In this webinar, Bhekisisa editor, Mia Malan, is in conversation with an Eastern Cape COVID doctor, HIV physician and a psychiatrist about the mental health challenges epidemics pose to health workers.

This webinar was presented in partnership with the Healthcare Workers Care Network and the United States government’s President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, Pepfar.

Speaker profiles

Joanna Taylor

Taylor is a specialist psychiatrist and has been in private practice since 2013.

She studied political philosophy and English literature before studying medicine. Taylor has a particular interest in bipolar mood disorder, schizophrenia and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures.

She is part of a multidisciplinary team specialising in functional neurological disorders.

Taylor chaired the reconstituted Mental Health Review Board for Ekurhuleni in 2018 in the wake of the Life Esidimeni disaster. Together with colleagues, she helped launch the Gauteng chapter of the Healthcare Workers Care Network.

Find and download her PowerPoint presentation here.

Tshepile Tlali

Tlali is a community service medical officer currently working at a community health centre in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape. He has led initiatives to produce COVID-19 management protocols at his centre. 

Tlali is the acting chairperson of the Junior Doctors Association of South Africa — a special interest group of the South African Medical Association (SAMA). He has published papers on his experience with both treating COVID-19 and getting infected with the new coronavirus himself.  

Francois Venter

Venter is the divisional director of Ezintsha, a subdivision of the faculty of health sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. 

His work involves health systems and other research that directly translates into national public health programmes, most recently involving the new antiretroviral drug dolutegravir.

Venter leads multiple antiretroviral treatment optimisation studies and is currently working on new first and second-line antiretroviral options, patient linkage-to-care interventions, and self-testing projects. 

He has been an advisor to various bodies including the South African government, Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, UNAids and the World Health Organisation.