The 2021 Annual David Sanders Lecture was held on 19 August 2021. The virtual event drew participants from different corners of the globe including families, friends, former colleagues and students, and members of the People’s Health Movement.
Prof Asha George in her opening remark emphasized the importance of the annual lecture as a way “to commemorate David’s spirit and support the issues and values that he so deeply cared for, he passionately advocated for, and for which he expertly subverted the mainstream both at global and local levels for the greater good.”
Dr Sue Fawcus in her introductory remark thanked UWC for continuing to honor David and the high esteem in which it holds the David Sanders Lecture. She extended her appreciation to participants and the guest speaker, and noted, “It is very encouraging that David’s ideas, his strategies for health justice and primary health care and community activisim continue to be taken forward in this particularly difficult time of COVID pandemic.”
The year’s guest speaker, Dr Sinesipho Jojo, delivered an engaging lecture entitled “Opportunities not to be missed from COVID-19 for NHI”. In her lecture, she reiterated that the success of public health interventions greatly depends on leadership, effective communication to advance solidarity, public and private sector collaboration, investment in human resources particularly Community Health Workers, and readiness to deal with social determinants of health. These issues were further emphasized by the discussant, Dr Saadiq Kariem. The lecture was followed by lively conversation with the audience.
The event concluded with performance from Malika Ndolovu who creatively captured the spirit of the event. This was followed by vote of thanks by Prof Uta Lehmann to everyone in attendance for very lively conversation on topical issues, and a special appreciation to Dr Jojo, whose continued work with her colleagues, restores faith in the future of health activisim.
Launched in 2013, the annual David Sanders lecture honours Emeritus Prof David Sanders’ legacy as founder of the SOPH and recognises his considerable contributions to UWC and to the field of public health, both locally and internationally.
Each year an eminent speaker is invited to engage scholars, practioners, policy makers and activists in contemporary challenges and opportunities for public health research, teaching and practice, brining scientific excellence and implications for political and social action to bear on their chosen issue. In so doing, they will continue
the vigorous, socially engage, scholarly debate and practice that has characterized much of David’s engagement.