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University honours Prof Wynand’s visionary leadership

Prof Wynand van der Merwe

Nearly half a century ago a young boy with a broken arm decided to become a doctor while waiting for treatment at the Karl Bremer Hospital. And not just any doctor, he wanted to be a rural doctor.

Just over a decade later this young man actually did become a doctor, and although his career didn’t take him to the countryside, but rather into the operating theatre as an anaesthesiologist, he has been responsible for a sea change in the training of rural doctors that has been invaluable to the health of rural communities.

The Ukwanda Rural Clinical School (RCS) was the brain child of Prof Wynand van der Merwe, the former Dean of Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). The RCS is the only one of its kind in South Africa, and not only expands training facilities for medical students in the Western Cape, but also provides them with appropriate training in primary health care, and helps to improve health services for rural communities.

Endowed Chair to boost research on schizophrenia

Prof Robin Emsley

The first ever Endowed Research Chair at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) was recently announced by the Department of Psychiatry.

The Sarah Turoff Endowed Chair in Schizophrenia Research will be formally established at the beginning of 2015.

According to Prof Soraya Seedat, executive head of the Department of Psychiatry, an Endowed Research Chair is one of the most lasting gifts that a donor can give to higher education. “It also links the donor in perpetuity to a commitment to research excellence and the achievements of the individual who will hold the Chair,” said Seedat. She added that the Chair will increase the visibility of schizophrenia research in the department and enhance research opportunities for staff and students.

 

University honours Prof Wynand’s visionary leadership

Prof Wynand van der Merwe

Nearly half a century ago a young boy with a broken arm decided to become a doctor while waiting for treatment at the Karl Bremer Hospital. And not just any doctor, he wanted to be a rural doctor.

Just over a decade later this young man actually did become a doctor, and although his career didn’t take him to the countryside, but rather into the operating theatre as an anaesthesiologist, he has been responsible for a sea change in the training of rural doctors that has been invaluable to the health of rural communities.

The Ukwanda Rural Clinical School (RCS) was the brain child of Prof Wynand van der Merwe, the former Dean of Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). The RCS is the only one of its kind in South Africa, and not only expands training facilities for medical students in the Western Cape, but also provides them with appropriate training in primary health care, and helps to improve health services for rural communities.

Recognition

This is only one of the many visionary projects Van der Merwe implemented during his 10 year term as Dean, and for which he was recognised with a Chancellors’ Award in December last year. He received this esteemed prize for his “… outstanding, comprehensive, and sustained contributions to SU over nearly three decades,” reads the recommendation by the FMHS Management. The motivation further notes: “He designed and implemented high-level strategies on faculty and university level, for which he received national and international recognition. Some of these breakthrough innovations Prof Van der Merwe established long before it became popular.”

Van der Merwe admits that he only realised exactly how much this award meant to him when he walked over the stage to receive his certificate and the crowd in the Coetzenburg Centre in Stellenbosch cheered enthusiastically. “I couldn’t have asked for more appropriate recognition than those cheers. It was very special and it still moves me when I think about it. I will always remember it.”

Student diversity

One of the first priorities after his appointment as Dean in January 2001 was to address the student demography on campus, which consisted mostly of white students. The distribution was particularly inadequate on undergraduate level, and in 2001 the MB, ChB profile consisted of 74% white, 17.8% coloured, 4.9% Indian and 2.5% black students. Van der Merwe’s affirmative process soon started to bear fruit and by 2003 the first-years’ profile changed to 53.9% white, 22.5% coloured, 13.7% Indian and 8.2% black. Ten years later it stood at 40.9% white, 30.6% coloured, 10.6% Indian and 17.9% black.

In that stage of the country’s transformation the changes in the student demographic profile was very progressive, and made Van der Merwe unpopular with some of his colleagues. “When I initiated the changes I was warned that there will be chaos on campus and that there will be conflict between students from different races, but there was none of that. And if you walk around campus today you’ll see that it is collective group of students that get along well with each other,” he proclaims proudly.

In addition to the changes to the student profile on undergraduate level, postgraduate student numbers also showed a substantial growth while Van der Merwe was at the helm – from 919 students in 2004 to 1 858 in 2010.

“Early in my first term I realised there would be a progressive reduction in the state’s financial contribution to universities and that we would have to increase our student numbers substantially. Because the number of undergraduate students is restricted by the clinical training opportunities, we worked hard at increasing postgraduate student numbers,” says Van der Merwe.

