • Intervention description: Describing the proposed intervention in sufficient detail for practice
  • Results: Presenting the study results. If final results are not available, please state this clearly. Indicate any preliminary and anticipated final results.
  • Lessons learnt: Listing what worked well and what did not.
  • Key messages: Summarising what the findings mean for the field.
  • Three key words


Abstracts may be submitted as a poster or oral presentation.

  • Poster presentation: The presenting author must be available at specified times to present briefly on the research (three minutes for presentation and two minutes for discussion). The required format is a digital horizontal poster in 4:3 (standard size) ratio. 
  • Oral presentation: A time limit of 15 minutes applies, of which 10 minutes are for the delivery of the content and five minutes are for discussion time. The required format is a Microsoft Office PowerPoint Presentation, which can be supplemented with video and/or pictures. It is the submitter’s responsibility to provide all materials required.


The following will be required for abstract submissions:

  • Title (maximum 25 words)
  • Names and affiliations of co-authors
  • Name of corresponding author
  • Track relevance
  • Contact number of corresponding author
  • An abstract of 350 words
  • Affiliation of corresponding author
  • Adherence to abstract headings
  • E-mail address of corresponding author
  • No images, charts or tables are permitted in the abstract
  • Only abstracts in English will be accepted
  • No acronyms or abbreviations are permitted in the abstract


All abstracts will be reviewed and the final selection made by the Scientific Committee. 

The criteria for evaluating the quality of abstracts are: 
  1. Relevance to the conference theme and tracks;
  2. Originality of ideas and methods;
  3. Concise presentation of methods and results; and 
  4. Quality of writing.

Call for abstracts CLOSING DATE:

The call for abstracts will close on 24 October 2023 and abstracts will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Confirmation of acceptance or rejection will be sent out by 30 October 2023 at the latest.

Please submit your abstract here 


Registration information:
Register @ SAPHC Conference Registration and email your payment, if applicable, to
Conference registration will be in South African Rands (ZAR)

Registration Fees:
Registration – R3000 
Exhibition stand R20 000 ex. VAT

Registration fee includes the following:
Attendance to all sessions in the programme
Conference package
Teas and lunches during the conference

For any registration queries, please contact the registration manager: Kemona Pillai @

Please note:
Registration fees do not include accommodation, transport, visa costs or airport transfers. Registration can only be confirmed once payment is received.

Payment can be made by any of the following methods:
Bank transfer (EFT): If you are paying via bank/wire transfer, please clearly indicate your name and surname or your Billing information reference number on the deposit slip/confirmation of payment. A copy of the deposit slip/confirmation of payment must be mailed to the registration manager, Kemona Pillai (

Note: The organisers will not be responsible for identifying funds if the delegate’s details or billing reference information are not mentioned.

Payment Deadline
On-line registration payments must be paid in full by the 10th of November.

Account number:        1048128628
Registration number:  10981992 
Branch code:                198765
Account type:               Current Account 
Branch name:               KZN DURBAN
SWIFT code:                 NEDSZAJJ

Cancellations must be sent in writing to



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Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti

Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti is the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, the first woman to be elected to this position and is now in her second term. Over the past seven years, Dr Moeti has led a Transformation Agenda to improve WHO’s performance on emergencies, enhancing accountability and driving progress towards Universal Health Coverage. She also led WHO’s support to the COVID19 pandemic response in Africa. Dr Moeti is a medical doctor and public health expert with more than 41 years of national and international experience. She has worked with WHO for more than 20 years, and prior to this she worked with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as Team Leader of the Africa and Middle East Desk in Geneva (1997–1999); with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as Regional Health Advisor for East and Southern Africa; and with Botswana’s Ministry of Health as a clinician and public health specialist. Dr Moeti obtained her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of London and a Master of Science in Community Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana.


