On 19th September Professor Fran Baum delivered the Inaugural Susser-Stein distinguished lecture in East London, South Africa at a conference jointly hosted by the Public Health Association of South Africa and Fort Hare University. Fort Hare is the Alma Ata of Nelson Mandela. The distinguished lecture has been established to honour Mervyn Susser and Zena Stein who are pioneering epidemiologists who advocated strongly for social justice at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The title of Fran’s address was “Beyond neo-liberalism: an agenda for achieving global health equity and social justice” and a video is available at
Fran reports that the conference highlighted the many challenges faced by post-apartheid South Africa which is still an unequal country. For example just two people own as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the population. While considerable progress has been made in relation to HIV/AIDS, ensuring all people have access to good treatment remains a major challenge. Many of the basic social determinants including clean water and sanitation are denied to large proportions of the population. While in South Africa Fran has attended a workshop run by the People’s Health Movement-South Africa and worked with research collaborators.