Refiloe Masekela

Prof Refiloe Masekela is a paediatric pulmonologist. She is a member of AHRI faculty, the academic head of department of paediatrics and child health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a NIHR global health research professor studying asthma interventions in children.

Her area of research interest is asthma epidemiology. This extends to access to affordable medicines for people living with chronic respiratory diseases, improving access to pulmonary diagnostic tests in Africa, and addressing interventions that may influence lung health in people with chronic respiratory disease.

She holds a medical degree from Wits University, and completed her specialist paediatric training at the University of Pretoria – where she was instrumental in setting up the first paediatric HIV clinic. She went on to do a fellowship in paediatric pulmonology at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium and at the University of Pretoria.

Refiloe is passionate about research capacity strengthening, and is a co-director of the Pan African Thoracic Society Methods in Epidemiology, Clinical and Operational Research programme, which trains healthcare workers in Africa on lung health research methodology. She additionally holds positions on multiple international forums: she is co-chair of the Global Asthma Network, president of the Pan African Thoracic Society, a science committee member of the Global Initiative of Asthma, and member of the European Respiratory Society Global Lung Initiative Network. Nationally, she is vice-president and president-elect of the South African Thoracic Society.

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Click here for a full list of publications.

Refiloe Masekela

Masekela group

At AHRI, Refiloe leads a clinical trial on an asthma intervention for children and adolescents. The project supports two clinician scientist PhDs and one PhD in health economics.

Meet the Team

Sbekezelo Hlophe - Masekela group

Sbekezelo Hlophe

PhD student

Dr Sbekezelo Hlophe is a paediatric intensivist at Greys Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, with a special interest in infections and lung disease. Her MMED in paediatrics was in Klebsiella pneumoniae in paediatric intensive care units. Sbekezelo's PhD project is focused on an assessment of efficacy and impact on quality of life and lung function test of Budesonide/Formoterol compared to standard of care in children and adolescents in South Africa. She is passionate about mentoring and educating young doctors.

Selected Recent Publications

Lim S, Said B, Zurba L, Mosler G, Addo-Yobo E, Adeyeye OO, Arhin B, Evangelopoulos D, Fapohunda VT, Fortune F, Griffiths CJ, Hlophe S, Kasekete M, Lowther S, Masekela R, Mkutumula E, Mmbaga BT, Mujuru HA, Nantanda R, Mzati Nkhalamba L, Ngocho JS, Ojo OT, Owusu SK, Shaibu S, Ticklay I, Grigg J, Barratt B. Characterising sources of PM2·5 exposure for school children with asthma: a personal exposure study across six cities in sub-Saharan Africa. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2024 Jan;8(1):17-27. doi: 10.1016/S2352-4642(23)00261-4. Epub 2023 Nov 22. PMID: 38000380; PMCID: PMC10716619.

García-Marcos L, Chiang CY, Asher MI, Marks GB, El Sony A, Masekela R, Bissell K, Ellwood E, Ellwood P, Pearce N, Strachan DP, Mortimer K, Morales E; Global Asthma Network Phase I Study Group. Asthma management and control in children, adolescents, and adults in 25 countries: a Global Asthma Network Phase I cross-sectional study. Lancet Glob Health. 2023 Feb;11(2):e218-e228. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00506-X. PMID: 36669806; PMCID: PMC9885426.

Bowerman C, Bhakta NR, Brazzale D, Cooper BR, Cooper J, Gochicoa-Rangel L, Haynes J, Kaminsky DA, Lan LTT, Masekela R, McCormack MC, Steenbruggen I, Stanojevic S. A Race-neutral Approach to the Interpretation of Lung Function Measurements. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2023 Mar 15;207(6):768-774. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202205-0963OC. PMID: 36383197.

Chiang CY, Ellwood P, Ellwood E, García-Marcos L, Masekela R, Asher I, Badellino H, Sanz AB, Douros K, El Sony A, Diaz CG, Rodríguez MA, Moreno-Salvador A, Pérez-Martini LF, Filho NR, Shpakou A, Sulaimanov S, Tavakol M, Valverde-Molina J, Yousef AA, Pearce N; GAN COVID Study Group. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 among children with asthma: evidence from Global Asthma Network. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2022 Jan;33(1):e13709. doi: 10.1111/pai.13709. Epub 2021 Dec 11. PMID: 34856034.

Morton B, Vercueil A, Masekela R, Heinz E, Reimer L, Saleh S, Kalinga C, Seekles M, Biccard B, Chakaya J, Abimbola S, Obasi A, Oriyo N. Consensus statement on measures to promote equitable authorship in the publication of research from international partnerships. Anaesthesia. 2022 Mar;77(3):264-276. doi: 10.1111/anae.15597. Epub 2021 Oct 14. PMID: 34647323; PMCID: PMC9293237.