Dr Owen Laws Kaluwa is the Resident Representative for the World Health Organization in South Africa. Prior to his appointment as WHO Representative for South Africa, Dr Kaluwa was WHO Representative for Ghana, WHO Representative for eSwatini, Technical Officer for HIV/AIDS Program Development, Monitoring and Evaluation for the WHO Africa Region and WHO Medical Officer for HIV/AIDS in Botswana.

Dr Kaluwa is specialised in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and has over 25 years' experience in epidemiological surveillance, strategic planning, programme development and management, as well as monitoring and evaluation in health. He has a passion for Universal health coverage and equitable access to health services.

Dr Anteneh Zewdie

Dr Anteneh Zewdie is a seasoned Public Health professional with over fifteen years' experience in global health leadership and international development. He has led and managed the successful implementation of several health programmes such as Health System Strengthening (HSS), Leadership Development, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), Nutrition, Water and Sanitation (WaSH) in East and West Africa. He has worked with international organisations like AIM Initiative, American Leprosy Mission, Center for Creative Leadership, Kissito Healthcare, Samaritan's Purse and World Vision in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, USA and Ghana. He served in different capacities starting as Health/HIV Response Facilitator; then progressing as Programme Supervisor, Assessment Co-ordinator, Country Director, Regional Programme Director for Africa and Chief Executive Officer. He has proven experience in starting up organisations, strategy development, development and deployment of teams, establishing systems and processes, mobilising resources, designing and implementing programmes. He has grant writing skills that enabled him to secure funds from international, bilateral and multilateral organisations such as USAID, Global Fund, World Blank, UNOCHA, UNICEF and WFP. He has Bachelor degree in Public Health from the then Debub University, a Master's degree in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Gondar and Doctor of Literature and Philosophy (PhD) from the University of South Africa. Currently, he serves as Director of Programmes at the International Institute of Primary Health Care in Ethiopia. 

Professor Richard Cooke

Adjunct Professor Richard Cooke (B. Business Science (Finance), MBBCh, MMed Family Medicine) is Head of Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. He is Director of the Wits Centre for Rural Health. He switched to medicine after an early career in finance, specialising as a family physician. Joining Wits in 2011, Richard chairs the Graduate Entry Medical Programme Curriculum Committee (GEMP3&4). He is Acting Chairperson of the Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) Executive Committee. Prof Cooke is the Director of the Wits Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro (NMFC) Collaboration and serves on the National Department of Health (NDoH) Academic Review Committee and the NMFC Ministerial Task Team. He is a member of the South African Committee of Medical Deans (SACoMD) Workplace-based Assessment (WBA) National Steering Committee. He is an examiner for the Fellowship of the College of Family Physicians (FCFP). He chairs the Faculty of Health Sciences Adler Museum of Medicine Advisory Board. 

Dr Victor Figueroa

Dr Victor Figueroa is a Family Physician from Cuba who obtained his qualification from the University of Havana in 1986. He has worked at Lawton Teaching Polyclinic in Havana in the implementation of Community Oriented Primary Care with the Family Physician-embedded outreach teams. He was a founding member of the National Primary Health Care Advisory board adjunct to the National Directorate of PHC. He joined the French-based ONG Doctors of the World in 1993 to intervene in the potential implementation of COPC in South Africa. He was deployed to Botshabelo township, Free State, where he developed COPC in conjunction with SANCO and the Botshtabelo Community Trust.He later also directed COPC implementation projects in Nicaragua and Brazil. He has been a member of the Cuban Medical Brigade deployed to South Africa since 1998 and is also responsible for the implementation of COPC in Boipatong in Gauteng.  He is an honorary lecturer for Family Medicine at the University of the Witswatersrand

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Dr Anban Pillay

Dr Anban Pillay is the Deputy Director General at the National Department of Health in South Africa. His currently responsibilities relate to Health Regulation and Compliance. He has served in various roles at the National Department of Health over the past 20 years. These include development of pharmaceutical policies on medicine registration, treatment guidelines, medicine formularies, procurement and service delivery strategies. He has also been instrumental in the developmental of the Universal Health Coverage (National Health Insurance) policy and its legislative development in South Africa.

