Kerrigan McCarthy

Kerrigan McCarthy is the Head of the Outbreak Response Unit and the Acting Head of the Division of Public Health, Surveillance and Response, of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. She has a unique combination of public health, laboratory specialist, social science and clinical infectious diseases work experience within the South African public and NGO sectors. After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand with MBBCh (1995), and obtaining a specialist qualification in Microbiology (FCPath (Micro) in 2002, she served as Head of the Mycology Unit at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) 2002-7, where with the GERMS-SA surveillance network, she established national surveillance for cryptococcal disease, fungal susceptibility testing, and fungal molecular epidemiology. In 2007 she moved into the NGO sector to assume responsibility for TB/HIV integration in PEPFAR funded projects in the City of Johannesburg and facilitate investigator-led implementation science research agenda related to TB diagnostics, TB case-finding and INH prophylaxis. In 2011, Kerrigan moved to the Aurum Institute, as Scientist and Co-ordinator of the XTEND study - a pragmatic randomised controlled trial of Xpert vs smear for TB diagnosis in 40 clinics across 4 SA provinces. From 2005-2015, Kerrigan provided clinical service at Nazareth House, Johannesburg for persons living with HIV, including ART initiation and management of a 22-bed in-patient hospice. Kerrigan graduated with a MPhil (theology) in 2012 with a dissertation entitled ‘A theology of healing for contemporary South Africa -a phenomenological and multidisciplinary approach from the perspectives of Western medicine, African Traditional Religion and Christian theology.” Currently, as Head of the Outbreak Response Unit at the NICD, Kerrigan manages a team of persons who support national, provincial and district government with regard to outbreak investigation. She has overall responsibility for the NICD Public Health Emergency Operations Centre in accordance with the International Health Regulations.