What is Community Health?

The University of the Free State (UFS) Department of Community Health strives to serve the community as our patient through service delivery, training and research in the field of communicable and non-communicable disease, epidemiology, occupational and environmental health.


Healthy local, provincial, and national populations, in which all sectors of society contribute to health in the light of public knowledge and available resources. 


The Department of Community Health strives to be a centre of excellence providing professional public health skills and expert knowledge to our customers so as to improve the health of populations. We aim to increase public health skills and knowledge among health care professionals through education and training, research & self development. We are committed to equity, effectiveness, efficiency, and humanity in health, health services, and society.

Strategy Process

Our strategies are developed around the core businesses of the Department of Community Health;:

  • Communicable and Non-communicable Diseases
  • Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Health Service Management, Policy and Planning
  • Tertiary Education
  • General Office Administration

Key Result Areas

The functional strategies to be included in each core business unit are:

  • Service Delivery
  • Training & Administration
  • Research
  • Personal Development
 Provincial Occupational Health Unit

Strategic Plan

  • The Provincial Occupational Health Unit of the Free State provides occupational health and safety support services in the Free State,
  • Ensures that quality occupational health services are rendered throughout the Free State,
  • Empowers and develops occupational health personnel as well as Free State employees to their potential.

Strategic Objectives

  • Ensure the establishment and maintenance of Health and Safety Systems
  • Support employees and employers with relevant occupational health information
  • Support  public and private authorities clinical and technical resources regarding complicated occupational health and safety issues
  • Conduct and encourage occupational health and safety research
  • Assist staff  with the applicable occupational health and safety training and information on training opportunities
  • Support the Department of Health with the development of occupational health and safety-related policies and procedures
  • Ensure active liaison with all relevant role-players in field of Health & Safety
  • Ensure optimal utilisation of available resources within the Provincial Occupational Health Unit
 Provincial Health Service Research Unit


  • Provide objective high quality information on health care to the FS Health Department
  • Support the Health Department in using health resources optimally, including setting priorities, reallocating resources and raising service quality
  • Increase understanding of factors affecting the effectiveness, efficiency, equity and acceptability of health services and help to improve these qualities.
  • Evaluate new projects, programs and other changes in health services
  • Help with setting up a strategic focus for the Health Department’s business plan in line with the vision of the department
  • Help with innovation, restructuring and evaluation of health service processes
  • Increase capacity for research and evidence-based policy-making among health managers, health professionals, researchers and students.

Strategic Objectives

  • Create evidence for health policy and service delivery through research in Public Health, Epidemiology, Operations Research and Health Service Management areas
  • Improve the use of existing data and creation of new data for the monitoring and evaluation of service delivery and health programs in the Health Department
  • Facilitate knowledge management in Health Department
  • Development of disease and risk behavior surveillance systems.


Central Information Office
T: +27 51 401 3739
F: +27 86 579 5154

E: StudentAdminFHS@ufs.ac.za

Student Administration
Faculty Administration

Health sciences block next to contact

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