Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation


Double helix

As a multi-disciplinary team we have proven strengths and expertise in:

  • Population development analysis on factors influencing the state of the African population 
  • Public health approaches and risky lifestyles (alcohol, tobacco, stress, obesity, physical inactivity and work-family stressors)
  • Nutritional disorders and food insecurity dynamics 
  • Analysis of health care access and health seeking behaviours 
  • Social epidemiology
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and mapping of health facilities and human resources by district in South Africa
  • Forecasting models to provide evidence for policy formulation on individual and community security/development and health
  • Maternal and child health surveillance and morbidity and mortality.
Our major national surveys include  three newly launched first in the country: 
  • South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES)
  • Maternal and child mortality surveillance
  • Agricultural Research and Development Survey.


Our Centre for the Study of the Social and Environmental Determinants of Nutrition (CSSEDN) focuses on research which includes non-communicable diseases and food security.  Specific research themes covered within PHHSI:

  • Life course, lifestyles and health
  • Demographic profile of South Africa
  • Infant, child and maternal health including reproductive health
  • Family and child protection strategies
  • Population health including malaria
  • Determinants of health: smoking, alcohol, stress, drugs, physical activity/fitness and other social factors
  • Social medicine and community health
  • Environmental health
  • Mental health
  • Health systems
  • Gender analysis is integrated throughout the research themes.