Annual Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health

This award honours graduates of the UWC School of Public Health, who have through their work made an impact on public health through professional or academic leadership and innovation.

Since 2012 the SOPH has annually honoured one of its alumni, who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of public health, with the Jakes Gerwel Award.

The Annual Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health, made possible through a grant by The Mauerberger Foundation Fund, honours the former Rector and Vice Chancellor of UWC Professor Jakes Gerwel as a visionary leader who went on to join President Nelson Mandela as the Director General in his cabinet office.

As UWC Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerwel advocated passionately for and supported development of South Africa‘s first School of Public Health. He clearly saw the need for UWC to focus on public health practice that led to measurable improvements in peoples‘ health and policy that was based on solid science. Over the last few years the UWC School of Public Health has achieved these aspirations.


Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health 2023: Dr Landry Tsague Dongmo

Presentation title: “When two pandemics collide, HIV and COVID-19
– A reflection on the future of public health in Africa”

Jakes Gerwel Award 2022: Thembisile Zungu

A lecture by Thembisile Zungu, the 2022 Jakes Gerwel Award recipient.

Jakes Gerwel Award 2021: Sulakshana Nandi

Dr Sulakshana Nandi is from Chhattisgarh State in India, where she is the State Convener of the Public Health Resource Network, a national non-governmental network for research, advocacy and capacity building in public health.

Public Health Needs Leaders With Heart – Public Health Leader Juanita O. Arendse Receives Jakes Gerwel Award 2020

“South Africa’s public health system faces a number of challenges – and we need leaders to solve them, not just managers. That’s one of the lessons COVID-19 has helped drive home – and it’s one we all need to learn.”

Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health 2019 – Mr Siraaj Adams

Mr Siraaj Adams received the 2019 Jakes Gerwel Award! Siraaj delivered a lecture entitled “Transforming Public Health using Digital Health, the journey so far…”.

Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health 2018 – Amir Aman Hagos

The 2018 recipient of the Jakes Gerwel Award was Dr Amir Aman Hagos, now the Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia who graduated with an MPH in 2013.

Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health 2017 – Rolene Wagner

The 2017 Award was presented to 2002 graduate Dr Rolene Wagner, a medical doctor and, from December 2012, the CEO of Frere Hospital in East London, South Africa.

Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health 2016 – Anne Mutunda

An environmental health practitioner by training, Anne Mutunda works as a water and sanitation health surveillance officer with Akros in Zambia.

Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health 2015 – Mr Evans Sagawa

Evans Sagwa is the Country Director for the USAID-funded SIAPS and SCMS projects in Nambia, implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health 2014 – Dr Saadiq Kariem

The second Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health by the UWC School of Public Health was made to Dr Saadiq Kariem.