A boost to research

He came up with various strategies to improve research at the faculty. Among others he created a position for a Deputy Dean: Research, and formed strategic research partnerships in a planned and sustained manner with universities and institutions on a local, national and international level. Through a planned fundraising strategy the faculty’s research funding, that mainly came from local donors in 2001, increased from R10 million in 2001 to R42.2 million in 2006, and by the end of Van der Merwe’s second term (2010) the faculty received a total of R166.9 million for research, mainly from international donors. As a result the faculty’s research publication output also increased substantially in that time.

Some of Van der Merwe’s other accomplishments during his 10 years as Dean include the creation of the best-equipped clinical skills centre in South Africa; and the creation of the Centre for Health Professions Education in 2005 to ensure the faculty stays up to date with the latest international developments in health sciences education.

Two challenging terms

Van der Merwe achieved these and other accomplishments during two exceptionally difficult terms during which the faculty underwent three restructurings. On his very first day as Dean in January 2001, Van der Merwe was greeted with the merger of the Faculty of Dentistry with the FMHS.

The second restructuring in 2004 followed an instruction of the then Minister of Education to move SU's School of Dentistry and the undergraduate Nursing programme to the University of the Western Cape (UWC). “It was very painful for the lecturers, but also for the parents – they sent their children to SU to study, but they received a degree from UWC. Eventually we managed to give the students that were already enrolled a combined degree from SU and UWC,” says Van der Merwe. During this year he was occupied by the negotiations and management of the hand over process which was eventually concluded without any legal action.

The third restructuring in 2005 and 2006 was part of SU's financial restructuring during which the faculty’s 33 departments were rearranged into 10. “Initially there was pressure on us to close down some departments entirely, but we convinced the University that it would be disastrous to do away with expertise,” Van der Merwe recalls. Through innovative regrouping of departments and the repositioning of staff, Van der Merwe managed to bring about a saving of several million rand to the SU without dismissing a single person or losing any expertise.

Under Van der Merwe’s leadership the faculty went from strength to strength, and thanks to his hard work, it is today one of the foremost medical research and training centres on the continent.

“I believe in the universal truth that you have to try and improve the world around you. In this process you mustn’t look back, just keep your eyes focused on the future to see where the world is going to. You have to identify and develop new things to improve our profession and not get caught up in the past,” Van der Merwe concludes.

Article and photo: Wilma Stassen

 

Endowed Chair to boost research on schizophrenia

At the official announcement were (from left to right) Prof Robin Emsley, holder of the research chair, Mr Ben-Zion Surdut, executor of the Sarah Turoff Trust, Mrs Esther Surdut, Prof Soraya Seedat, executive head of the Department of Psychiatry and Prof Jimmy Volmink, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The first ever Endowed Research Chair at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) was recently announced by the Department of Psychiatry.

The Sarah Turoff Endowed Chair in Schizophrenia Research will be formally established at the beginning of 2015.

According to Prof Soraya Seedat, executive head of the Department of Psychiatry, an Endowed Research Chair is one of the most lasting gifts that a donor can give to higher education. “It also links the donor in perpetuity to a commitment to research excellence and the achievements of the individual who will hold the Chair,” said Seedat. She added that the Chair will increase the visibility of schizophrenia research in the department and enhance research opportunities for staff and students.

Prof Robin Emsley, who was appointed to the Chair, is an internationally acclaimed researcher in the field of schizophrenia.  

Emsley explained that brain diseases are major contributors to the disease burden globally and nationally and that schizophrenia makes up a substantial component.  It is a puzzling and complex disorder, impacting negatively upon individuals, families and society. “It is also the most stigmatised illness which often leads to patients being ostracised and victimised,” said Emsley.

He commended the young research team that he will be working with as Chair, and said that they are well positioned to contribute to research on an international level. “We also hope to produce three PhD’s early this year,” he said.

According to Prof Jimmy Volmink, dean of the FMHS, Endowed Chairs are important contributors to publicly funded universities and research institutions. “Researchers work hard to secure research funding, but while most grants cover the running costs of studies they do not fund infrastructure and posts,” he said.

Seedat noted that the endowment will contribute to the faculty’s vision of research excellence.  “The securement of the Chair says a lot about the facilitator and Executor of the Trust, Mr Ben Surdut, and his willingness to contribute to the research vision of the department and faculty, to pursue research excellence,” she concluded.
 
