THE ISQUA Conference – An African Perspective

THE ISQUA Conference – An African Perspective

Dr Temitope.I. Bakare BDS, MPH, FMCFD (pictured here), is a Nigerian. She is a Quality Improvement Mentor (presently overseeing QI projects in two General Hospitals in Lagos State).  She is also a Consultant Family Dentist with a Masters in Public Health. She often felt frustrated at the majority of past public health conferences which focused on “Governance” because its implementation was way beyond her reach.

In June 2019 she encountered the COHSASA CEO, Jacqui Stewart, who gave a presentation at ISQua’s regional conference in Lagos on Patients’ Experience of Care. “Jacqui so inspired me with solutions she tendered which were low hanging fruits for the average frontline worker. I decided to take advantage of the wonderful concessions offered to delegates from LMICs and attended the ISQua conference in Cape Town”.

In January this year, President Muhammadu Buhari launched the second National Strategic Health Development Plan from 2018-2022 to attain the Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria. This included quality improvement strategies in six cluster areas of the country. Although, Lagos state was not included in the 1st phase, quality improvement trainings and projects had commenced across the board at the 26 General Hospitals since 2016.

Temitope says the ISQua conference had empowered her with feasible action plans she could easily execute back home. “The conference was such a well-organised and professionally rewarding experience for me.  ISQua must be commended for offering special rates to African delegates”.

The content of the conference was well-balanced and gave her some practical guidance on how to fix immediate problems in her clinical setting. To fix some of these would not cost anything! “The traditional African opening ceremony for her was a ‘wow’ experience with delegates in different traditional attires. This created a feeling of unity amongst the over 1000 delegates from 84 countries. “I learnt so much from both “The African Community of Practice and The Learning Journey Sessions” (which spanned three days) on Data, Co-production and Patient Safety”.

Take home points from these three Learning Journeys included: i) The need to resonate on the stories behind the data, ii) The need to synthesize “patients’ lived reality” with “health workers reality of care” and iii) being empowered to take up the safety challenge on medication without harm (especially in the areas of Poly pharmacy & Multi morbidity in her two facilities).  She also learnt about the amazing potential of digital platforms to enhance the efficiency of patient care especially the role of smart mobile phones in educating patients (PharmAcess & MDoc Sessions). The 4th pillar, used in strengthening the South African Health System, discussed in the plenary session by The Minister of Health, Dr, Zweli Mkhize, also struck a chord in her.

The need for neighbouring private companies around health facilities to step up with their Corporate Social Responsibility in strengthening the health system was noted. At the drive for patient safety, coordinated by WHO, the CEO of ISQua, Peter Lachman, advocated that to “sustain” patient safety, we, the health professionals needed to “engage” and also “nurture” networks with politicians, policy makers and clinicians in our local and international vicinities. He also emphasized that patients should be treated for health and not for disease. Knowing the context of a patient’s life would provide invaluable information for successful clinical outcomes. “I’m so impressed by ISQua and what it has to offer” Temitope says. “I have already started mobilising my colleagues to save for Florence 2020.”

To read more about Dr Temitope. I. Bakare’s experience on each of the conference days at ISQua2019 go to these links:

DAY 1:

DAY 2:

DAY 3:

DAY 4:




Golden Moments from ISQua 2019 in Cape Town

Golden Moments from ISQua 2019 in Cape Town

For three days, COHSASA personnel acquired a glimpse of the work being done internationally in the field of quality improvement and safety in healthcare when well over 1000 delegates from 84 countries gathered at the CTICC in Cape Town, for the annual International Society for Quality in Health Care Conference – a first for Africa. From the opening session, with wonderful drumming, singing and dancing to the closing session, it was a time of magic and learning. The general consensus: roll on next year when we can meet again in Florence!

Click here for extended videos:

Cultural Performance at ISQua’s 36th international conference in Cape Town.

Opening session of ISQua’s 36th annual conference in Cape Town, South Africa

A Successful ISQua Conference in Cape Town 2019

A Successful ISQua Conference in Cape Town 2019

There is perhaps no more desultory sight than an empty exhibition hall where a mere few hours before, likeminded colleagues from 84 countries were passing around business cards, exhibitors were eating the delicious Magnum ice-creams at the  MediClinic stand and accreditation bodies from Tajikistan were handing out chocolates…

But life moves on. We will soon be posting a gallery of photographs about the conference so watch this space. Here’s some to go on with….

