Professor Busisiwe Ncama is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of UKZN’s College of Health Sciences. She previously held the title of Dean and Head of School: Nursing and Public Health and prior to this as a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Nursing.
Prof Ncama obtained a Bachelor of Advanced Nursing degree from UNISA in 1996, a Master’s degree in Nursing in 2000 from the University of Natal, a PHD in Health Sciences from UKZN and in 2016, a Master’s in Business Administration also from UKZN.
Prof Ncama practiced as a critical care nurse and later moved into the area of HIV and Aids. She received a Fogarty International Postdoctoral Fellowship which was tenured at Caprisa (Centre for Programme of HIV Aids Research in SA) where she worked as a research fellow and completed courses in HIV/AIDS Counselling and Education and the CAPRISA ‘EcoBio’ Clinical Trials Training Program.
Prof Ncama serves on a number of high level structures including as a Senate Representative on the UKZN Council, member of UKZN Council Membership Subcommittee, member of UKZN Remuneration Committee of Council (REMCO), member of KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Health Research and Ethics Committee, member of University of KwaZulu-Natal and Department of Health Steering Committee and a member of the KZN Health MASEA Adjudication Committee.
She was the Director of UKZN’s World Health Collaborating Centre (WHO) for Community Problem Solving in Nursing and Midwifery in Africa. She is also a member of Fundisa (Forum of University Nursing Deans in South Africa), Sigma Thetha Tau International Honour Society for Nurses and UCSF International HIV/ Aids network and has collaborated with researchers from other countries in HIV and Aids research.
She has previously served as a member of the Health Sciences Deans Forum, as a UKZN Representative in the South African Committee of Medical Deans, Chair of the MBCHB Programs Committee, member of the KZN College of Nursing Council, member of KZN College of Nursing Senate, member of MEPI 1 Advisory Board and UCSF International Network of HIV/AIDS Nursing Research to name a few.
In 2007, Prof Ncama received the UKZN Distinguished Teachers Award. She has taught in other countries such as United Arab Emirates and developed HIV/ AIDS Nursing Curricula for use in East Africa. She has supervised a number of postgraduate students (12 PHDs, 1 Full Research Masters, 7 Coursework masters and 3 honours students supervised to graduation); both local and international; working in the area of health systems strengthening around HIV and AIDS care at a community level among vulnerable groups and communities, including children.
Prof Ncama is an NRF C-rated researcher and has published over 60 peer reviewed journal papers, 1 book chapter and 3 research reports. Her research interests is on systems of care at a community level; with a view towards health systems strengthening. Studies published are mainly around access to services and acceptability of services in different contexts. Her research focusses on how best to deliver community level care to people in general and vulnerable groups, especially those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS so as to improve access. This includes studies on community/ home based care, community level care in informal work place settings such as minibus taxi industry and studies on task shifting models such as Nurse Initiated and Managed Anti-retroviral therapy.
Prof Ncama is currently a member of the Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) programme, an interdisciplinary research partnership driven by nine international partners. Researchers who are part of the programme are investigating food systems under significant pressure from demographic changes, shifts in dietary patterns, land use changes and urbanisation. Poor nourishment leads to a rise in non-communicable diseases, and incorrect food production and food systems lead to challenges of social and economic development while also threatening environmental sustainability. The project is supported by the Wellcome Trust.