Lesley Odendal

Originally trained as a journalist, Lesley Odendal has worked in public health writing, HIV and TB activism and communications since 2007 for organisations such as UNAIDS, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Médicins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), in roles such as research and policy, communications and advocacy.

Lesley has over seven years of working as a public health writer and communications specialist for organisations such as FHI360, ICAP at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, Networking HIV/AIDS Community of Southern Africa (NACOSA), the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, EOH, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and the Futures Group.

Her experience includes the production of Guidelines for the South African Department of Health’s, including the 2013-2017 Key Population Guidelines and the Prevention Strategy 2013-2017; Information, Education and Communication materials, such as technical toolkits, training toolkits and activist guides; film production and; rapporteuring.

Lesley also writes scientific and health journalism for publications such as NAM/aidsmap.com, the Mail & Guardian, IRIN, SA Positive Magazine, health-e.org.za, Spotlight and the InterPress Service.

Lesley also has experience in film production, including the South Africa Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) award-winning documentary (Best Short Documentary) and short public health awareness and advocacy clips.

Lesley is the recipient of the US National Institute of Health John E Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in Health Sciences Training Grant through the South African TB and AIDS Training (SATBAT) and was one of six people in the Health category of Mail & Guardian newspaper’s Top 200 Young South Africans in 2010.


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