About Us

 A Brief History of CRH

CRH was formed in 1987 by the National Association of Medical and Dental Activists (NAMDA) - an organisation which was formed in reaction to the Medical and Dental Association. At that point CRH was called CHESS (The Centre for Health and Social Studies); it’s funding came from foreign donors and it existed primarily to do research and advocacy. CHESS was based at the UKZN, and attached to the Dept of Paediatrics under Prof Jerry Coovadia.

In 1994, directorship was taken over by Prof Hugh Philpott, a leading expert in Maternal Health. Other key changes at this time were: local funding was now accessed, the focus of the organisation's interventions became the district health system, and there was a growing commitment to taking up the challenge of rural health care. In 1998 Prof Steve Reid — a rural health activist of long standing and experience — took over the helm. In 2001 the name of the organisation changed to the Centre for Rural Health (CRH), expressing the organisation's growing commitment to improving the health care offered to impoverished people living in rural and underserved areas.

2004 saw a further change as a number of universities based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal merged to form the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). CRH is now located within the School of Nursing and Public Health within the college of Health Sciences. Prof Inge Petersen is the Director.


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