COVID-19 in SA: Understanding epidemiologic heterogeneity to guide equitable responses for an ageing population

Thursday 11 March 2021, 14:00 – 15:00 GMT 

This event is part of a seminar series: Perspectives on Global Ageing

Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus (SARS-Cov-2 virus) is a growing pandemic that is currently high on the public health agenda. SA born Epidemiologist and national science award winner, Prof Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Johannesburg, is working with a leading team of scientists in South Africa and abroad to understand the epidemiologic heterogeneity of COVID-19 in order to guide equitable responses for an ageing population, among others. As the COVID-19 caseload and death toll increase, its impacts are becoming worsened, threatening to reverse all the public health gains made in recent years. There are differences in the prevalence of underlying chronic conditions across population groups. COVID-19 severity and mortalities have been strongly associated with hypertension and diabetes. The ageing population has the highest prevalence of multi-morbidity and therefore is at higher risk of COVID-19 adverse outcomes.  Prof Phaswana-Mafuya will share her insights on differential impacts of COVID-19 severity and mortality in order to guide control measures, appropriate resource allocation and ultimately attainment of an equitable response.

This session will be conducted via Zoom:

About the Speaker 

Prof Phaswana-Mafuya is National Research Foundation (NRF) rated scientist, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF) merited scientist and African Academy of Science Fellow. She also obtained Wellcome Trust (UK) and London Nagasaki (UK) Fellowships for her epidemiological training and work.  She is currently Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Johannesburg. She was previous Deputy Vice Chancellor Research & Innovation at North West University. Prof Phaswana-Mafuya also serves as a panel member of the International Panel on Infectiology of German Research Foundation. Further, she is Council Member of ASSAF; member of NRF Board and member of Higher Health Board (technical health expert). In June 2019, she served as chair of the second largest medical meeting in the world, the 9th SA AIDS Conference, which revived a sense of urgency on the response to HIV in the country.