Youth, Health & Life in Masiphumelele

On October 20, 2023, Asiphe Ntshongontshi joined Dr. Godfred Boateng’s Global Health and Humanitarianism class at York University to share her lived experience working as a young professional in global health.

Asiphe spoke about her work with the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation which focused on HIV/STI prevention and treatment; reproductive health; COVID-19 education, vaccines and clinical trials; and mental health issues in the township of Masiphumelele on the Cape Peninsula in South Africa, the township that is also her home.

Asiphe also discussed the importance of providing accessible health services in her community. She addressed the social challenges faced by youth: not just the lack of accessible healthcare resources, but spaces where youth can feel secure and comfortable accessing those resources, avoiding conflicts between younger and older generations. The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation provides this space for youth.

An interesting exchange with Dr. Boatang, who is from Ghana, explored the divide in health care access, including to HIV diagnostics, between those living in townships like Masiphumelele and more formal suburbs. The disparity is not only economic; it is also highly racialized.

This event was jointly offered by GSL and the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research and was conceived by GSL team member Alison Humphrey who met Asiphe when they worked on the Shadowpox project. Asiphe was able to travel to Canada thanks to a EC3R Small Grant Award Link .

Photo credit: Portrait by Jenn Warren. Image from event by Alison Humphrey.


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