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Professor Hendrik Simon Schaaf

The Order of Mapungubwe in

Professor Hendrik Simon Schaaf Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the field of medical sciences. His focus on drug-resistant tuberculosis is ground-breaking in assisting with the management of the disease.
Profile of Professor Hendrik Simon Schaaf

Hendrik Simon Schaaf’s work has helped to broaden the understanding of drug-resistant turberculosis (DRTB), particularly in children. In addition, he has made inroads into the area of TB and HIV co-infection. Schaaf studied general medicine paediatrics and community medicine at Stellenbosch University obtaining his master’s degree in paediatrics. He worked for a number of years at the Tygerberg Hospital as a Medical Officer and Registrar. He later worked at the hospital’s Department of Paediatrics and Child health. He is now a Professor at Stellenbosch University. His specialities include TB, HIV care, infectious diseases, community
health and child abuse.

Schaaf initiated the continuous surveillance of DRTB in all confirmed child TB cases at Tygerberg Hospital at the time when little or no data were available. As a result of his research Tygerberg and the Red Cross Children’s hospitals now carry out drug susceptibility testing on all culture-confirmed child TB cases. In addition, his research into TB management in children has led to a greater understanding of first and second line drugs and dosages.

He also looked at issues of cross-resistant, drug interactions and adverse effects in TB-HIV co-infected children as well as at low and high level resistance to the anti-tuberculosis drug Isoniazid, which have had an important impact on TB management. Schaaf has been the recipient of a number of research grants from the Medical Research Council and received the Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) Award for outstanding review by the editors of CID. He has also been recognised by the National Research Foundation as a “Lifetime Achiever” for his life-saving work.

The World Lung Health Conference in Paris and the 50 Years International Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Boston, are just two of the conferences at which he delivered international lectures.

Schaaf has contributed in more than 170 peer-reviewed articles published in journals such as the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, the Paediatric Respiratory Review, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet.