Medicine and vaccine safety in South Africa: Understanding the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA)

About The Webinar

In recent months we keep hearing about a body called SAHPRA and often for controversial reasons. It was SAHPRA that stopped and then allowed use of the drug Ivermectin; all Covid-19 vaccines must first be approved by SAHPRA; even the medical use of cannabis must first get its nod! 

People are quick to criticise but how much do we really know about how SAPHRA works? What is its legal mandate? How does it make decisions? Who pays for it? Well now's your chance to find out. On Wednesday 12 May at 6pm join Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood as he interviews SAHPRA'S top two officials: Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela the CEO and Prof Helen Rees the Chairperson of the Board.

  • Mark Heywood is former Executive Director of SECTION27, was one of the founding members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and is Editor of Maverick Citizen; the division of Daily Maverick dedciated to Civil Society.

  • Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela is the CEO of the South African Health Products Regulator. She has a Ph.D. (Biochemistry) and also holds MSc in Management Finance and Investment. She is also a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative. Within the technology innovation space, she managed a biotechnology incubator at The Innovation Hub Management Company. She was with McKinsey & Company for 2 years as a McKinsey Leadership Fellow. Prior to that, she was at the CSIR as a Senior Researcher.

  • Prof Helen Rees is the Chairperson of the Board of SAHPRA. Prof Rees is also the Executive Director of the University of Witwatersrand’s Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (Wits RHI) where she is serves as a Personal Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Co-Director of Wits University’s Flagship Centre for Vaccinology (ALIVE). She is an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and a member of their Visiting Committee. Professor Rees has been involved in medicines regulation for many years. She was appointed to the Medicines Control Council in 1995 and chaired the Council from 1997 until 2001. During that time, she also chaired the MCC’s Clinical Trial Committee and the Pharmacovigilance Committee.

  • Mark Heywood

    Maverick Citizen editor

  • Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela


  • Prof Helen Rees

    Chairperson of the Board of SAHPRA

  • Daily Maverick

    Webinar Moderator

  • Brought to you by the Solidarity Fund

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