Mendelson is the new president of infectious disease federation

12 October 2009

Marc MendelsonNot only has he been recently promoted to associate professor, but Marc Mendelson of UCT's Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine has also been elected president of the influential Federation of Infectious Disease Societies of South Africa (FIDSSA).

As an umbrella organisation for a number of societies and associations dealing with infectious diseases, the FIDSSA claims a membership of just under 1500 healthcare and related workers, and is aimed at facilitating interaction between them to contribute to a more integrated approach towards infectious diseases in Southern Africa. FIDSSA's responsibilities include guiding appropriate treatment of infectious diseases by publishing guidelines which include infection control practices.

"Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death in South Africa, and this field of speciality is still relatively young, so I'm looking forward to pushing the agenda with colleagues from all areas of study," says Mendelson.

Mendelson is also the founder and head of UCT's new Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, one of the first tertiary level divisions of infectious diseases in South Africa.

"He is truly a social entrepreneur," says head of the Department of Medicine, Prof Mayosi Bongani. "He built the new division from nothing, with no funding. His election as president of FIDSSA is an indication of his reputation as a pioneer and a visionary in his field."

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