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Monday, August 3, 2020
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About Us

Wits Health Consortium (Pty) Ltd and the Equine Health Fund

Wits Health Consortium (Pty) Ltd (WHC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Witwatersrand, established in 2001 to manage research funding in the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University. Prof Ian Sanne has initiated the EHF under Wits Health Consortium due to the deep experience of the organization in grants management for major international agencies such as National Institute for Health, USAID, EU, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The EHF division of the company has two reporting lines – (1) Legal, Financial, Human Resources and Grants Management report to the WHC; (2) Academic reporting line is to the Head of the Department of Medicine. The key personnel of the EHF are Prof Ian Sanne, the Founding Director; Dr Bev Parker, Veterinarian; and Mrs Nora-Jean Freeman, EHF Coordinator.

Our Leadership

  • Prof Ian Sanne
    Founding Director

    An Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University of the Witwatersrand; and honorary Associate Professor at the Boston University Centre for Global Health & Development. Prof Sanne has a track record of outstanding managerial skills, with substantial research and implementation grants awarded.

  • Dr Beverley Parker
    Veterinarian

    A veterinarian with 20 years regulatory and liaison experience. She works closely with DAFF, serves on the executive of the South African Equine Veterinary Association and is the equine industry representative on the Animal Health Forum.

  • Mrs Nora-Jean Freeman
    EHF Coordinator

    NJ has been involved in the horse sport industry for several years, having worked at the then SA National Equestrian Federation, following which she spent five years at the Gauteng Horse Society as Administration Manager, and subsequently General Manager.

Equine Health Fund – Specific Aims

  1. Regular communication with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries ( DAFF)
  2. Develop documentation for and on behalf of the DAFF
  3. Regulatory processes for OIE, EU and other trade partners
  4. Establishing and leading the horse import-export task team ( HIETT)
  5. Veterinary Liaison between industry and the DAFF
  1. To develop an epidemiology group in support of DAFF to meet surveillance, movement control and reporting requirements.
  2. To support DAFF to meet disease investigation, containment and where applicable, eradication requirements.
  3. To develop a database system to support collection, integration and analysis of data to comply with international surveillance and reporting requirements. This will be started by the industry for AHS with the aim of developing a partnership with the DAFF for roll out to a national database system.
  4. To develop diagnostic platforms in support of disease diagnosis, cost-efficient surveillance, and immunologic end-points of vaccine trials.
  5. To develop vaccines for the major diseases affecting horses.
  1. To investigate causes of embryonic loss, abortions and neonatal loss in horses.
  2. To support the development of research in reproductive productivity and general physiology.
  1. To support the research requirements of the National Horseracing Authority (NHA) and the South African Equine Federation (SAEF).
  1. To support human capacity development at post-graduate level, focused on the equine industry as a measure to secure the future of the industry. The University of Pretoria is the only Veterinary Faculty in South Africa, and therefore the development of veterinarians, nurses, technicians and laboratory personnel occurs predominantly at this institution. Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute is also a recognized post-graduate training facility.