Shahieda Adams, (PhD)

+ 27 (0)21 4066435

Dr Shahieda Adams is Clinical Director of the Occupational Medicine Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital and a senior lecturer at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at UCT. An active founding member of the mine dust networking group, she is an experienced occupational health specialist who spans both academia and government, with a joint appointment at UCT and the Western Cape Dept of Health. Her skills in occupational medicine, epidemiology and occupational health policy formulation will be essential to the network’s success.

MBChB University of Cape Town (1990), MMed Family Medicine University of Stellenbosch (1997), PDOH University of Cape Town (2000), MMed (cum laude) University of Cape Town (2007), PhD University of Cape Town (2015)
Shahieda Adams has 20 years research and clinical experience in the field of occupational medicine within various industry, consultancy and academic organisations.

She has had a long association with the University of Cape Town, where she completed her undergraduate and postgraduate training in occupational Medicine. She is currently a jointly appointed Grade 2 Occupational Medicine specialist employed by the Western Cape Department of Health and UCT. She is the Chief consultant at the Occupational Medicine clinic at Groote Schuur hospital where a diagnostic and clinical service is provided to assist ex-mineworkers with occupational lung disease and also chairs the Review Committee for the Qhubeka Trust which is engaged in assessment and compensation of mineworkers with silicosis and silico-tuberculosis. Prior to this she has performed work for the Asbestos Relief Trust and has been involved in a number of research and capacity development activities relating to the health effects of mine dust and right to compensation for mineworkers. Shahieda is actively engaged in capacity development in her discipline and chairs the Division of Occupational Medicine in the Council for Public health Medicine in the College of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA). She was the Convenor of the 2018 Fellowship exams in occupational medicine run by the CMSA.

Her current teaching responsibilities is that of Convenor of the Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health and she is Asst-convener of the Masters of Medicine (Occupational Medicine). In addition she teaches on the Environmental Health Module (Masters in Public Health) at UCT and the Public Health and Environmental module of the MPhil Cancer Science at the University of Stellenbosch. Within the faculty she also teaches at undegraduate and postgraduate levels. Currently Shahieda is supervising : 2 masters and 3 PhD students and has graduated 17 Postgraduate Diplomas in Occupational Health ; published 5 book chapters, 12 accredited journal articles and 15 peer-reviewed conference papers; presented/co-presented at local and international conferences; written 20 technical reports. In 2018, Shahieda co-authored the position paper for the International Commission on Occupational health ”the ICOH Statement on Preventing TB among Health Workers” that was presented at the ICOH conference in May in Dublin.

Current Positions

  • Senior Lecturer: Division of Occupational Medicine, UCT
  • Clinical Director: Occupational Medicine, GSH/UCT
  • Convenor: Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health, UCT
  • Assistant convener: Master of Medicine programme specializing in Occupational Medicine, School of Public Health and Family Medicine , UCT

Previous Positions

  • Occupational Medical Practitioner: City of Cape Town (3 years)
  • Medical Advisor and Senior Manager: Qualsa@Work; Metropolitan Health Risk Management (2 years)
  • Doctoral Research Fellow: Lung Infection and Immunity Unit and Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health Research (5 years)
  • Registrarship in Occupational Medicine: Division of Occupational Medicine (4 years)
  • Independent occupational health practitioner and consultant (4 years)
  • Scientific Officer: Industrial Health Reasrch Group, UCT (2 years)


Shahieda’s research has focused mainly on the problem of occupational tuberculosis in high risks population such as health workers and the challenges and inefficiencies of compensation systems designed to mitigate the impact of occupational diseases. Efforts have been put into both research and engagement with regulatory agencies to improve screening strategies, policy formulation and compensation systems in an attempt to mitigate the poor occupational health outcomes related to occupational lung disease diagnoses. Current research topics include: prevention of occupational TB in Health workers, Immunodiagnostic tests as screening tools for latent TB infection, Epidemiology of TB in health workers, Failure of Compensation systems in mineworkers and health workers; development of strategies for dealing with impairment and disability assessment

Grobler L, Mehtar S, Dheda K, Adams S, Babatunde S, van der Walt M, Osman M. The epidemiology of tuberculosis in health care workers in South Africa: a systematic review. BMC Health Services Research (2016) 16:416 DOI 10.1186/s12913-016-1601-5

Adams S, Ehrlich R, Baatjies R, van Zyl-smit RN, Hartley QS, Dawson R and Dheda KD. Incidence of occupational latent tuberculosis infection in South African health care workers. European Respiratory Journal 2015. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00138414

Ngajilo D, Adams S. Jeebhay MF. Occupational allergy and asthma in tobacco farmers: a review of literature. Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology. June 2018. Vol 31 (2): 2-9

Ehrlich R, Adams S, Manjra S, Mokoena T, Jeebhay MF. Fate of outstanding COIDA occupational disease claims following closure of the Western Cape Provincial Medical Advisory Panel in 2008 – an audit. Occ Health Southern Africa, 21(6);6-10, 2015

Adams S, Burdzik A, Jeebhay M. How to claim compensation for work-related injuries or diseases. In Mash B and Blitz J eds. South African Family Practice Manual. 3rd edition, Van Schaik Publishers, Pretoria, 2015,161:542-548. ISBN: 9780627031236

Adams S, Ehrlich R, Ismail N, Quail Z, Jeebhay MF. Occupational health challenges facing the Department of Health: Protecting employees against tuberculosis and caring for former mineworkers with occupational lung disease. In: Padarath A, English R, editors, South African Health view 2012/13. Durban: Health Systems Trust; 2013, 5:67-82 (ISBN 978-1-919839-73-8)

Jarand J, Shean K, O’ Donnell M, Loveday M, Kvasnovsky C, Van der Walt M, Adams S, Willcox P et al. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) among health care workers in South Africa. Tropical Medicine and International Health (2010). 15(10): 1179-1184.