AfrIPEN board

Dr Gérard Filies (Chairperson)

Dr Gérard Filies is a registered Occupational Therapist by profession with a B.Sc. (Occupational Therapy) degree from the University of the Western Cape. He also has an M.Phil. (Health Sciences Education) Master’s degree from Stellenbosch University and a PhD in the Child and Family Studies programme at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The title of his PhD study was Development of an interprofessional education model that aims to instil the core competencies of interprofessional collaborative practice in allied health students’ curriculum.

At UWC, he is employed as a full-time senior lecturer and Chairperson of the Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU) in the Faculty of Community & Health Sciences. Research areas of interest are aligned to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) , 4 (Quality Education) and include: Interprofessional Education, Service-Learning, Health Promotion, Primary Health Care and Community-Based Education. Dr Gérard Filies as part of a team was appointed as convenor for driving the process for registration and accreditation of the Postgraduate Diploma in Interprofessional Education in Health – a first of its kind in the Western Cape, if not a first in South Africa. The programme was launched in August 2021. This is aligned to Agenda 2063, Aspiration 6, by getting the African Health Professionals to relying on their potential to work collaboratively in addressing the health inequalities in our country.

Judy N. Khanyola (Vice-Chairperson)

Judy N. Khanyola is a Registered Nurse and is currently the Chair of the Center for Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda. Judy’s work focusses on equipping the nursing and midwifery profession in Africa to do what it is they were educated and trained to do as qualified health professionals. Previously, she led the strengthening of pre and in service education at 22 schools of nursing and midwifery in six countries in Africa through ICAP at Columbia University as the Regional Nursing Advisor for Africa. Judy was from 2018 to 2021, the Nursing Now Africa Region Representative where she contributed to the campaign to raise the status and profile of nurses in Africa. Judy serves on the boards of several African convening bodies; AFREhealth, for health professionals’ education, research, and service delivery; AfriPEN, for interprofessional education and collaborative practice and AfroPHC for primary health care.

Farhin Delawala (PR & Comms)

Farhin Delawala (PR & Communications) (BA, PGCE, BA Hons, MHSc, PhD) coordinates the marketing for AfrIPEN. She is a full-time Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Thabo Mbeki African School of Public and International Affairs, University of South Africa (UNISA). Farhin has extensive experience in qualitative research studies. Her background in psychology and education added to her interest in holistic healthcare, gearing her studies towards Interprofessional Education (IPE). Currently, Farhin is continuing her research in IPE and is one of the leading members of the Afri-VIPE project focusing on providing virtual healthcare students, from multiple universities, with an interprofessional orientation and virtual training experience.

Dr Christmal Christmals (Treasurer)

Dr Christmal Christmals (Treasurer) is a scholar in Health Professions Education and Human Resources for Health (HRH) Policy niche areas. At health systems-level, Dr Christmals research centres on health workforce policy and its implications on Health Professions Education. At health workforce training level, Christmal focuses on health professions curricula development, interprofessional education and clinical education. As a Joanna Briggs Institute trained Systematic Review and Evidence Synthesis Expert, Dr Christmals is a respected review and evidence synthesis methodologist who has been a consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO) on health systems, especially health workforce planning, training, financing and policy in Africa. Dr Christmals is the Chairperson of the Health Professions Education Scientific Committee and a member of the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) of the Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University (NWU). He is the coordinator for the postgraduate programme at the Centre for Health Professions Education. Prior to joining the NWU, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Science and Technology-National Research Foundation funded South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI)-Chair for Research on Health Workforce for Equity and Quality, Centre for Health Policy, Wits School of Public Health.

Luzaan Africa (Secretariat)

Luzaan Africa is the secretary and board member of AfrIPEN. She works as a lecturer in the Interprofessional Education Unit in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences at the University of the Western Cape. She joined the unit in 2016 after nearly two years in private practice. In this position, she is actively involved in the development and implementation of an interprofessional curriculum for undergraduate and postgraduate health and social science students. She holds a BSc Physiotherapy, an MSc Physiotherapy, and PhD in Physiotherapy. Her doctoral study aimed to develop guidelines that incorporate interprofessional practice principles into the rehabilitation sector at a primary health care facility in the Western Cape. Her research interests include interprofessional education and practice, primary health care, and health professions education.

Afripen Board

  • Estelle Viljoen – Sefako Makgato University
  • Fiston Kitema – University of Rwanda
  • Gerard Filies – University of the Western Cape 
  • Gibson Masache – University of Malawi 
  • Hanlie Pitout – Sefako Makgato University 
  • Jana Muller – Stellenbosch University 
  • Juliet Savanhu – Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham 
  • Judy Khanyola – University of Global Health Equity 
  • Luzaan Afrika – University of the Western Cape 
  • Penny Orton – Durban University of Technology 
  • Helga Lister – University of Pretoria 
  • Moselene du Plessis – University of Pretoria 
  • Nthabiseng Ramodisa – University of Pretoria 
  • Renata Eccles – University of Pretoria 
  • Shalote Chipamaungua-Bamu – University of Zimbabwe


Scroll to Top