Mahlodi Maphakela

National Executive, Speaker

Sr Mahlodi Maphakela
SAACHS - Secretary
Clinical Nurse Practitioner, University of Limpopo

Mahlodi Maphakela is a Registered Nurse with more than two decades of practical experience. After completing her training in 2001 she practiced as a Professional Nurse at Mankweng Hospital in Polokwane. In 2005 she took up a post as Chief Professional Nurse at Magaliesoord Rehabilitation Centre, returning to Mankweng Hospital in 2011 to work as an OHS and Infection Control Nurse.

She joined the University of Limpopo in 2012 as an OHS Nurse and is currently working as a Clinical Nurse Practitioner. 

Mahlodi is passionate about research. She is studying toward her PhD in Public Health, and as an alumni of the University of Limpopo supervises several MPH students. She also does co-coding for qualitative research papers. Mahlodi has presented her work at the National Aids Conference in June 2019 and at the Limpopo Department of Health Research Day in October 2019. 

She served as Editor in Chief for SAACHS Perspective from 2017 to 2019, and was elected to the role of Secretary General of the Association in 2019. 

Mahlodi lives by the mantra by Sean Gregory Derrick -  “No one knows everything, but everyone can learn something.”


  • Diploma in General Nursing, Psychiatry, Community and Midwifery (Groothoek Nursing College),
  • B.Tech. Occupational Health and Nursing Administration (TUT)
  • PGD in Health Promotion (UL)
  • Master of Public Health (UL)
  • PhD: Public Health (Current study)


Home away from home: The key health and wellness issues
associated with helping students graduate alive and healthy

As students say, “Ke ga mma ga a mpone”, loosely translated as my mother is not around to see what I am doing.

Students at institutions of higher learning inevitably explore their independence and relationships - and mostly their sexuality. Often they make bad choices and decisions.

This presentation shares lessons from the multi-disciplinary approach utilised by the University of Limpopo to ensure that students receive holistic care and are guided how to make appropriate, informed decisions critical to their wellbeing, so that they graduate alive and healthy.

The University of Limpopo Health and Wellness Centre has implemented a multi-disciplinary team approach to meet student health needs, foster student wellbeing and support a conducive learning environment. Their professional team comprises a sessional doctor, clinical nurse practitioners, a social worker, a pharmacist, HIV counsellors, health promoter, condom distributor, data capturer and administrative staff. It includes is a proper referral system to Hospital, Gender desk, Dietician, CEA and Psychology. 

Key health and wellness issues identified include:

  • Mental health problems
  • HIV and STIs
  • Substance abuse
  • Unwanted /unplanned pregnancies
  • Gastro-Intestinal problems
  • Urinary tract Infections
  • Poverty
  • Sicknote disease
  • GBV

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