He currently serves on the Pandemic Fund Board and has previously served on a number of Global Bodies including the World Health Organization (Co-Chair Essential Medicines Committee, Advisory Committee on Medicine Pricing), Medicines Patent Pool (Board member), Global Fund (Market Dynamics Advisory group), UNICEF (Procurement advisory group) and Health Action International (Advisory Committee). Most recently he co-chaired the ACT Accelerator which was a WHO mechanism to foster collaboration and accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

Dr Anban Pillay holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa), Masters in Clinical Pharmacology (Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, South Africa) and Ph.D (University of Newcastle, Australia). He is extensively published in peer reviewed journals and book chapters.

Dr Ntsako S Mathonsi

Dr Ntsako S Mathonsi is currently the Director for Human Settlements Policy Development and Review and was previously its Deputy Director for Municipal Accreditation, in the Secretariat Unit as an Assistant Director in the DG's Executive Support Unit and as a Policy Officer in the Department of Housing. Dr. Mathonsi in a member of the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) wherein he conducts research and write academic papers for presentation in SAAPAM conferences and publication in the Journal of Public Administration. He is also a member of the Social Science International Research (SSIR) wherein he conducts research and write academic papers for presentation (locally and internationally) in SSIR Conferences and publication in the Social Science Research Journal. He has a Degree in Social Sciences from the University of the North (now University of Limpopo) an Honours Degree in Sociology, majoring in Social Policy, among other key courses. He did a second honours degree with the North West University where he was studying Public Management. He furthered his studies with a Masters Degree in Sociology at the University of Limpopo under the theme of Governance and Service Delivery in Local Government. He also completed his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Sociology of Governance at the University of Limpopo where he adopted one of the human settlements programmes as his case study to analyse the concept of decentralisation.

Dr Amanda Rozani

Dr Amanda Rozani is the Deputy Director at the Department of Basic Education. She has over ten years of work experience working in different portfolios. She is currently responsible for co-ordinating the Integrated School Health Programme nationally. She has a Ph.D. (Psychology) from the University of Johannesburg. She is also a professional nurse and obtained her B.Cur degree from the Nelson Mandela University. She has diverse work experience in the private and public sectors and has experience as a Researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council, where she was worked on the project evaluating the impact of peer-led HIV interventions and support groups for orphaned and vulnerable children.

Mr Thulani Masilela

Thulani Masilela is an Outcome Facilitator in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in the government of South Africa. He is tasked with monitoring, evaluating and supporting the attainment of health sector strategic priorities adopted by government. He has previously worked in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the health sector and at the National Department of Health.  He is a registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a Clinical Psychologist and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Management from the University of Cape Town.

Prof nicholas Crisp

PROF CRISP is a medical doctor and public health specialist and Honorary Professor in Public Health Medicine at the University of Pretoria. He was Superintendent General (HOD) of the Department of Health and Welfare in Limpopo where he served from 1995 to 1999.

Prof Crisp was then a self-employed consultant and has worked on projects in several African countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania. In 2009 he served as Special Adviser to Minister Barbara Hogan. He was intimately involved in the establishment of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), the transfer of the medicolegal mortuaries from police to health and the creation of the Forensic Pathology Services, and in the establishment of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

He is now employed as Deputy Director General: National Health Insurance, and like everyone else was diverted to support the Covid-19 response for a while.

Ms Jeanette Hunter

Ms Jeanette Hunter has worked in Senior Management positions in and outside of the public sector for the past 26 years.  She is currently the Deputy Director General: Primary Health Care at the National Department of Health of South Africa (NDoH). She was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Health Systems Trust (HST).  For the past four years Jeanette has been the accounting officer for the North West Department of Health. She returned to her role at the NDoH on 12 July 2022. She has extensive knowledge and experience in strategic planning, policy development, planning and design for policy implementation, implementing monitoring and evaluation systems, and the implementation of information systems. Jeanette has a solid track record of achievement through a thorough understanding and successful application of strategic and operational planning processes, change management, project management, continuous quality improvement and human dimensions' management strategies. She has had exposure to the international arena in the form of short courses and international meetings. Amongst others are one at Singapore's Civil Service College in 2000 and one at Harvard University's Public Health School in 2014. World Health Assembly meetings in Geneva, World Health Organization meetings on the African Continent, two BRICS meetings in Russia and Health Systems conferences in China and Kazakhstan. In December 2019, she was part of a team conducting a study of how the Turkish Health System has moved to Universal Health Access.

