South Africa


University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)

The University is made up of four Colleges (Agriculture, Engineering and Science, Humanities, Law and Management Studies, and Health Sciences) housed in five campuses across the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

The UKZN has a strong research ethos, especially in Infectious Diseases with several research institutes including CAPRISA (Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa), KRISP (Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform) and the HIV Pathogenesis Programme.

The Fractures E³ study is housed in the departments of Geriatrics and Rheumatology, in School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Science situated in the Nelson R Mandela/Medical School campus in Durban. Both departments have a strong clinical and research interest in osteoporosis and hip fractures




South African Team


Professor Bilkish CassimPrincipal Investigator

Associate Professor/Chief Specialist and Head of Geriatrics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban, South Africa.  Prof Cassim has both a clinical and research interest in osteoporosis and is an executive member of the National Osteoporosis Foundation of South Africa. 

Dr Farhanah Paruk

Deputy, South Africa   Specialist rheumatologist and Head Clinical Unit of the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. Dr Paruk is also an executive member of National Osteoporosis Foundation of South Africa.


Professor Mkhululi (Mac) Lukhele

Orthopaedic expert Adjunct Professor of Orthopaedics University of Witwatersrand. Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon and researcher.



Nelly Ndlovu – Study Co-ordinator

Nelly is a qualified development officer, experienced clinical researcher and project coordinator. Hons degree in Public Policy & Development Studies & junior degree in Community & Development Studies from the University of KZN. Experienced in project management and coordination, particularly public health-related projects.

Fundile Habana – Data Manager

Fundile Habana holds an N Certificate in Information Technology, Software and Hardware Concepts, Administration & Bookkeeping.  He is highly experienced in data entry, management, and analysis of data in clinical studies. His previous work experience includes being a senior administrative assistant, data capture & analysis, & tutor.

Lungisa Mncwabe – Fieldworker WP1

Lungisa is an experienced research assistant, who was introduced to research by her qualification in Social Science (Psychology). She has worked as a research assistant in a study of HIV/AIDS and is currently studying Public Health giving her a broad understanding of disease prevention and health promotion.

Nomzamo Mthembu – Fieldworker WP1

Nomzamo holds a BSS in Psychology, Hons Psychology, and a Masters candidate in Public Health from the University of KZN.  Experienced in recruitment and fieldwork for clinical studies she is currently a Master’s candidate under the College of Health Science.

Phumla Khuluse – Fieldworker WP1

Phumla is a qualified community development practitioner and experienced research assistant. Hons degree in Social Science (Public Policy) and Community & Development Studies with extensive knowledge in fieldwork research in working for health research organizations eg South African Medical Research Council & Human Sciences Research Council.

Silindile Khuzwayo – Fieldworker WP1

Silindile has 4 years experience in public health research, working for companies like Epicentre Public Health Research and Human Sciences Research Council as a fieldworker and as a HIV counsellor. With her experience and enthusiasm, we believe she is going to be a great addition to the team.

Kajol Santhilal-Raja – Research Nurse

Kajol is a qualified nurse and specialist ICU nurse with many years of experience in a clinical environment having worked with many big hospital groups.  Kajol is currently registered with the South African Nursing Council as a nurse and is a registered HIV/AIDS Councilor.


Phelelani Mkhize- Research Assistant WP4

Phelelani has worked for various Organizations as a Research Assistant as well as a Field Worker. He has been involved in HIV, Mental Health and TB research studies. He has gained vast experience on this journey and aims to complete his degree in the near future.



Zethu Sithole – Research Nurse

Zethu is a qualified registered nurse with primary health care and research experience. She was involved in TB trials (MRC), IRIS study (UKZN), COVID19 Readiness (IHPS).


Amanda Mwelase – Ethnographer WP5

Amanda is a Researcher with a Masters in Research Psychology, with an interest in medical, health and social science research. She is currently based in Gauteng.


Keabetswe Khutsoane – Qualitative Researcher WP5

Kea is a researcher and transformation specialist that has dedicated both her educational and professional career to social justice issues.