The South African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE) is an association of health sciences educators from South African universities, NGOs and government and private sectors. The focus of SAAHE is on improving the quality of teaching and learning in health sciences education so as to enhance the delivery of high quality, affordable and sustainable health care to South Africans in both the public and private sector. The SAAHE community is made up of predominantly physicians but there are an increasing number of professionals in the Allied Health Sciences, including physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses and range of other professional disciplines. All members are committed to improving teaching and learning in medical and health professional education.
SAAHE was conceptualized in 2004 and currently has approximately 250 members across the southern African region. There are five regional branches in South Africa, each with two representatives who sit on the SAAHE Council. Three Council members constitute the SAAHE Executive which is located in one of the five regions. The Executive rotates between regions every three years and is currently located in the Western Cape region.
SAAHE has a number of agendas – to showcase ‘best practice’ in health sciences education, to stimulate debate and discussion regarding the education of health practitioners, and to develop teaching and educational research capacity in health sciences educators. To this end, regional conferences were held in the Western Cape in 2004 – 2007; a National Conference has been held annually since 2008; research methodology workshops were hosted in 2007 and 2008; workshops related to teaching and assessment were hosted from 2004 – 2008; journal clubs meet in most regions; and the SAAHE affiliated African Journal of Health Professions Education was recently launched.