Above left: COHSASA personnel entered into the African theme by wearing traditional dress. This included CEO, Jacqui Stewart, in red. She is pictured with (from left) Zanele Maweyi, Thandeka Miller, Mtisunge Chiotha and COHSASA Chair, Sharon Slabbert. Above right: COHSASA personnel and Board members at the COHSASA stand. Notice the little penguin mascot, Pumza, which travelled all the way from Kuala Lumpur to Cape Town for the first Africa conference held by ISQua.




Louis Leipoldt Hospital receives quality award

Louis Leipoldt Hospital receives quality award

There was great joy and celebration (and a fancy double-layered marzipan cake) when the Katrin Kleijnhans Quality Award was given to the Hospital Secretary, Samantha du Plessis, at Louis Leipoldt Hospital.

Theresa Wilson, Manager of the hospital, said that if anyone deserved the award it was Samantha who “worked late at night” to accommodate the COHSASA accreditation process and worked on so many aspects of the quality improvement process.

The award, the Katrin Kleijnhans Quality Trophy is awarded to an individual, a unit, a department or a discipline in a healthcare facility that has made the most impressive or substantial contribution to quality improvement during the COHSASA accreditation process. The recipient is not selected by COHSASA but is chosen by the appropriate authority at the healthcare facility.

The trophy honours the memory of COHSASA colleague, Dr Katrin Kleijnhans, who died in September 2016 after a long illness. It is intended that the trophy carry forward her legacy and commemorate the enormous contribution that Dr Kleijnhans made to improving the quality of health care.

After its initial presentation, it is hoped that the trophy will become an annual internal floating trophy, given to a deserving recipient at the facility.

Louis Leipoldt hospital has been accredited by COHSASA six times and their latest award conferred in August 2019 was a four-year full accreditation award. This signals that the hospital has institutionalised the process of quality improvement.

At the award ceremony (from left): Marguerite Beukman, Nursing Manager; Theresa Wilson, General Manager of Louis Leipoldt; Samantha du Plessis, Hospital Secretary and winner of the Katrin Kleijnhans Quality Award and Marilyn Keegan, Communications Manager of COHSASA.





Deadline extended! Submit your extract for the IHI Africa Forum

Deadline extended! Submit your extract for the IHI Africa Forum

We’ve extended the deadline!


Are you interested in teaching a session at next year’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI’s) Africa Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare? You have even more time to submit your speaking proposal! Abstracts are now due on 22 September 2019.

We are looking for speaking proposals containing content that is tactical and actionable. We are especially interested in receiving proposals on:

  • Governing Quality
  • Healthcare Delivery Redesign
  • Transforming the Healthcare Workforce
  • Improvement in Difficult Settings



The IHI Africa Forum is the destination for healthcare professionals who are looking for expert guidance on quality and safety while making lasting connections. The conference takes place from 4–6 May 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. We hope to see you there!

Lead a workshop at IHI’s Africa Forum 2020. Call for Proposals (SUBMIT A PROPOSAL link to )


Not ready to register? Reserve your spot today at no cost.

COHSASA appoints new standards developer

COHSASA appoints new standards developer

COHSASA’s new Healthcare Standards Development Coordinator is Dr Nicholas Burger (pictured). He comes into COHSASA as a seasoned scientific researcher with three degrees in the field of sports science and exercise medicine but with a wider understanding of the intricacies shaping healthcare service delivery.

Nicholas’ key responsibilities at COHSASA will be to coordinate the standards development process to meet the requirements set out by the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) for developing, implementing, reviewing and updating standards for healthcare facility accreditation.

Only 30-years-old, Nicholas describes his medium-to long-term career aspirations on his Linked-In profile as being “to enhance the quality of life and experience for all stakeholders interacting within healthcare systems, including patients and clinicians, through focused research methodologies, technological advances, and other innovative solutions.”

His latest career move into standards development is where he believes he has found his niche. “I feel passionate about improving quality and mitigating risk for the benefit of all actors within the health system.”

No ivory-tower academic

Nicholas is not an ivory-tower academic, believing that research should not gather dust on a shelf. “Too many doctoral studies in South Africa concentrate on subjects that are obscure and irrelevant to the needs of the country. I believe that every thesis should add value by solving relevant issues so that it impacts on and benefits society.”

