Prof. David Sanders

Emeritus Professor, University of Western Cape School of Public Health

David Sanders trained in medicine in Zimbabwe and paediatrics and public health in the UK in the 1970’s. He has been a senior academic at the Universities of Zimbabwe and Natal Medical Schools. In 1993 he was appointed founding Director of the University of the Western Cape School of Public Health and held this position until 2009. The SOPH is now a leading institution in public health education and research in South Africa and Africa with students from almost 20 African countries and India. He has over 35 years’ experience in public health and primary health care in Zimbabwe and South Africa. His main interests are health and development, child health, nutrition, primary health care and human resource development.

David has worked extensively with liberation movements and governments in Southern Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other agencies in child health, nutrition and health human resources. He was responsible for designing and coordinating a large rural health programme in Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1989 which influenced and modelled implementation of post-independence policies based on Primary Health Care. During this time he initiated and chaired an internationally recognized national programme addressing child malnutrition which linked several sectors including Health and Agriculture.

He was appointed Heath Clark Visiting Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2005 and an Honorary Professor at that institution from 2005 to 2007. He was recently a Visiting Professor at Charité–Universitätsmedizin, Berlin as well as at the Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway with which he continues to collaborate. He has also been appointed as an Honorary Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT from July 2013 and as Professor in the School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia from August 2013. He is the author of four books: The Struggle for Health; Questioning the Solution; and Fatal Indifference: The G8, Africa and Global Health; and Achieving Health for All: Case Studies in the Struggle for Comprehensive Primary Health Care as well as over 200 scientific articles.

In 2012 David was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Cape Town in recognition of his contribution to development of policies and programmes in primary health care nationally and internationally. In 2014 he received the Public Health Innovation and Lifetime Achievement (PHILA) Award from the Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA).

He is a founder and Co-Chair of the Global Steering Council of the Peoples Health Movement (www.phmovement.org) and has been a contributor and editor of Global Health Watch, now firmly established as an ‘Alternative World Health Report’.