Professor Helen Rees – Founder and Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute
This week we talk to Professor Helen Rees – Founder and Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute of the University of Witwatersrand. The institute’s core focal areas encompass HIV, sexual and reproductive health and vaccine preventable diseases. Prof. Rees highlights some of the developments in the vaccination of pregnant women to transfer immunity to their babies, as well as new HIV prevention technologies such as the use of anti-retroviral drugs to prevent HIV. Prof. Rees remarks on some of the awards that she has received in recognition for her contribution to national health policy and global health. Prof. Rees reflects on aspects of South Africa’s transformation noting some of the challenges she experienced in a mixed race marriage in the struggle against Apartheid. On issues of women’s advancement she notes there should be a more concerted effort towards establishing global and national movements to ensure that women’s voices are heard, that their issues are addressed, and their presence in leadership grows. Tune in for more….