UCT and the Swiss Tropical Institute/University of Basel have launched a historic South African-Swiss (ZA-CH) Bilateral Research Chair, aimed at advancing the voices of African experts in global environmental health research.
This is the first time that another country has been involved in co-founding a research chair under the umbrella of the Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation SA Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI).
The two joint chair holders are:
The collaboration also paves the way for a partnership between UCT and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, which will provide a training facility for environmental health practitioners. This will allow for research findings and recommendations to inform the study material used to train environmental health practitioners and to narrow the gap between research and practice.
UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price said: "This project will enable local academics and researchers not only to collaborate with international researchers but, more importantly, to present to the rest of the world African perspectives on matters of global environmental health. Joint research of this kind will produce knowledge, methodologies and standards that will have relevance for many developing countries. The study will also address the lack of environmental health data from the African continent, which will improve research capacity."
The ZA-CH Bilateral SARChI Chair has two main objectives: to investigate key South African environmental health challenges with global relevance; and to research the relationship between climate change, chemical exposures (including endocrine-disrupting pesticides, air and water pollutants) and health effects in the Western Cape.
Swiss Ambassador Christian Meuwly, Thomas Auf der Heyde (Department of Science and Technology), Assoc Prof Mohamed Aqiel Dalvie (joint SARChI chair holder), Mauro Dell'Ambrogio (Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation), Minister Naledi Pandor (Department of Science and Technology), Prof Marcel Tanner (University of Basel), UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price and Dr Gansen Pillary (National Research Foundation) at the launch of the SA-Swiss Bilateral Research Chair at UCT on 3 June 2015.
The chair's research focus will include:
Research carried out in this project will target marginalised populations in informal and rural settlements in South Africa that are vulnerable to the impacts of environmental exposure on their health.
This will be done by increasing research data on local diseases that have international importance and are caused by environmental exposure.
The chair is co-funded by the Department of Science and Technology and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation for the first year, after which it will be funded by the Swiss TPH and the University of Basel. It is managed by the NRF under SARChI.
|Research Field||South African||Swiss||USA and Netherlands|
|Effects of pesticides on child health||Professor Hanna Andrea Rother, Professor Mohamed Jeebhay, Professor Francesca Little, Professor Leslie London, Dr Lubbe Weisner, Mr Hennie van der Westhuizen, Dr Roslyn Baatjies, Dr Steve Delport, Dr Helen Vreede, Dr Zelda Holtman, Dr Tanusha Singh and Professor Eugene Cairncross||Professor Martin Röösli, Dr Danielle Vienneau, Dr Ming Tsai, Professor Martin Wilks, Rd. Rex Fitsgerald, Dr Veit Arit, Professor Brigitte Obrist and Dr Constanze Pfeiffer||Professor Melissa Perry, Professor Mary Lee and Professor Hans Kromhout|
|Air pollutants and their impact on asthma||Professor Mohamed Jeebhay, Professor Rajen Naidoo, Professor Hanna-Andrea Rother, Professor Francesca Little, Mr Hennie van der Westhuizen, Dr Roslyn Baatjies, Dr Tanusha Singh, Professor Eugene Cairncross||Professor Martin Röösli, Dr Ming Tsai, Dr Kees de Hoogh, Professor Nicole Probst-Hensch, Professor Nino Künzli, Dr Peter Steinmann, Dr Veit Arit, Prof Brigitte Obrist and Dr Constanze Pfeiffer|
|The health impacts of poor water quality and pollution of soil in an urban informal area, rural area and an industrial area||Professor Eugene Cairncross, Professor Francesca Little, Professor Hanna-Andrea Rother, Mr Hennie van der Westhuizen and Dr Roslyn Baatjies||Professor Guéladio Cissé, Dr Daniel Mäusezahl, Dr Peter Steinmann, Dr Mirko Winkler, Professor Martin Röösli, Professor Jürg Utzinger, Dr Soren Becker and Dr Veit Arlt|
|The relationship between climate change, ecosystems, chemical usage, health and environmental pollution (air, water, soil) in South Africa||Professor Hanna-Andrea Rother, Professor Jonny Myers, Professor Mohamed Jeebhay, Professor Leslie London, Dr Kalavati Channa, Mr Hennie van der Westhuizen, Dr Roslyn Baatjies, Dr Steve Delport, Dr Helen Vreede, and Professor Eugene Cairncross||Professor Guéladio Cissé, Dr Danielle Vienneau, Professor Martin Röösli, Dr Veit Arlt, Dr Brigitte Obrist and Dr Constanze Pfeiffer||Professor Melissa Perry and Professor Mary Lee|
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