Dr Malixole Percy Mahlathi

Dr Malixole Percy Mahlathi is an experienced administrator whose skills base includes strategy and policy development, organisational and leadership development, culture transformation, and health workforce strategy development/management. He possesses strategic and leadership capability that he puts to effective use in every situation that requires initiative and innovation. He played a major role in the development of various national HRH policies including in the development of the WHO Code of Practice for Recruitment of International Health Personnel. Percy is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative SA, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He is the secretary of the Strategic Dialogue Group, a progressive think tank.

Dr Mahlathi graduated from UKZN Medical School in 1987, holds an M.Phil in Values and Policy from Stellenbosch University, a Ph.D in Social Science from Fort Hare University and an Advanced Management Diploma from Manchester University.

He is currently the Deputy Director General: Hospital and Health Services for the South African National Department of Health. He has also been the CEO of the SA Medical Association and was in private practice before that.

Dr Cheryl Nelson

Dr Cheryl Nelson is the Chief Director: Primary Health Care (PHC) in Mpumalanga Province and the Provincial Chairperson of the Mpumalanga Research and Ethics Committee (MPHREC). She has been exposed to the Public  Health service for a period of 36 years of which more than 12 years have been  in Middle and Senior Management.. She has extensive knowledge and proven experience in the provision and  management of Public health services.

She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy, M.PH, B.cur Admin & Education, CHN, RM, and is a Reigistered Nurse.

Dr Grace London

Dr Grace London has a Ph.D in Molecular Medicine from the University of Cape Town. While doing her Ph.D she garnered several scholarships to the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego and the University of Washington as a visiting scientist. She worked as principal scientist at the CSIR focusing of prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in breast milk and developed a point of care diagnosis for TB. To date, Dr London has presented 10 peer reviewed conference papers in 6 international conferences and 4 local conferences. She also holds a postgraduate diploma in health management from the University of Pretoria focused on the implementation of the ideal clinic programme with limited resources. She is a member of the provincial research committee in the Free State department of health in collaboration with the University of the Free State. She has been Chief Director: District Health Service responsible for primary health care facilities and district hospitals in the Free State province since 2015.

Mr J Mndebele

Mr J Mndebele is a chief director working for Kwazulu-Natal in charge of District Health Services. He has been in DHS since 1998. He participated in setting up of districts. He has worked as a district director for more than 10 years, uMzinyathi district in KZN and has participated in NHI piloting. Currently he is responsible for Primary Health Care, School Health Services, CCMDD, Health Promotion. During the Covid-19 outbreak he was a core driver of management of Covid-19. His other responsibilities include the provincial performance monitoring meetings. Mr J Mndebele is also supervising 12 district directors, providing leadership and guidance.

Mr J Mndebele also works closely with universities in KZN especially UKZN. He is a professional nurse (Kangwane College of Nursing) with BA.Cur (UNISA), Masters of Public Health majoring in Policy Development( Wits), He has done a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Management (Oliver Tambo -UCT), Postgraduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation (Stellenbosch University) Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Management (Southern Business School), and a Postgraduate Diploma in HIV/AIDS management(MEDUNSA).

Mr Kgwiti Mahlako

Mr Kgwiti Mahlako is the Acting Chief Director: District Health Services in the National Department of Health. His current responsibilities relate to delivery of comprehensive package of Primary Health Care Services through the District Health System Model. He has served in various roles at both the province of Free State and National Department of Health over the past 33 years. Mr Mahlako is one of the initiators of the Ideal Clinic Realisation and Maintenance programme which focuses on determining health systems compliance to regulated norms and standards and addressing the gaps identified. He is currently serving on the following bodies:  South African Health Professional Council: Speech, Language and Hearing Board and National Essential Medicines Committee.

