Two women Health Sciences academics were honoured with University of KwaZulu-Natal Fellowships during the College of Health Sciences Graduation on 18 April.

Professors Leana Uys and Marie-Louise Newell were awarded Fellowships in recognition of their research excellence and distinguished academic achievement.

Professor Uys served as Professor of Nursing and Head of the School of Nursing from 1986 to 2001 and as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences from 2004 to 2009.

She was rated as a B-category scientist by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in 2008 - the first nurse to achieve this level. According to the NRF, researchers in this category ‘enjoy considerable international recognition by their peers for the high quality impact of their recent research’.

Uys was awarded the Women Super Achiever’s Award by the Asian Business Schools Awards in July 2010 and in 2009 was the winner of the category Education and Training in the CEO Magazine competition to identify the Most Influential Women in South Africa.

On retirement in September last year, she was CEO of the Forum of University Nursing Deans of South Africa.

Professor Newell - the Director of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies at Hlabisa since 2005 - has a background in medicine, demography and epidemiology while her research has focused on maternal and child health, particularly infections and HIV transmission from mother-to-child.

Newell initiated a broad, innovative programme of research addressing the impact of HIV infection at population, community, household and individual levels.

She established a partnership with the Department of Health in the Hlabisa sub-district to provide HIV treatment and care, resulting in more than 24 000 HIV-infected people starting on treatment by the end of 2012. 

Newell is rated as a B1 researcher by the NRF and has published extensively in her field.

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