Dr Lauraine Vivian - Medical Anthropologist (South Africa) and Founder of Operation BraveHeart

Dr. Lauraine Vivian holds a PhD in Psychiatry from the University of Cape Town, an MSc in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and a BSc Hons in Psychology and Anthropology from Brunel University. During her past twenty years of academic service, Lauraine was a senior lecturer in the Primary Health Care Directorate of the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT; the Director of the Health Systems Development Unit of the University of the Witwatersrand; served on the Human Sciences Research Ethics Committee at UCT and developed numerous research and NGO initiatives within the public health system in South Africa. Lauraine’s doctoral thesis was an interdisciplinary qualitative study across the fields of anthropology and psychiatry, describing mental illness amongst Xhosa-speaking men following initiation rituals. One of her most established collaborations has been with the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the renowned Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town spanning the past fourteen years. During this time Lauraine researched care-giving practices amongst staff in the unit, conducted long-term follow up of HIV infected children from intensive care into their communities; and is now investigating the outcome of cardiac surgery and care for children with heart defects in South Africa. Lauraine has recently completed a sabbatical at the Unit of Women and Gender Research in Medicine at the University of Copenhagen. Currently Lauraine is an Honorary Research Associate in the PICU and drives research and funding initiatives for Operation BraveHeart from this unit.