Mr Kgwiti Mahlako holds a Diploma in Nursing Science (General, Community, Psychiatry) and Midwifery - Free State School of Nursing); Bachelor of Nursing Science (University of South Africa), Masters in Health Studies: Health Services Management (University of South Africa).

Mr Ramphelane Morewane

Mr Ramphelane Morewane, the Acting Deputy Director General: HIV/AIDS, TB and MCWH. Mr Morewane holds the following: a Masters Degree in Development and Policy and Practice, a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Management, B.Tech Business Management, and several postgraduate diplomas. He leads the national efforts towards the attainment of the UN Targets of 95-95-95 in HIV and AIDS. He has led the conceptualisation and implementation of the 100-health facilities project; He is also the leader in the implementation of the TB Recovery plan to trace and link the patients back to care. The leader in the implementation of the Maternal Clinical Guidance, Neonatal Health Guidelines, New guidelines for HIV Testing and Screening etc. Mr Morewane has presided over several national and regional forums such as: Incident Management Team for Covid-19 pandemic; SADC Malaria E8 Technical Committee, the departmental lead in the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

He was the co-author of several policies and strategic documents: Ideal clinic Realisation and Maintenance Programme; The role of Traditional Leadership in the Implementation of Health Programmes; District Health Services Policy Framework and Strategy; Ward Based PHC Outreach Teams Policy Framework and Strategy, Reengineering of Primary Health Care programme; National Health Adaptation Plan for Climate Change; National Strategic Plan for Non-Communicable Diseases; the Tobacco Products Amendment Bill; the Draft Framework for Social Determinants of Health among others. He was the leader of the work stream that wrote the section on the health system strengthening in the development of the National Health Insurance Bill. He has led the nationalisation of the Port Health Services, from the provinces.

Ramphelane Morewane has been the champion of District Health System for the past 15 years and has developed national district health planning tools.

PROF Leslie London

Prof Leslie London is Chair of Public Health Medicine in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town. He served as Head of School from 2007 to 2012. He heads the Division of Public Health Medicine and is an active in the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health Research, in which he leads research in the areas of pesticide hazards and chemical neurotoxicity, farm worker occupational health, and occupational and environmental epidemiology. He also heads the School's Health and Human Rights Programme which has a broad research and training mandate addressing health as a socio-economic right, and examining human rights and ethical issues in relation to the practice of occupational health professionals, including dual loyalty at the workplace. He has served on many committees dealing with ethics and human rights in research and professional contexts, has provided advice to the AIDS Law Project in test cases related to workplace discrimination involving HIV and is active in the People's Health Movement South Africa. He was a member of the National Health Research Ethics Council for the Department of Health from 2006 to 2010. He serves on the Scientific Committees on Rural Health and on Neurotoxicology for the International Commission on Occupational Health, and coordinated the Africa Group for ICOH's revision of its Ethical Code. As part of an international Working Group on Dual Loyalty, he and his collaborators developed an international guideline for the protection of patient rights in the context of high-risk closed institutions. He has published over 150 articles in peer-reviewed international and national journals and 15 books or book chapters, and is an NRF-rated scientist in the B3 category. He has been PI on several large grants over the past 10 years, including funding from SIDA, NIH, EU and IDRC, raising in total more than ZAR 35 million in research funding whilst at UCT.

Dr Wei Zhou

Division Director National Health Commission of the PRC.

Dr Wei Zhou has a Ph.D in Public Health Management and is also a qualified doctor. She has been a civil servant in the health sector for 20 years and taken responsibility for developing and implementing optimal policies to set up the community health system. In order to protect the health of the population, Dr Zhou and her partners are monitoring and evaluating the implementation of policies made by the state and local government. She is currently the Division Director: National Health Commission of the PRC. 


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