Nelesh P. Govender

Co-Head of the Centre for Opportunistic, Tropical and Hospital Infections (COTHI) , National Institute for Communicable Diseases

Dr Govender began his career in public health in 2006 when he joined NICD as Head of GERMS surveillance. He has led the Fungal Diseases group within the NICD’s Centre for Opportunistic, Tropical and Hospital Infections (COTHI) since 2007 and focuses on public health surveillance, outbreak response and research in the field of medical mycology. His group conducts surveillance for cryptococcal meningitis, candidaemia, dimorphic fungal infections and aspergillosis. Dr Govender led implementation & monitoring of a screen-and-treat intervention to reduce mortality associated with HIV-associated cryptococcal disease, in collaboration with the SA Department of Health and other partners. This intervention will be expanded across SA in 2016, with an estimated 250,000 patients screened per annum. In 2016, he was awarded an NIH R01 grant to comprehensively evaluate the impact of this intervention, in partnership with University of Minnesota. As a member/ chair of national and international committees, he has contributed to guidelines for management of fungal diseases. Recently, he was involved in the discovery of a dimorphic fungal pathogen within a novel genus causing invasive disease among HIV-infected persons in SA. Dr Govender is President-Elect of the Federation of Infectious Disease Societies of SA and Deputy Chair of the SA Society of Clinical Microbiology. He is currently Co-Head of COTHI at NICD and Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Microbiology at University of Cape Town.

Experience

  • –present
    Co-Head of the Centre for Opportunistic, Tropical and Hospital Infections (COTHI) , National Institute for Communicable Diseases