Professors Salim Abdool Karim and Koleka Mlisana Picture: Rajesh Jantila/UKZN
Professors Salim Abdool Karim and Koleka Mlisana Picture: Rajesh Jantila/UKZN

Koleka Mlisana replaces Salim Abdool Karim as new co-chair of MAC

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Mar 26, 2021

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PROFESSOR Koleka Mlisana will take on the role of co-chair of the Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) from epidemiologist Professor Salim Abdool Karim.

Earlier today, Karim announced he will be stepping down from his role and will be returning to his academic commitments after his one-year term as co-chair of the Covid-19 MAC.

“It has been a singular honour to serve on the MAC alongside exceptional colleagues. After exactly one year, the time has come for me to return to my academic commitments. As I leave to refocus on HIV research, I know full well that advice on our Covid-19 response is in safe hands,” he said.

The national Department of Health confirmed the news and said Minister Zweli Mkhize has every confidence in Mlisana.

“The minister is grateful that there will be good preservation of institutional knowledge, ensuring continuity in the leadership of this highly influential body - the MAC on Covid-19. We wish Professor Mlisana all the very best and assure her of our support as a department and as government,” read the press release.

Mlisana assumes the role with the incumbent co-chair Professor Marion Jacobs.

The MAC will take on a recomposition of experts, and the full names of the committee will be announced once the appointment processes have been concluded.

Jacobs indicated that the recomposition will see the strengthening of the MAC in the fields of virology, bioinformatics and phylogenetics, mathematical modelling, pharmaceuticals and social behavioural change.

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