Article and photo: Mandi Barnard

 

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FMHS experts join WHO fight against Ebola

Profs Keymanthri Moodley and Charles Wiysonge

The current outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa is one of the worst in recent history and it has put world leaders and leading world health care institutions on high alert.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is playing a vital role in the management of the disease and has embarked on a number of policy, clinical, educational and research projects, one of which is the establishment of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) working group on Ebola vaccines and vaccination.

Orthopaedic research to be scaled up

Dr Reggie King (left) and prof Rob Lamberts (right)

Orthopaedic research at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) is set to get a boost with the appointment of Professor Rob Lamberts as Head of Research in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The aim of this newly-established position is to develop research structures to improve the quality of research output of the division.

 

FMHS experts join WHO fight against Ebola

Profs Keymanthri Moodley and Charles Wiysonge

The current outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa is one of the worst in recent history and it has put world leaders and leading world health care institutions on high alert.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is playing a vital role in the management of the disease and has embarked on a number of policy, clinical, educational and research projects, one of which is the establishment of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) working group on Ebola vaccines and vaccination.

Two of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences’ (FMHS) experts, Profs Keymanthri Moodley and Charles Wiysonge, have been appointed to the SAGE working group on Ebola vaccines and vaccination.

This group was established in November 2014 with an urgent programme of work to facilitate a review which will provide evidence-based information and advice to the WHO on the potential post-licensure use of the Ebola vaccines to limit the impact of the disease and possibly curtail future outbreaks.

Moodley said she found it encouraging that ethicists are incorporated in projects such as these from the beginning. “In the past scientists worked in isolation,” she said. “Now, scientific, social and ethical issues are considered as inter-related concerns.”

Wiysonge is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, which is fast becoming a centre of excellence for advancing evidence-informed health care in Africa and globally.  He was included in the SAGE working group because of his expertise in vaccination and systematic reviews. “Several studies are currently underway, evaluating the efficacy of candidate Ebola vaccines.” says Wiysonge.

“The best way to assess the comparative efficacy of these vaccines is by systematically reviewing and pooling the results of these studies as they become available.” He adds that without such a systematic evidence synthesis, effective vaccines may be considered ineffective and be withheld and, conversely, ineffective vaccines may be recommended because they are thought to be effective.  

Article: Mandi Barnard
Photo - Moodley: Anton Jordaan
Photo - Wiysonge: Damien Schumann

 

Orthopaedic research to be scaled up

Prof Rob Lamberts (right) and Dr Reggie King (left) who is the first orthopaedic registrar to register for a PhD in South Africa

Orthopaedic research at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) is set to get a boost with the appointment of Professor Rob Lamberts as Head of Research in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The aim of this newly-established position is to develop research structures to improve the quality of research output of the division.

“South African orthopaedic surgeons are clinically very strong and are recognised worldwide for their skills. But there is a need to improve orthopaedic research in the country,” says Lamberts. Orthopaedic researchers in South Africa only publishes a few international peer reviewed articles per year, which is equivalent to about 2% of what is published by orthopaedic researchers in the United Kingdom.

By developing an orthopaedic research module, supervising and assisting registrars to design solid research studies and by setting intermediate deadlines for the registrars, Lamberts is hoping to streamline and improve the quality of research within the division. He hopes this will result in more articles from the FMHS being published in internationally peer reviewed journals annually.

Orthopaedic research at the faculty will focus on some of South Africa’s most prominent issues, including trauma injuries, HIV and TB. “The division is interested in clinically orientated research focused on improving methods of service delivery in order to offer the best service at the lowest cost,” says Lamberts, who himself is involved in a range of research projects ranging from cerebral palsy and  HIV to sports research.

The major challenge for orthopaedic registrars is to secure funding for their research projects and financial support if they want to pursue a research career.

Dr Reggie King, the first orthopaedic registrar to register for a PhD at the faculty and in South Africa, has had to take up part-time employment because he was unable to secure funding. “This development has been extremely disappointing, especially as this student would have been able to complete his PhD within two years and become only the second or third orthopaedic surgeon in South Africa with a PhD,” says Lamberts.

With the formal structures in place to facilitate research and the growing interest in evidence-based medicine, Lamberts hopes that more funding will become available for orthopaedic registrars and clinicians to pursue a research career. In addition he is also hoping to grow the orthopaedic research group by attracting two post-doctoral research fellows.  

