National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Skills to prepare South Africa for future pandemics

The NSTF’s panel discussion at the SFSA: The NSTF will hosted one panel session at the SFSA on Skills to prepare South Africa for future pandemics, under the auspices of the NSTF’s Science Councils and Statutory Bodies sector. Two 90 minutes sessions will take place on 1 December 2021 under the following sub-themes as follows:

  • 13:30-15:00: Skills for pandemics – Monitoring, modelling and communication


About the topic for the NSTF panel sessions: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is teaching humanity to manage outbreaks of diseases better, but most of all, prevent them altogether. What have we learnt from the current pandemic about the skills that should be prioritised to enable South Africa to better prepare for future pandemics? What specialists and further research are needed? The outcomes of the NSTF Discussion Forum on ‘Preparing for epidemics in South Africa – human and animal’ highlighted the rising importance of certain areas of academia and research in the context of outbreaks of epidemics/pandemics.

Scientists from various disciplines and stakeholders are invited to participate in discussing these questions:

* COVID-19 – What skills are needed to improve the country’s response to the ongoing pandemic and for future pandemics?

 * Monitoring – What skills are required by other forms of monitoring and early warning? What skills are needed to monitor water-borne pathogens in wastewater, and to report the outcomes to the authorities?

* Research – What areas urgently need further research in order for SA to prepare better?

* Pharmacological research – What skills are needed for relevant pharmacological  innovation in SA?

* Communication – What lessons have been learnt regarding public communication during the COVID-19 pandemic? What skills are needed?

* Education and training – What studies and skills training should be available to young people, in order to enable greater preparedness of our country?

* Data management – What skills are needed to improve the recording, management and modelling of data during   the COVID-19 pandemic, and other epidemics, now and in the future?


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