Nicholas began his career at Stellenbosch University in 2008 where he studied for a BSc in Sport Science. He was the top overall student in his final year. This was followed by an Honours degree in Physiological Science a year later. His thesis focused on the damaging effects of downhill running on skeletal muscle. He then moved across to the University of Cape Town where his Masters degree morphed into a PhD in Exercise Science.

Mentored by a team of top SA Rugby medical experts and sports science legends (Dr Sharief Hendricks and Professors Mike Lambert and Tim Noakes), Nicholas embarked on research that would examine safe techniques in rugby tackling. His research is frequently cited because – as anyone who follows the sport knows – rugby injuries can be catastrophic and life changing, and the area of injury prevention has gained immense momentum in recent years.

Making things safer and better

“Aside from the immediate injury and its medical consequences, it is also the financial and social implications that impact heavily on the player and his/her family.” These aspects concern Nicholas. It is part of what he wants to change about our society.

“I want to make things better and safer—whether it be on the field of play or in the operating theatre—through mitigating risk.”

He has presented work from his thesis at several local and international conferences including the 34th International Conference on Biomechanics in Sport in Japan (2016), the 16th Biennial Congress of the South African Sports Medicine Association in South Africa (2015), the 11th Annual Meeting and 6th Conference of HEPA (European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity) Europe in Turkey (2015), and the 20th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science in Sweden (2015).

From January 2012 to June 2019, Nicholas assisted with scientific research at the University of Cape Town’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (ESSM). His key responsibilities included data collection/management and analysis as well as mentoring and lecturing students. He has also conducted peer reviews for some of the world’s leading sports science and sports injury publications.

No stranger to academic publishing, Nicholas has published five academic papers as first author and six as co-author in some of the world’s most prestigious sports science journals including the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the British Journal of Sports Medicine, and the European Journal of Sport Science.

Prior to COHSASA, Nicholas was employed as a healthcare consultant at US-based market research and consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan, where he focused on markets in Africa and the Middle East. He operated across various disease areas and healthcare sectors including pharmaceuticals, hospitals/healthcare infrastructure and medical devices.

For all his interest in sport (principally tennis and football) and his professional capacity to consult on health and wellness, Nicholas is not radical about prescribing wholesale lifestyle changes—unless they are warranted. “Changes to one’s lifestyle can be small and incremental and, if sustained and consolidated, will eventually manifest in improved quality of life and positive health outcomes.”

Welcome to COHSASA Nicholas!

A survivor finds a mission…

A survivor finds a mission…

Gloria Gaynor’s hit song “I Will Survive” keeps coursing through my head during the interview with new COHSASA employee, Zanele Maweyi (right).

Zanele, mother of three, was unemployed for eight months before she landed the position of Secretary to the CEO of COHSASA recently.

“There were many days when I was not sure how I was going to feed my children,” she says matter-of-factly.

With all her credentials, including her current studies for a Diploma in Office Management and Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), it is admirable that Zanele, a gentle but feisty personality, survived the despair of unemployment when her brother was stabbed eight times in October last year.

She lives in Gugulethu beyond the busy Cape Town Metropole and, like thousands of other South Africans, undertakes the mammoth task of getting to work every day. Taxis are expensive; the trains are being burnt and buses are too often unreliable.

From the time she completed her Matric at the Simon Estes Music High School (named after the famous African-American opera singer), Zanele has been conscientious in building up her career. She started working at Pick ‘n Pay soon after she adopted her cousin’s two children; a daughter, Simankele and a son Masixole who are now 13 and 11 years old respectively. Four years ago, she had her own daughter, Khanyisa.

After obtaining a Business Management Certificate at Mother City College, Zanele spent two years (from 2008 to 2010) at Varsity College obtaining qualifications in Bookkeeping and Financial Accounting. In 2015 she obtained a certificate from Varsity College in Business Communication.

She has held positions as receptionist, PA, finance assistant and office administrator in various Cape Town firms. In 2018 she held the position of PA to the MD and Chief Operating Officer at Nali’bali, a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading.

Zanele hopes to continue developing her career at COHSASA.

“I hope that I will use what I learn to one day be a Managing Director of an IT company. It is IT that truly interests me”. Given her resilience and courage, nothing is impossible for this 32-year-old.