SANORD & SAFINET webinar on collaboration in health and well-being

The aim of the webinar is introduce SAFINET, a new network between Southern African and Finnish Higher Education Institutions, and initiate new collaboration in the field of health and well-being.

SANORD Southern African-Nordic Centre
SAFINET Southern African and Finnish Higher Education Institutions’ Network for Health and Well-being 

are organizing 

a joint webinar on collaboration in health and well-being
on 17 June at 12:00-14:00 CAT/SAST, 13:00-15:00 EEST

To join, please register 


  • Welcome words
    Umesh Bawa, Director of the SANORD Central Office, University of the Western Cape
  • Introducing SAFINET
    Vice Dean Sami Pirkola, SAFINET’s academic director, Tampere University
  • Social protection and health: A multisectoral global agenda Associate professor Salla Atkins, Tampere University and Karolinska Institutet
  • Ms Lieve Vanleeuw, South African Medical Research Council and Tampere University
  • Arts, participatory design, democratic development and service development
    Dean Satu Miettinen, Professor of Service Design, University of Lapland
    Dr Melanie Sarantou, Senior Researcher, University of Lapland
    Michelle van Wyk, Design Lecturer, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Facilitation of healthcare (healthtech) innovations
    Prof. Jari Hyttinen, Computational Biophysics and Imaging Group, Tampere University
  • Collaboration with Finnish Higher Education Institutions
    Dr. Ellen Ndeshi Namhila, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Namibia
  • Q&A


Sami Pirkola is Professor of Social Psychiatry and Vice Dean for Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University. He is a psychiatrist and a psychiatric epidemiologist by his scientific career. Professor Pirkola has published international scientific papers from 1999 up to date, and his main projects have been nationwide data collections regarding suicides, the prevalence of mental disorders, and the effectiveness of mental health services in Finland. He has worked in Finnish Lapland and collaborated in research and development -related projects among the indigenous Sami people in the north. He was the chair of the task force that produced the current mental health strategy in Finland 2030.

Dr Ellen Ndeshi Namhila is Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Namibia (UNAM) in Windhoek and a well-known writer, historian and policy maker for research and heritage. She was Director of the Namibia Library and Archives Services from 1998 to 2007 and subsequently the University Librarian of UNAM until 2015. She defended her PhD at the University of Tampere in 2015.

Salla Atkins is Associate Professor in Global Health and Development at Tampere University, with an affiliation to Karolinska Institutet. Her background is in Psychological Research (MA, University of Cape Town) with a PhD in Medical Sciences (Karolinska Institutet). She has nearly 20 years’ experience in health systems and policy research, in low- middle- and high-income contexts. Her current research interests include tuberculosis (TB) and social protection

Lieve Vanleeuw is a social scientist with a research focus on TB, DR-TB and health systems. She is currently working on documenting and evaluating different models of care for DR-TB patients in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. She is furthermore involved in research looking at point-of-care TB diagnostic tools and passive case finding strategies.

Professor Jari Hyttinen is full professor and head of BioMediTech unit at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University. His laboratory Computational Biophysics and Imaging Group develops novel computer simulations on cellular biophysics and in-vitro based electrophysiology and 3D imaging methods for future personalized medicine and tissue engineering. His lab is part of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence on Body on Chip technology. He has also been active in international societies being former president of the European Alliance on Medical and Biological Engineering Sciences, and on innovation

Dr. Satu Miettinen is professor of Service Design at the University of Lapland, Finland, with research interests spanning the themes of design methods in engaging with the Arctic region, service design methods for inclusion, the participatory development of services, as well as socially responsible art and design methods

Dr. Melanie Sarantou is a senior researcher at the University of Lapland, Finland, investigating how arts and narrative practices impact on marginalised women in communities in Namibia, Lapland, Russia and Australia. Her PhD holistically mapped Namibian craft and design through a postcolonial lense. Her current research focuses on the role of arts in societies that exist on the margin of Europe in the European Commission-funded Horizon 2020 project titled ‘Action on the Margin: Arts as Social Sculpture’.

Michelle Van Wyk is currently a lecturer in the Design department at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa. Her background in jewellery design informs her research interest in decolonising design practices in education and creative making processes, and is also the foundation of her practice-led PhD at the University of Lapland, Finland. She enjoys exploring non-traditional materials through the lens of handmade body adornment and Indigenous crafting.

Tulevat tapahtumat

Menneet tapahtumat


Tampere University, SAFINET & Southern African-Nordic Centre


Kaisa Kurki, Manager of International Affairs, kaisa.kurki@tuni.fi