Dental Public Health SIG

About this Special Interest Group

The Dental Public Health SIG is a forum for professional exchange of knowledge within a multi-disciplinary context. Activities involve engagement in dental public health issues, research and career development. It further aims to create awareness of oral health issues in public health and to contribute to adding value to the public health system and oral health programmes in the country.

Our objectives are as follows:

  • To contribute to the growth of the organization by encouraging the registration of oral health professionals into PHASA.
  • To create awareness and advocate in public health issues affecting oral health.
  • To contribute towards adding value to the public health system and oral health programs in the country.
  • To work collectively in implementing measures of disease prevention and promotion for improving the overall health of our South African population.

The Dental Public Health SIG Committee Members

Mpho Molete (Chairperson)


Mpho Molete is a Dental Public Health Specialist who holds an MSc in Dental Public Health from Kings College London and an MDent in Community Dentistry from Wits. She has 15 years of experience as an oral health practitioner both in the UK and South Africa and has now been in the academic sector for 7 years. Her academic career began in 2008 first as a Registrar, and subsequently as a registered Specialist since 2012.

Her work involves, undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and supervision, research, management of the Community Oral Health Outreach Program (COHOP) and clinical service delivery. She has published in both local and international journals and is a CARTA PhD fellow.

Her research interests include monitoring and evaluating oral health policies and programs, assessing evidence based interventions and health economics.

She has a passion for mentoring young people.

Maphefo Thekiso (Vice Chairperson)


Maphefo Thekiso qualified as dentists at the University of the Western Cape in 1996. She did her specialists training in Community Dentistry at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is currently a senior researcher and lecturer at the Department of Community Dentistry, School of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand. She teaches modules in Dental Public Health and Epidemiology to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her research interests are on oral health inequalities, oral/ health policy and policy analysis and oral health care. She has published on both national and international journals.

Khanyi Makwakwa (Secretary)

Dr Khanyi Makwakwa

Khanyi Makwakwa is a dental professional who had begun her career  as a Dental Therapist, she subsequently  went on to complete a Bachelor of Dental Surgery, and a Post graduate diploma in clinical dentistry in 2008. Her work experience which spans over 20 years, includes working in the public, private and mining sectors. Working in these diverse sectors gave her insight into the challenges faced by dentists on a daily basis whilst attempting to deliver quality oral healthcare to their patients. Her passion and drive to be part of the solution to these challenges; and interest in oral health advocacy prompted her to complete a Master’s in Public Health. She is now currently a Community Dentistry Registrar at the Sefako Makgatho University.

How to join this group

Any PHASA member is welcome to join the Dental Public Health SIG. To register as a PHASA member, complete the online registration form and select the Dental Public Health SIG under the special interest groups section. Existing PHASA members who did not sign-up for the SIG during their initial registration can update their profiles on the PHASA website.

Contact us

Enquiries: Mpho Molete / Maphefo Thekiso

Quick links

Statement on the integration of oral health into primary health care and public health systems