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Occupational and Environmental Health


The Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) was formally launched in March 2003 by then National the then National Minister of Environmental Affairs, the Honourable Mr. Valli Moosa. However, the roots of the COEH go back much further - as far back as the mid 1980's. The COEH brings together some of the more experienced practitioners in occupationl and environmental health (OEH) in KwaZulu-Natal, and probably, South Africa. The COEH was an initiative by the former dean of the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, Professor Barry Kistnasamy, who brought together three existing entities in the faculty to create a vibrant Centre. The Africa Centre for Indoor Air Quality (CIAQ) located within the Department of Physiology, and headed by Dr. Nceba Gqaleni, the Occupational Health Programme (OHP) of the Department of Community Health and the Industrial Health Unit (IHU), also located within the Department of Community Health and headed by Dr. Rajen Naidoo, formed the basis of the new Centre.

In 2007, the Centre was upgraded to a department and became the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health (DOEH). It brought together the extensive academic training skills, research experience, community and trade union relationships, as well as key national and international initiatives resident within the independent programmes. College Reorganisation within the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2012 saw the DOEH becoming a discipline within the School of Nursing and Public Health in the new College Model.

The DOEH prides itself as a leading organisation in the promotion of worker and community health by addressing critical issues in occupational and environmental health. In total, the combined experience of the DOEH is approximately 40 years in the field of Occupational and Environmental Health.


Latest News
New Development Medical Officer for Occupational and Environmental...
Dr Pheliwe Mazula-Kironde joins UKZN as the new Development Medical Officer.
DoEH trains Warwick Junction informal traders
DOEH Conducted an Occupational Health and Safety Training for the Safer Warwick Project called Phephanathi. The Department conducted the training following an invitation by Asiye eTafuleni, an NGO working with the informal traders at Warwick Junction.
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Edgewood  031-260-1111 
Howard College
Medical School

Did you know?

DOEH started as a Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health and was granted a Department status in 2007.

Professor Nceba Gqaleni was the first Director of COEH, the forerunner of  the DOEH

In 2008 Professor Rajen Naidoo was appointed Chief Specialist/Head of Department of Occupational and Environmental Health.

More than 200 students have graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health since the programme started


In 2009 Dr Poovy Reddy became the first PhD graduate of the Department.


In 2010 Dr Nadira Govender passed her College of Medicine Exams and became the first specialist in Occupational Medicine produced by the DOEH.


The traditional medicine laboratory headed by Professor Nceba Gqaleni is the only laboratory of its kind in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

Globally UKZN is one of only three South African universities in the top 500 Universities in the world.

UKZN is the third most productive University in terms of its research production.

The University employs over 5000 staff members.

UKZN has been home to many successful sportsman over the years, Tommy Bedford a former Springbok Rugby player, Enver Mall the CEO of the KwaZulu-Natal rugby Union, Shaun Pollock & Jonty Rhodes South African Cricketers.

Some high profile businessmen studied at UKZN, Sol Kerzner the developer of Lost city & more, Stephen Saad the CEO & founder of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings, Guy Brazier the regional leader of Deloitte & Alan Olivier the CEO of Grindrod Group.

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