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Barbara Hogan Newly Appointed Health Minister for South Africa to Speak at School of Public Health

November 10, 2008

The Honorable Barbara Hogan, the recently appointed Minister of Health for South Africa, will give a special lecture at the Drexel University School of Public Health on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 4:30 PM in Drexel University’s Main Auditorium, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA. Minister Hogan will be joined by Ahmed Kathrada, a fellow political activist and prison confidante of Nelson Mandela.

The lecture is expected to be the first speech outside of South Africa given by Minister Hogan since her appointment as member of Cabinet. Minister Hogan is expected to speak on the health challenges and concerns facing today’s South Africa, including HIV/AIDS, TB and pressing global issues of health and human rights.

The lecture is this year’s Jonathan Mann Health & Human Rights Memorial Lecture at the Drexel University School of Public Health. The lecture is named for Dr. Jonathan Mann, a champion of public health and human rights and founding dean of the school. Each speaker in the annual series reflects Dr. Mann’s principles and everlasting spirit.

“Barbara Hogan and Ahmed Kathrada are leaders in the global health community,” said Marla J. Gold, MD, dean of Drexel University School of Public Health. “We are honored to host them at our school, and provide the opportunity for our students to meet such important members of the public health and human rights community.”

Hogan was among the many South Africans to be incarcerated for their resistance to the apartheid system and for being a member of a banned organization, the African National Congress. She was released from prison in 1990 and continued to serve in the leadership structures of the ANC, a position that enabled her to participate in the negotiations that ushered in a democratic South Africa. In 1994 Minister Hogan was appointed Member of Parliament, serving in various parliamentary committees until her appointment recently as Health Minister.

Ahmed Kathrada is one of the fathers in the struggle for freedom in South Africa. Politically active in anti-apartheid efforts as a teenager, he was eventually sentenced to life in prison for treason at the Rivonia Trial in 1964. During his time in prison, he and other prisoners supported and educated one another, and continued their political struggle from behind the walls of Robben Island Prison. After serving 26 years in prison, 18 of them on Robben Island, he was released in 1989. In 1994 Kathrada was elected to Parliament in South Africa and served as President Mandela's Parliamentary Counsellor. He was chairperson of the Robben Island Museum Council until his term expired in 2006.

“The lecture is an ideal opportunity to hear first-hand and recognize the important contributions that these two leaders have made – and continue to make – on behalf of justice, nonviolence and human rights in South Africa and across the globe,” said Dr. John A. Rich, professor and director of the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice at the Drexel University School of Public Health. Rich also serves as the president of the board of directors of South Africa Partners.

The Drexel University School of Public Health promotes the health of communities through education, research, service and practice. As the only school of public health in the greater Philadelphia region, the school’s innovative academic programs integrate real world experience with classroom learning in one of the most diverse and culturally rich communities in the United States. The School of Public Health is built on a foundation of understanding that health and human rights are inextricably entwined. This unique, community-collaborative approach fosters leadership and provides students with the critically necessary hands-on experience to meet today’s public health demands. For more information on the lecture please visit http://publichealth.drexel.edu.

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News Media Contact: Niki Gianakaris, Assistant Director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

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