Cleo Phewa


Cleo Phewa is a Registered Nutritionist, independent practice, with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

Her areas of expertise include, but are not limited to:

– Co-ordinating all Integrated Nutrition Programme activities at district level
– Facilitation in training to develop and improve skills in lactation management, nutrition and HIV programmes
– Writing of project reports
– Data collection, transcription and interpretation

She has worked within the Centre for Rural Health research team providing nutrition and infant feeding expertise on following nutrition related research studies:

1. “A study to explore child care and feeding practices among working women in the informal work sector” Funded by WHO. 2017.

2. “KwaZulu – Natal Initiative for Breastfeeding and Support: A study to investigate determinants of infant feeding practices in the first 6 months of life through exploring experiences of women in a rural and peri – urban area in KwaZulu – Natal”. A 3 year study funded by ELMA Philanthropies. Completed 2017.


Nutrition based activities:

• Training health workers to improve nutrition for mothers during pregnancy and feeding of all children from birth to 5 years of age (including breastfeeding management from initiation of breastfeeding, positioning, attachment, identification and management of breastfeeding challenges, introduction of appropriate complementary feeding, and continuation of breastfeeding,). These health workers represented district and sub-district level, facility based and community based health worker.

• Assisted with the development of a strategy to roll out the amended 2016 WHO infant and young child feeding guidelines.

Her research based activities include:

• Provided expertise for the development of research tools to collect essential nutrition and breastfeeding data for various nutrition related studies.

• Assisted with the identification, recruitment and training of fieldworkers to collect nutrition and breastfeeding based data accurately, including the development of a SOP. Supervision of fieldworkers and assisted with quality control of nutritional and breastfeeding data.

• Prior to her involvement in research, she had more than 10 years of experience in nutrition education, promotion and advocacy in both the public and private sector and also management of staff members.

• Provided one-on-one consultations with clients from the townships regarding dietary plans for weight loss, feeding infants, maternal nutrition and/ or on the need to know basics of food and nutrition.

• Lectured nutrition in block sessions as per nutrition course material compiled by the university.

• Conducted practical, on-the-job training and support for the duration of the nutrition course at the relevant hospitals, clinics and communities.

• Trained health workers, community health facilitators, oNompilo and nutrition advisors on safe complementary feeding, healthy lifestyle, food groups and other nutrition and HIV/ Aids related interventions.

• Annually assessed hospitals for Mother Baby Friendly Initiative (MBFI) status using the international monitoring tool.

• Collaborated with relevant sectors in strengthening food security programs and poverty alleviation.

• Provided supervisory support to nutrition advisors and other nutrition workers in the district regarding public health nutrition aspects.

• Conducted frequent visits to PHC facilities ensuring that nutrition practices were in line with policy guidelines, dietary educational practices conveyed to patients and that institutions equipped to deliver the necessary nutritional services.

• Developed strategic and business plans for the district nutrition function and monitored their implementation.


1. Quantitative research methods – University of Amsterdam (Coursera) July 2020 (8 week course)


2. Academic Information Seeking – University of Copenhagen Technical University of Denmark (DTU) (Coursera) June 2020 (3 week course)

3. Qualitative research methods – University of Amsterdam (Coursera) April 2020 (8 week course) Project Management course – PMP from the College of South Africa – 2017 incomplete

4. Diploma in Personal Assistance from Quest Computer Skills Centre in Berdford View, Johannesburg – 2006

5. Lactation Management Course – 80 hours -Trainer of Trainers from the Department of Health/UNICEF/WHO – 1998

6. Bachelor Degree in Nutrition 4 years (equivalent to BSC Human Nutrition and Dietetics) from the University of Zululand – 1996

7. Matric (Grade 12) from Sacred Heart Secondary School – Oakford Priory – 1990

Professional Memberships

1. The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a Registered Nutritionist – Independent Practice (NT000…69) 2. The Nutrition Society of South Africa as a Nutritionist

Contact Details