On the 6th of June 1912, the University of Cape Town's Faculty of Medicine was formed, marking the birth of academic health sciences in Southern Africa. Over the last century, the Faculty (now the Faculty of Health Sciences) has achieved remarkable results, educating some of the finest minds in the country and producing some of the greatest medical advances to emerge from Africa.
The Faculty has changed significantly over the years, modernising its curriculum, transforming its demographics and substantially increasing its admissions. It now educates almost 4000 students each year across multiple disciplines.
It has a strong reputation for research excellence, producing an average of more than one new research publication every day.
The mission of the Faculty is to address the health challenges facing South Africa and the African continent by promoting quality and equity in health care services, educating health practitioners for life and undertaking research relevant to Africa's needs. In addition, the Faculty advocates for improving health on both national and global levels. In South Africa, it plays a vital role in training and supporting the country's future health practitioners and health scientists to address local health needs. Today, with South Africa's vast infectious disease problem, its growing burden of chronic disease, and the critical need to strengthen health systems for equity, this role could not be more important.
The centenary presents the ideal opportunity to recognise the impact, both good and bad, of the Faculty's past, celebrate the impressive station it has achieved today and, most importantly, build its future.