Professor Gugu Mchunu

Person Professor Gugu Mchunu
Telephone +27 (0)31 2601421
Campus /Hospital Howard College
Skype Name gugu.mchunu
Designation Associate Professor
Research Interests Health Promotion and disease prevention (mainly focusing on the workplace), programme evaluation

An advocate for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders

 Bio sketch Professor Gugu Mchunu is an Associate Professor and has been in the Discipline of Nursing for over 18 years. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Nursing), Masters in Nursing., PhD (Health Sciences), Post graduate diploma in Nursing Education and Nursing Management, Certificates in Occupational Health Nursing and Primary Care Nursing. She is an International Ford Foundation programme Alumna, and completed her PhD through a sandwich programme between University of KwaZulu-Natal and Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, US.

Her first job as a professional nurse was at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, High Care unit (1994). She then relocated to the Northern Cape and worked at PPC Lime, Lime Acres, Kimberley and Danielskuil Gemeenskaap Gesondhuid Sentrum, (Danielskuil Community Health Centre) before returning to KwaZulu-Natal, in 2000.

She started her academic career at the then University of Natal, School of Nursing as a junior lecturer in Community Health Nursing and Primary Care Nursing.  In 2010 she joined the Durban Chamber Foundation as an Executive Director and Company Secretary. She moved to Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to work as a Senior Research Specialist and Post- Doctoral Fellow at the HAST unit (2011) contributing to the report writing and serving as one of the directors in 3 big HSRC projects, i.e.

(a)    Love Life Talking Points 2012

(b)    Screening and brief interventions for hazardous and harmful alcohol use among patients with active tuberculosis attending primary public care clinics in South Africa

(c)     South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES-1) -2012

In 2013 she re-joined the University of KwaZulu-Natal as an Academic Leader in the Nursing Discipline. She served two 3 year terms 2013 – 2015 and 2016 -2018.

During this period Prof Mchunu was the member of the Forum for University Deans in South Africa (FUNDISA), A Council and Senate member at the KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing (KZNCN).

Currently she is:

(a)    A Senate member at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

(b)    A Deputy Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Educating Nurses and Midwives in Community Problem-solving at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

(c)     A member of the Transformation committee in the UKZN’s College of Health Sciences

(d)    A board member at the Heart and Stroke Foundation –South Africa

(e)    A Chairman of the Action in Autism’s SHAHUMNA Skills and Business Hub

(f)      A founding member of the Action in Autism –  a lobbyist, support and fundraising non-profit organization for people with autism and their families

Professional Positions & Awards

  • Kellogg Foundation scholarship
  • National Research Foundation (NRF) grant holder (2006-2009 )
  • International Ford Foundation Alumna
  • Member of STTI (Tau Lambda Chapter)
  • Visiting Research Fellow to Johns Hopkins  University, Baltimore, MD, USA (2006)
  • Recipient of the best paper published in Journal of Occupational Health: Southern Africa (2008)

Current Projects:

(a)    Health Promotion Intervention Strategies to Achieve Universal Health Coverage in The Minibus Taxi Industry: A Multi-Country Case Study On Lifestyle Diseases Prevention

(b)    The unspoken stories of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) –focusing on families and individuals with ASD in Kwazulu-Natal

(c)      Part of the research team of the SUSTAINABLE AND HEALTHY FOOD SYSTEMS (SHEFS) research project – A Multidisciplinary Team Grant – With South Africa, UK (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) & India

List of recent publications 1. Moodley S & Mchunu G.  Organisational Readiness of Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs) to Integrate Students Who Have Disabilities into Nurse Training Programmes: A Case Study of Kwazulu-Natal NEIS. Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences; 2020 Vol 12

2. Adamu A, Mchunu G , Naidoo JR & Predictive influence of coping style on stress and resilience among women living with HIV in Nigeria. AJPHES: 2020,  Vol. 26(1).