Article: Wilma Stassen
Photo: Mandi Barnard

 

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Graduates pledge to serve humanity

Top undergraduate student Ms Chris-Maré Potgieter, receiving her medal from Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean of the Faculty

The selfless commitment shown by health workers caring for Ebola patients in West Africa epitomises the values of the oath undertaken by all healthcare workers entering the profession, Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean of Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), told graduands at last year’s oath-taking ceremony.

“By taking this oath you declare your commitment to assuming the responsibilities and obligation of the health profession, to practice your craft ethically and honestly and to behave with integrity even in extreme circumstances,” Volmink said to graduands. During the two ceremonies 169 medical students, 41 occupational therapy students, 19 dietetics students, 44 physiotherapy students and 23 speech-language and hearing therapy students from the FMHS undertook the oath of graduands ahead of their graduation.

Vice-Rector: Research and Innovation honours researchers

Prof Soraya Seedat, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, received recognition for her excellence in terms of PhD's delivered and number of publications

A total of 18 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) researchers were among the 92 SU researchers recognised by the Vice-Rector: Research and Innovation for making the largest contribution to the university’s accredited publications and doctoral graduates

A group of 92 researchers performed in one or more of the three categories that were used for this purpose. With regards to accredited publications, two categories were taken into account, namely SU researchers who made the largest contribution with regards to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)'s research publication subsidy units (cut-off 3.96 units), and SU researchers who produced the largest number of accredited research publications in collaboration with their national and international research partners and students (cut-off 10 publications) – in both categories the 2012 output year information was used. In this round, a third category was introduced that gives recognition to the contribution of researchers who produced 2 or more PhD's in 2013.

 

Graduates pledge to serve humanity

Top photo: MB,ChB top achievers with Profs Jimmy Volmink, Dean of the FMHS (in the centre of the front row) and Marietjie de Villiers, Deputy Dean: Education (on his left) and Ben van Heerden, MB,ChB Programme Coordinator (on his right)

Bottom photo: The PhD graduates and their promotors celebrating at the Endler Hall after the graduation ceremony


The selfless commitment shown by health workers caring for Ebola patients in West Africa epitomises the values of the oath undertaken by all healthcare workers entering the profession, Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean of Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), told graduands at last year’s oath-taking ceremony.

“By taking this oath you declare your commitment to assuming the responsibilities and obligation of the health profession, to practice your craft ethically and honestly and to behave with integrity even in extreme circumstances,” Volmink said to graduands. During the two ceremonies 169 medical students, 41 occupational therapy students, 19 dietetics students, 44 physiotherapy students and 23 speech-language and hearing therapy students from the FMHS undertook the oath of graduands ahead of their graduation.

“You are going to touch many lives and will be remembered for the impact you had on patients, their families and communities,” said guest speaker Prof Shajila Singh, head of the University of Cape Town’s Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the oath-taking ceremony for the allied health students. She encouraged students to put their hard-earned skills and knowledge to good use.

At the ceremony for medical students, guest speaker Mr Shafiq Morton, a renowned journalist at the Voice of the Cape radio station, said that the oath captures the spirit of Ubuntu – a philosophy of showing humanity towards other. Using the example of the humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers, Morton illustrated the compassion and generosity of South African doctors. He  urged the new doctors to show the same compassion and generosity in their own work.

The class of 2014's top undergraduate student was Ms Chris-Maré Potgieter, who completed her MB,ChB degree with an average of 82,2% and earned top marks for seven of the 11 subjects in her final year. Ms Nondumiso Khoza received the Dean’s award for the best student intern dissertation, and Ms Mariechen Puchert received the Dean’s award for leadership.

A further 221 students received their postgraduate diplomas, 46 students received their honours degrees and 77 masters and nine PhD students also received their degrees in various health and allied health sciences disciplines.

The former dean of the FMHS, Prof Wynand van der Merwe, was one of the recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for the contributions that he has made over the last three decades.

