Diabetes Summit 2023

Watch the recording of the 2023 Diabetes Summit here!

Diabetes Targets, Translating Policy into Reality

The University of Pretoria Diabetes Research Centre in collaboration with the Diabetes Alliance in South Africa, cordially invite you to the 2023 Diabetes Summit.

The Diabetes Summit will be proudly hosted by UP under the theme: ‘Diabetes Targets, Translating Policy into Reality ́.

2023 Diabetes Summit

The 2023 Diabetes Summit will focus on the newly adopted 90-60-50 cascade for diabetes and hypertension as the first step to improving early detection and treatment of NCDs+.

The 2023 Diabetes Summit is aimed at discussing the implementation of the NSP and the requirements for achieving the diabetes and hypertension targets. Throughout the Summit, several discussion panels will be held, addressing the various components of the NSP as well as implementation barriers and enablers.

The Summit will further explore the role of government, academia, healthcare providers, non-governmental organisations, and other players in improving the prevention and control of diabetes and hypertension in the context of integrated and people-centred health services.

Date: Wednesday 15 November 2023
Time: 08:00 – 18:00
Venue: Future Africa Campus, University of Pretoria, South Africa
RSVP: Click here
Enquiries: Dr. Patrick Ngassa Piotie at patrick.ngassapiotie@up.ac.za

Diabetes Summit 2023 Programme



2023 Diabetes Summit Speakers

Dr. Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson is Director of the South African Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance, a health and social justice grouping of more than 300 organisations and individuals fighting for NCDs+ equity. Her current passion is NCDs policy coherence. With over 50 years of work experience in the health sector, she has a 360-degree perspective stretching from Soweto in the 1970s to continental and global forays. From professional nursing, Vicki moved on to receive both an MSc and PhD in Medicine from Wits. She has pioneered nursing specialist roles in the ambulatory management of people with hypertension and diabetes. Vicki was born with psoriasis, resulting in many NCDs – including Type 2 diabetes requiring insulin therapy.


Prof. Naomi (Dinky) Levitt is a diabetologist with a strong interest in public health. She is a senior scholar and fellow at the University of Cape Town and Director of the Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa (CDIA). Naomi has been involved in many national, regional and international efforts to address clinical practice, research direction and policy relating to diabetes – including acting as a consultant for the WHO, President of Diabetes South Africa, and Chairperson of SEMDSA. She has authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and supervised more than 20 PhD and postdoctoral students.

Prof. Sumaiya Adam holds an MBChB from UKZN’s Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, and an FCOG (SA) and MMed (O&G).  Earning a Certificate in Maternal and Fetal Medicine in 2014, she obtained her PhD in 2018. Sumaiya is currently one of the driving forces in the Maternal and Fetal Medicine Unit at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital at the University of Pretoria. Passionate about enhancing pregnancy outcomes and women’s long-term health, she specialises in diabetes prevention during pregnancy. She is pioneering connections between pregnancy risk factors and proactive primary healthcare strategies, all while nurturing the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Itumeleng Setlhare is the Deputy Director: Non-Communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Health in South Africa. He has 33 years of experience working in the public health system – 6 years as a nurse, 3 years as Assistant Director: Chronic Diseases and Geriatrics at a Provincial Office, and 8 years as Deputy Director: Eye Care Services at the same Provincial Office. In 2015, he moved on to his current position.  Itumeleng holds a BPA Honours degree, a postgraduate diploma in Health Systems Management and Executive Leadership, an MBA, and an MPA specialising in Monitoring & Evaluation.

Buyelwa Majikela-Dlangamandla has worked at the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and as a Diabetes Educator for more than 15 years. After obtaining her Master’s Degree (MSc in Nursing at UCT, she continued working as a clinical educator. She is currently the diabetes coordinator at Groote Schuur Hospital’s state-of-the-art  Diabetes Centre. Buyelwa is the grandmother of two boys.

Bridget McNulty is an internationally published author and diabetes advocate. She is the co-founder of Sweet Life Diabetes Community, a non-profit and PBO that serves as South Africa’s largest online diabetes community, and is the current chairperson and co-founder of SA Diabetes Advocacy, which unites all the organisations of people with diabetes in South Africa. She also co-founded the Diabetes Alliance. Bridget is known as one of the leading voices for diabetes in South Africa, and has been living with Type 1 diabetes for the last 16 years.

Laurie van der Merwe has more than 25 years of experience as a registered diabetes educator and coach, and she’s dedicated to empowering people of all ages to make informed lifestyle choices towards the self-management of their diabetes. She is a Diabetes Conversations expert trainer, received the Novo Nordisk travel grant in 2003, and was named the CDE top educator in 2009. She also received the CDE award for Community Service in 2014. Laurie is well-known in the industry for her passion and commitment to ensure a professional registration system for Diabetes Educators and an education programme for healthcare professionals in South Africa.

