Ian Couper

Stellenbosch University
South Africa

afrehealth nominee Ian Cooper

Dr Ian Couper is Director of the Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health and Professor of Rural Health in the Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University (SU), since 2016. This follows nearly fourteen years as the inaugural chair of rural health at the University of the Witwatersrand, and as head of family medicine in the North West Provincial Department of Health, South Africa. He is a family physician and spent 25 years in the public health service.

He was active in the formation of the Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA) in 1997, and chaired the international Working Party on Rural Practice of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) from 2007 to 2013. In 2018, he was awarded the Fellowship of WONCA for his service.

His main research areas are human resources for rural health and rural health professions education He teaches on the SU MPhil in Health Professions Education and supervises graduate research in the Centre for Health Professions Education. He is editor of the African section of Rural and Remote Health journal and an associate editor for BMC Medical Education.

He has supported medical education initiatives in a number of African countries. He served as a consultant for Capacity Plus to the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) in Africa, 2012-2015, and in the decentralised learning programme of the Stellenbosch University Comprehensive Capacity Enhancement through Engagement with Districts (SUCCEED) project, 2015-2018. He is the PI for the Stellenbosch University Network for Strengthening Rural Inter-Professional Education (SUNSTRIPE) project (2019-2022), and for the SU component of the Africa ECHO Network for Health Professions Education project, which includes AFREhealth.

After participating as a member of two WHO guideline development groups, he served two terms as a member of the WHO Guidelines Review Committee (2014-2016, 2017-2019).

He has held visiting appointments at Monash and Flinders Universities in Australia and the University of Washington in the USA. He is currently a visiting professor at Wits University, South Africa, and an Honorary Adjunct Professor in the Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Adelaide University, Australia.

He was elected as a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2021.

About us

The African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) is an interprofessional health grouping that seeks to work all stakeholders interested in health profession education , research and service delivery to improve the quality of health care in Africa through research, education and capacity building. It is a conglomerate of individuals, institutions, associations and networks from all the geographic and linguistic regions of Africa namely Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone and Arabophone. Read More...

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