Ministry of Health & Wellness: Overview
Dr Nomafrench Mbombo Biography, Western Cape Minister of Health & Wellness
Dr Nomafrench Mbombo is currently the Provincial Minister of Health & Wellness, Western Cape, South Africa. She is also Former academic, a health professional clinician, a community developer and human rights & gender proponent.
She holds a PhD on Gender & Human rights (University of the Western Cape), Master’s Degree in Maternal & Child Health (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science (University of Fort Hare) and various other certificates, awards and accolades.
Prior her entry into politics in 2014, she was an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. During her academic career she made invaluable contributions to academia locally, in Africa and internationally.
Her overarching interest has always been in community empowerment as a conduit to reclaim the voices of the population at risk and also the marginalized. As an executive and political head of the department for almost a decade, she has spearheaded various innovative and cutting-edge interventions to strengthen the health system, which has resulted in the provincial health department being regarded as the best in the country. These include, but not limited to:
- Successfully leading the western cape government and the province through the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Lead department during external induced disasters and crises ensuring the health system is agile and prepared e.g. Health preparedness for drought (day zero), for lack of and or limited supply of electricity (energy), wildfires, other pandemic outbreaks such as listeriosis, and evidence-based innovative responses to interpersonal violence.
- Various innovations such as the award-winning public electronic dashboard to report and manage various health markers such as COVID, TB and HIV/AIDS, as well as the Hospital Emergencies Centre Triage and Information System (HECTIS).
- On the international conference platforms, she has been advocating for the inclusion of women in economy, moving towards gender equity, and developing new leadership amongst others.
- Phased implementation of health reform to also focus on social determinants of health, thus changing department name to include Wellness, shifting from hegemony hospicentric health system to encompass community oriented primary care as well.
- The first and only SA health department to establish a multidisciplinary Violence Protection Unit (VPU).
- Networking and building partnerships with other stakeholders including private health, universities, governments in African countries and others across the world.
- The only Health department receiving clean audits for five consecutive years from 2019.
As woman in leadership, she has been involved in developing and supporting women in political leadership in Africa. The countries include South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Senegal, Morocco, Zambia, Morroco, Rwanda and others.
In academia, her highlights Include:
- AFRICA: Consultancy for NEPAD (New Partnership in Africa Development) in developing regional Master’s Degree Programme for Nursing & Midwifery for African Union ECCAS block (Economic Community of Central African States).
- Research interest (funded) includes projects in HIV/AIDS and maternal health.
- Multinational (United Nations and World Health Organization): Part of international team co-opted for expert input on developing technical papers on maternal mortality as a human rights issue.
- International travel across continents as visiting academic and or community developer, thus forged networks, mostly in Africa and USA respectively.
Her leadership acumen has placed her in a strategic position where she has been of great influence thus receiving awards and other recognitions.
Dr Mbombo, a mother of two, was born and raised in Mdantsane township, Eastern Cape. She later relocated to Cape Town in 1998.
Her mantra: Where I am planted, I grow.
Know Your Minister of Health