Dr. Sanele Ngcobo is a lecturer at the University of Pretoria who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the healthcare field. He earned a Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice in 2011. Building on his foundation, he pursued his passion for public health, obtaining a postgraduate diploma (2014) and a Master’s Degree (2016) in Public Health. In 2022, his dedication culminated in the achievement of a PhD, primarily focused on the pivotal role of community health workers in HIV care – a testament to his commitment to improving healthcare outcomes through research and education.

Dr. Michelle Carrihill is a paediatrician and endocrinologist in both government and private sectors, caring for children, adolescents and youth living with diabetes, endocrine disorders and metabolic conditions. She advocates for resource-effective, evidence-based quality healthcare provision and the prevention of disease and disability. Michelle practises individualised care of the person living with diabetes, with personalised choices of management regimens, and attention to psychological, social, family and environmental factors that may impact their diabetes self-management. She advocates for the use of technology and AI to supplement and simplify diabetes management, and is motivating for more access to these tools.

Dr. Annelet Kruger is a family physician with more than 20 years of experience in primary care. She graduated from the University of Pretoria and completed a Master’s Degree in Family Medicine at Stellenbosch University. Her clinical experience includes work in district hospitals in the Eastern Free State and Tshwane, as well as extensive time in primary care facilities. She has a specific interest in clinical governance and quality improvement in primary care, and is currently appointed as the Family Physician and team leader in the District Clinical Specialist Team in Tshwane. She has published in various journals, including The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Dr. Zaheer Bayat is a specialist physician and endocrinologist working in Gauteng. He’s the Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at Helen Joseph Hospital. In addition, he’s the Acting Academic Head of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Wits University. He’s also a clinician in private practice and a director at the Lenasia Clinic Trial Centre (LCTC). Zaheer is the immediate past chairperson of the Society for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes of South Africa (SEMDSA). He’s a contributor and part of the editorial panel of the South African Type 2 Diabetes Guidelines as well as the South African Thyroid Guidelines.

Dr. Natalie Mayet is the Deputy Director of The National Institute for Communicable Diseases. An occupational health physician and alumni of The Institute of Functional Medicine, she’s qualified in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Public Health, Health Services Management, Occupational Health and holds an MPhil in Strategy. Natalie is the immediate past chairperson of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) for Africa. She serves on the Africa CDC and Prevention Expert Task Force for Workforce Development and Public Health Institute Development and NCDs, and is a mentor on the Kofi Annan Health Leadership Programme for Africa. She works closely with the National Department of Health in integrated disease surveillance.  

Dr. Angie Jackson-Morris has been working for better health across a range of countries and sectors for over 25 years, particularly to prevent and reduce NCDs. Angie’s expertise includes designing and guiding strategies, policies, programmes, and capacity development – harnessing robust research to create positive change led by local stakeholders. Angie is currently Associate Director and co-leads the RTI International Center for Global NCDs (a non-profit research institute). She previously led multinational and national programmes across diverse countries. She holds PhD, MSc, and MA Honours degrees from the University of Edinburgh and has published widely on global health.

Nqobile Ngema is an epidemiologist, an Extraordinary Clinical Lecturer at the School of Medicine of the University of Pretoria, a South African Medical Journal editor, and an SABC health expert. She has experience in disease surveillance systems, research, outbreak investigations, large health data analysis, and scientific writing. Nqobile completed her Master’s Degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2021 and published five articles on research topics such as healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance and mycoses, HIV-opportunistic infections, outbreak investigations, and medical male circumcision in traditionally circumcising communities. Nqobile has received various international and national accolades – both as a clinician and an epidemiologist.

Bilqees Sayed is a Deputy Director at the National Department of Health, and manages the research and surveillance programme for non-communicable diseases, disabilities, and geriatrics, as well as the cancer programme. She is responsible for supporting the collection of appropriate, reliable data; promoting research; and supporting initiatives to improve primary and secondary prevention, early detection and the management of adults with non-communicable diseases. Within the cancer programme, she is involved in various cancer-related projects, and also responsible for facilitating the development of policy and guidelines for priority cancers in South Africa.She holds a Master’s Degree in Medical Science (Public Health).

Prof. Nasheeta Peer is a physician by training and in addition to her medical degree (MBChB) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, she holds MBA, MPH and PhD degrees from the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is a Chief Specialist Scientist in the Non-Communicable Diseases Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCT. Over the past two decades, she has focused and published extensively on non-communicable diseases. Her interests lie in cardiometabolic and cardiovascular diseases epidemiology, and health systems research. She serves on the editorial boards of several international peer-reviewed journals.  