3. Adamu A, Mchunu G & Naidoo JR. Stress and resilience among women living with HIV in Nigeria. Afr J Prm Health Care Fam Med. 2019;11(1), a2046. phcfm.v11i1.2046

4. Nxumalo CT & Mchunu G. The Role of Female Partners in the uptake of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review. Global Journal of Health Science; Vol. 11, No. 7; 2019 ISSN 1916-9736 E-ISSN 1916-9744

5. Onyenwenyi AOC, Mchunu GG. (2019) Primary health care workers’ understanding and skills related to cervical cancer prevention in Sango PHC centre in south-western Nigeria: a qualitative study. Primary Health Care Research & Development 20(e93): 1–8. doi: 10.1017/S1463423619000215

6. Ngcobo, S.J. & Mchunu, G.G., 2019, ‘Bachelor of Nursing students’ HIV and AIDS knowledge in KwaZulu-Natal province: An evaluation study, Curationis:  42(1), a1928.

7. Moodley, S. & Mchunu, G., 2019 Current access and recruitment practices in nursing education institutions in KwaZulu-Natal: A case study of student nurses with disabilities. African Journal of Disability 2019,  8(0), a429. https://

8. Luvuno ZP, Mchunu G, Ncama B, Ngidi H, Mashamba-Thompson T. Evidence of interventions for improving healthcare access for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in South Africa: A scoping review. Afr J Prm Health Care Fam Med. 2019;11(1), a1367

9. Luvuno ZP, Ncama BP & Mchunu G. Transgender population’s experiences with regard to accessing reproductive health care in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa: A qualitative study. African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine, 2019, 11(1).

10. Onyenwenyi, A O C & Mchunu GG Barriers to cervical cancer screening uptake among rural women in South West Nigeria: A qualitative study. South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2018;24(1):22-26. DOI:10.7196/sajog.1290

11. Moodley S & Mchunu G. Integration experiences of student and qualified nurses with disabilities who graduated from selected KwaZulu-Natal nursing education institutions: An exploratory case study. Curations, 2018, 41 (1)


12. Mukeshimana M & Mchunu G. Management of Co-Morbidity of Depression and Chronic Non- Communicable Diseases in Rwanda. Ethiop J Health Sci. 2017; 27 (1), 17-26


13. Nxumalo C.T. & Mchunu G. Exploring the stigma related experiences of family members of persons with mental illness in a selected community in the iLembe district, KwaZulu-Natal, Health SA Gesondheid, 2017; 22, 202-212

14. Curran RL, Naidoo JR, Mchunu G. A theory for aftercare of human trafficking survivors for nursing practice in low resource settings. Applied Nursing Research, 2017; 35:82-85.

doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2017.03.002.

15. Luvuno ZP, Mchunu G & Ncama BP. Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Health care workers related to treatment and care of transgender patients: A qualitative study in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Special Issue of Gender & Behaviour, 2017; 15 ( 2) Page..

16. Mukeshimana M & Mchunu G. Management of Co-Morbidity of Depression and Chronic Non- Communicable Diseases in Rwanda. Ethiop J Health Sci. 2017; 27 (1), 17-26


17. Mukeshimana M & Mchunu G. A Collaborative Care Model to Manage the Comorbidity Of Depression And Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases in Rwanda. British Journal of Medical and Health Research 2016; 3(2), 40-62

Accessible on

18. Popoola T & Mchunu G. HIV Orphanhood Research and the Representation of Older Orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Literature Review. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 2016; 27(1), 57-65

19. Onyenwenyi A O & Mchunu G.  Strategies for the Prevention and Control of Cervical Cancer in Rural Communities: A Nigerian Perspective. Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care. 2016; 28 (2) 77-93

20. Onyenyweni  A O & Mchunu G.  Strategies for the Prevention and Control of Cervical Cancer in Rural Communities: A Nigerian Perspective. Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care. 2016; 28 (2) 77-93

21. Mukeshimana  M & Mchunu G. The Comorbidity of Depression and Non-Communicable Diseases: A review of literature on the epidemiology, diagnosis and health effects. Rwanda Journal Series F: Medicine and Health Sciences 2016; 3 (1)

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