Bilkish Cassim, South Africa

Professor Cassim, MBChB. FCP (SA). MD (UN), is currently Associate Professor/Chief Specialist and Head of the Department of Geriatrics, School of Clinical Medicine at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.

Professor Bilkish Cassim was appointed as the first head of the Department of Geriatrics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2000.  Since then she has been involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in geriatrics at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine and has participated in continuing medical education programs for primary care physicians and nurses locally and nationally and recently convened the first geriatric update to be held in Durban. South Africa.  She is also the head of the geriatric unit which provides an inpatient and outpatient clinical service in King Edward VIII Hospital.   In addition she is part of a forum to address the health care needs of the elderly at a provincial and local level.  This forum includes the social workers, nurses, non governmental and community based organizations involved in the care of the elderly.  She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Ageing in Africa, University of Cape Town.    

In 2005, Professor Cassim was elected as the President of the South African Geriatrics Society (2005-2008) and under her leadership, the curriculum and examination format of the Certificate in Geriatrics of the Colleges of Medicine has been revised.  She is also an examiner for the certificate.  She was on the scientific committee of the Geriatric 2003 congress which was held in Cape Town, South Africa and has been nominated to serve on the scientific committee for the IAGG conference in 2009.  

Professor Cassim was one of the founder members of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and currently serves on the executive committee.  She is also a member if the Council of the College of Physicians of South Africa and has served on the Senate of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa since 2002.

Professor Cassim has recently established a multidisciplinary research group with a focus in ageing.  Her current research projects include the spectrum of diseases in the African elderly, HIV/AIDS in the elderly and the epidemiology chronic diseases and dementia in the elderly.   She has published on rheumatological conditions and osteoporosis and supervised master’s students