Cathy Haldane, a Senior Scientist on the NCD Programme at FIND, is a pharmacist who had a fulfilling pharmaceutical career at Roche Diabetes Care and Sanofi before her current role at FIND, a global non-profit organisation. She leads the ACCEDE project, funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust, which is focused on enhancing access to continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology in Kenya and South Africa through affordability, operational research, and capacity-building efforts. Cathy, a Diabetes Alliance board representative, champions a collaborative approach to enhance the well-being of individuals with diabetes, focusing on meaningful impact through multi-partner engagement in diabetes management.

Omar Sherief Mohammad is the Cluster Head for India, Middle East & Africa (IMEA) within the Roche Diabetes Care (RDC) Global Commercial Organisation. Omar has two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical sector, primarily in diabetes care in India, global marketing in Denmark, and emerging Asian markets. Before joining Roche, Omar was the VP and GM of Novo Nordisk, Vietnam and other South-East Asian emerging markets. Omar believes there is an extreme need for improving access to care to support the underprivileged section of the community by creating a holistic ecosystem for screening, awareness and education. As head of IMEA, he leads Roche in designing a patient-centric approach to address the diabetes burden in the region.

Prof. Paul Rheeder is a trained specialist physician with a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology obtained from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He occupied the Medihelp Chair in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pretoria (UP) for 10 years, where he was also past Acting Head of the School of Health Systems and Public Health. Currently, Paul is employed as Specialist Physician at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital’s Department of Internal Medicine. His main research interest is to improve the management and outcomes of patients with diabetes mellitus. He is the director of the UP Diabetes Research Centre and has contributed to 96 peer-reviewed publications (available in PubMed).

Dr. Lungi Nyathi is the CEO of Alignd, one of the few companies that offer value-based care solutions for complex health problems. Their leading, novel product is palliative care in the oncology setting. She is passionate about building sustainable and caring health systems in Africa. With more than a decade’s experience working in healthcare funding and managed care in South Africa at executive level, she’s also served on a wide range of boards in the healthcare sector. Lungi is responsible for developing and enhancing health risk management strategy, new products and solutions, clinical and health risk thought leadership, and public health strategy.

Dr. Patrick Ngassa Piotie is a public health specialist with over a decade of research and project management experience, a medical degree, and a PhD in public health. Patrick is a senior programme manager at the University of Pretoria Diabetes Research Centre. His focus is non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and his interests include diabetes management in primary care, mental health in diabetes, and the integration of NCD services in HIV/AIDS and TB programmes. Adept in health systems strengthening and implementation science, Patrick is a strong advocate for access to quality diabetes care in developing countries. He is the Chairperson of the Diabetes Alliance.

Jane Ball is Head of Population Health Management at Discovery Health with risk management responsibility for disease management programmes, oncology risk, and KeyCare and other low-income products. She also leads the Care Management Organisation (CMO) – a unit within Discovery Health focused on furthering disease management through risk transfer, shared value arrangements and investment in innovation and new technology. Jane obtained a BPharm degree and MSc in Drug Utilisation Studies from Nelson Mandela University, and then completed an executive Master’s Degree in Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics (LSE). She actively fosters the use of behavioural science in the development of population health management programmes.   

Dr. Adelard Kakunze is a medical doctor, an accomplished public health professional, and a social entrepreneur committed to engaging in knowledge translation to improve health systems in Africa. He is currently leading the Unit of Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health under the Division of Disease Control and Prevention at the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Adelard is also the founder of two start-ups and Founding Curator of the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Community (Global Shapers) in Burundi. He’s a 2015 Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneur, an IVLP and YALI Alumni, and has been a One Young World Ambassador since 2013.

Karyn Maughan is a senior legal journalist at News24, documentary producer and bestselling author. She writes for News24 and appears on SABC, Newzroom Afrika and eNCA. She’s a BBC, Al Jazeera and SkyNews contributor and regularly offers analysis on some of South Africa’s most high-profile legal stories, but is most passionate about reporting on social justice issues. Karyn has been named as one of South Africa’s most influential journalists, and has over 492k followers on Twitter. She’s written three books and has successfully challenged efforts by former President Jacob Zuma to privately prosecute her for writing about court papers filed by his own lawyers.

Diabetes Alliance Competition Law Brief

Please download the Diabetes Alliance Competition Law Brief here.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Diamond sponsors

Sanofi: Chasing the miracles of science to improve people’s lives. For over a century, we have been leading the way in diabetes care, offering innovative solutions to help people manage their condition.

Gold sponsors

The University of Pretoria Diabetes Research Centre is an initiative which aims to champion and promote optimal diabetes prevention and control at all levels of care through research, innovation and advocacy.

Roche, developing innovative medicines, treatments and diagnostics that continue to revolutionise healthcare.

BD, advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care.

Silver sponsors

Discovery, guided by a clear core purpose- to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives.

FIND is accelerating equitable access to reliable diagnosis around the world.

Novo Nordisk, driving change to prevent chronic diseases.