Preparing top healthcare professionals
for the future
The Medical University of Southern Africa has made
a significant contribution in the education of
care professionals in Southern Africa.
The Medical University of Southern Africa
(MEDUNSA) has made a significant contribution in the
education of healthcare professionals, medical doctors,
dentists, allied health professionals, nurses, veterinarians
and scientists in Southern Africa and in addressing
racial inequities in healthcare training. More than
half of all African medical doctors and dentists in
Southern Africa were trained at MEDUNSA.
Founded in 1976, MEDUNSA’s mission
is to ‘empower the educationally disadvantaged
by providing excellent community-orientated education,
training and research in the health and related sciences
and by promoting services at all levels of healthcare
in the community’.
The Campus is situated 30 kilometres outside Pretoria and adjoins the George
Mukhari Academic Hospital (formerly Ga-Rankuwa Hospital).
These include: Sciences
Dentistry Medicine (including Allied and Nursing Sciences, the School of
Pharmacy) National School of Public Health.
The minimum requirement for admission is a matriculation exemption certificate
with a pass in mathematics and physical science.
Approximately 3 000 students are accommodated in 11 residences on campus and
there are four residences in Pretoria and one in Polokwane.
Facilities and services
There is an extensive inter-library loan system, and a range of sports facilities
and students are assisted by the Student Representative Council and several
other councils. The International Students Desk assists international students.
The Financial Aid Bureau administers funds for indigent but academically
The International Office serves as a
focal point to assist all international students and
provides, among others, arrival, accommodation and
orientation information and advice, as well as cultural,
social and sport activities.
Elective students come to MEDUNSA from
countries such as Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands
and many full-time international students come from
as far afield as Europe and from all over Africa.
National School of Public Health (NSPH)
The National School of Public Health (NSPH) at MEDUNSA was established in 1997
and today has postgraduate students from the public and private healthcare
sectors and from more than 25 countries around the world. The NSPH is committed
to the improvement of health of South Africans through education, research
and strategic intervention in public health. It comprises five departments:
Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health, Health
Systems Management and Policy, and Social and Behavioural Health Sciences.
Specialised programmes include: Master of Public Health (MPH), Dr of Public
Health (DrPH), Postgraduate Diploma in the Management of HIV/AIDS in the
World of Work, and a Fellowship Programme focusing on HIV/AIDS in the southern
Strategic alliances and collaborative
relationships of NSPH
The NSPH has developed research programmes focusing on the major problems of
South Africa. It has an expanding network of strategic alliances within South
Africa as well as with academic centres of excellence in Africa, the United
States and Europe.
MEDUNSA has seven niche research areas, each responsive to community health
needs and productive in terms of continually producing and trialling vaccines.
These are HIV/AIDS in the population; bio-organic and natural products; sexually
transmitted diseases; the environmental reservoirs of diarrhoeal diseases;
the inorganic composition of dentine environmentally induced variations;
radiation dosimetry; and infection control at health care institutions. MEDUNSA
recently founded its eighth research niche area: Indigenous Knowledge System
(IKS), funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF). New and alternate ‘medicines’ and/or
medicinal plants from the local communities are subjected to intensive scientific ‘gaze’ to
determine their efficacy.
Research output in 2002 at MEDUNSA
Sixty five articles published in accredited and subsidy-earning journals; 58
articles published in non-SAPSE journals; 83 papers presented at international
conferences; researchers were keynote speakers at nine international events;
68 internationally collaborative research projects; 479 registered research
projects in progress; 10 research outputs reported as books or chapters;
100 research exchange visits overseas; 106 papers presented at conferences;
academics served as editors for 19 research journals.