Professors online

04 April 2005

UCT's Occupational and Environmental Health Research Unit (OEHRU) is set to assist the World Health Organisation (WHO) achieve their goal of "occupational health for all".

Recently selected as one of only two WHO Collaborating Centres in Africa, the unit will work with the organisation to overcome the challenge of improving access for South Africa and other SADC countries to occupational health services, quality postgraduate programmes in occupational and environmental health, and research capacity.

WHO estimates that only about 10% to 15% of workers worldwide have some kind of access to occupational health services. According to their website, the collaborating centres are "on-the-ground" actors with capacities and networks in developed and developing countries, and play a key role in capacity building.

The UCT unit has an active postgraduate training programme at postgraduate diploma, master's, occupational medicine specialist, doctoral and postdoctoral levels, all aimed at health professionals in the SADC region. The current cycle of the Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health began recently with a very diverse and enthusiastic group from as far away as Tanzania. Information on the unit's research and other activities can be found at

Another coup for this centre is that both Professors Jonny Myers and Leslie London have been invited to join a new online project, one that provides guidance for those seeking quality contributions to health science literature. With their expertise and experience, they will join some of the world's leading health science researchers and will provide article selections and evaluations as faculty members for the environmental health section of Faculty of 1000 Medicine.

Its purpose is to provide ways of evaluating world health sciences literature that do not depend solely on the impact factor, considered a rather blunt quality indicator. For example, in disciplines represented by small numbers of scientists, the impact factor will necessarily be low and will bear little relation to quality.

The website covers 17 major areas of health sciences and can be found at

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