Omnia Health is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Africa Health 2023: Bridging HIV research and multimorbidity at the 7th Public Health Conference

Article-Africa Health 2023: Bridging HIV research and multimorbidity at the 7th Public Health Conference

Supplied Africa Health.jpg
The event will provide fertile ground for discussions that will shape the future trajectory of public health across the African continent.

The 7th Public Health in Africa Conference, set for 17-19 October 2023 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, arrives at a critical juncture in global health. This year's theme, "Population Health and Preventative Medicine," probes into urgent issues like non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health, and, notably, the rising global epidemic of multimorbidity.

Adding weight to the discourse is Dr. Tshegofatso Maimela, a Public Health Medicine Specialist with the Gauteng Department of Health, who will focus on South Africa's trailblazing work in HIV research as it intersects with multimorbidity.

Dr. Maimela's recent research, conducted in Tshwane, South Africa, examined the link between HIV and COVID-19. Her findings showed that people living with HIV were not at an increased risk of mortality from COVID-19 – as was the concern regarding the pandemic due to the high prevalence of HIV in South Africa.

This work revealed how HIV affects the body's response to other diseases, which were indeed contributors to higher mortality and morbidity in COVID-19 disease outcomes.

Related: Inaugural Africa Health Indaba 2023: Pioneering a resilient future for Africa

These insights brought a fresh perspective on tackling multimorbidity and reducing negative population health outcomes due to lifestyle conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Her research underlines the need for healthcare strategies that go beyond siloed approaches to disease management and prevention. As such Dr. Maimela’s voice is a strident addition to the advocacy for a more comprehensive and integrated framework to address the multifaceted challenges of multimorbidity. 

“Understanding the complexities of multimorbidity states on conditions such as HIV, COVID-19, and other prevalent conditions improves our approach to managing the complex presentation of such conditions and the challenges of providing coordinated care for the many patients with multimorbidity profiles within our siloed health system,” Dr. Maimela says.

“We can no longer afford to treat diseases as isolated phenomena; we need to adopt a more holistic approach; one that acknowledges the interconnectedness of these health challenges and their impact on individuals, families, communities, and workplaces alike. This conference serves as a pivotal platform to advance this crucial dialogue," she adds. 

Accompanying Dr. Maimela in steering the conference discussions is the new Conference chair, Dr. Chauntelle Bagwandeen, an illustrious Public Health Medicine Specialist from the University of KwaZulu Natal and field leading medical expert. An apt guide for these discussions, Dr. Bagwandeen's work has been instrumental in understanding the nature and spread of sexually transmitted infections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Together they will introduce an interactive public discourse format at the session, aiming to foster an environment of collaborative innovation and knowledge sharing.

Related: Africa Health 2023: Exploring African environmental ethics and Ubuntu

The conference, in partnership with the South African Public Health Preventative Medicine Association (SAPHPMA), draws a diverse audience, from C-level healthcare executives to government officials, offering a unique platform for cross-sector engagement.

Attendees will not only gain insights into the complexities of multimorbidity but also have an opportunity to delve into maternal and child health issues, stroke prevention, and advancements in TB diagnostics. The event will provide fertile ground for discussions that will shape the future trajectory of public health across the African continent. 

Last year's conference, led by Dr. Atiya Mosam and in partnership with the South African Public Health and Preventive Medicine Association, saw industry leaders congregate to discuss public health leadership and reimagine how to instil resilience in Africa’s healthcare systems. It marked an important step towards fostering a collaborative environment among international, national, and regional players.

Building on that foundation, this year's event aims to deepen those dialogues, looking back at the past years’ learnings, exploring actionable solutions, and refining best practices in public health.

Those interested in attending will find a wealth of opportunities for professional development and networking. The conference is particularly beneficial for public health specialists, government officials, and healthcare professionals keen on acquiring a nuanced understanding of pressing healthcare challenges and contributing to a healthier future for African communities. 

The conference promises to be an indispensable forum for industry leaders committed to advancing public health systems across Africa.

Africa Health 2023 will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from October 17 to 19 October 2023, at the Gallagher Convention Centre. To register, click here.

Back to Management

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.