Click here to view photos on the Faculty’s Facebook page:
Doctoral ceremony
Graduation ceremony
Oath-taking ceremony, MB,ChB
Oath-taking ceremony, Allied Health Sciences

Article: Wilma Stassen
Photos: Anton Jordaan and Mandi Barnard

 

Vice-Rector: Research and Innovation honours researchers

Eighteen researchers at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences were included in the group of 92 SU researchers who were recognised by Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research and Innovation for their contributions to accredited publications and doctoral graduates

A total of 18 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) researchers were among the 92 SU researchers recognised by the Vice-Rector: Research and Innovation for making the largest contribution to the university’s accredited publications and doctoral graduates

A group of 92 researchers performed in one or more of the three categories that were used for this purpose. With regards to accredited publications, two categories were taken into account, namely SU researchers who made the largest contribution with regards to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)`s research publication subsidy units (cut-off 3.96 units), and SU researchers who produced the largest number of accredited research publications in collaboration with their national and international research partners and students (cut-off 10 publications) – in both categories the 2012 output year information was used. In this round, a third category was introduced that gives recognition to the contribution of researchers who produced 2 or more PhD's in 2013.

Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice Rector: Research and Innovation, stated that publications and doctoral graduates are the most important outputs of SU researchers. "These activities contribute greatly to the expansion of the reputation of SU as an outstanding research university. More important is the fact that new knowledge generated at SU is being transferred to a worldwide audience in this way, and ensures the application of research results and the establishment of high-level human capacity". Prof Cloete furthermore thanked SU researchers for their exceptional contribution to SU`s research efforts and mentioned that researchers who produce these types of outputs of the highest quality can be regarded as one of the most important assets at any university.

The FMHS researchers recognised are:

Researchers who excelled in terms of PhDs delivered and number of publications
S Seedat (Psychiatry)

Researchers who excelled in terms of number of subsidy units and number of publications:
SW Moore (Paediatric Surgery)

Researchers who excelled in terms of number of publications:
HS Schaaf (Paediatrics and Child Health)
RM Warren (Molecular Biology and Human Genetics)
AC Hesseling (Paediatrics and Child Health)
MF Cotton (Paediatrics and Child Health)
TC Victor (Molecular Biology and Human Genetics)
AH Diacon (Medical Physiology)
RP Gie (Paediatrics and Child Health)
RT Erasmus (Chemical Pathology)
PD van Helden (Molecular Biology and Human Genetics)
JA Seddon (Paediatrics and Child Health)
PR Donald (Paediatrics and Child Health)
DJ Stein (Psychiatry)
JB Nachega (General Internal Medicine)

Researchers who excelled in terms of PhDs delivered:
VA Corfield (Molecular Biology and Human Genetics)
A Lochner (Medical Physiology)
E Hoal van Helden (Molecular Biology and Human Genetics)

Click here to read the article by Maryke Hunter-Husselmann on the SU news blog which includes the complete list of SU researchers who received recognition.

Photo: Stefan Els

 

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Young upcoming researcher receives recognition

Dr Berna Gerber

Dr Berna Gerber, Head of the Division of Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy was named the best young emerging researcher at the annual Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning which was presented by the Stellenbosch University’s Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement in November last year.

During her presentation, entitled “Clinical communication, the medical world-view, and medical education”, she looked critically at Medicine’s purported view of herself and the world largely in scientific terms.

Postdoctoral fellow excels at local research symposium

Dr Peter Oyeyipo

Dr Peter Oyeyipo, a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Medical Physiology, received the second prize for his oral presentation entitled “In vitro effects of nicotine on human spermatozoa” which he delivered at Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Postdoctoral Research Symposium 2014.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the in vitro effect of high levels of nicotine on sperm motility and kinematic parameters, viability and acrosome status in normozoospermic semen samples from non-smokers at different nicotine dosages and durations of exposure to ascertain at what concentration nicotine inhibits sperm parameters.

 

Young upcoming researcher receives recognition

Dr Berna Gerber

Dr Berna Gerber, Head of the Division of Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy was named the best young emerging researcher at the annual Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning which was presented by the Stellenbosch University’s Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement in November last year.

During her presentation, entitled “Clinical communication, the medical world-view, and medical education”, she looked critically at Medicine’s purported view of herself and the world largely in scientific terms.

“Medicine’s self-image as a science probably has a huge and negative impact on the interaction and communication between the physician and patient,” says Gerber. “To counteract this negative influence, it is necessary to review the worldview of medicine and to review medicine’s view of science as well.” Gerber explains that human sciences can and should play an important role in the reviewing process, and should be included in medical curricula.

She says her interest in this field started with her research on communication in health care during her postgraduate studies and from there it expanded to the broader field of health care human or social sciences.

Article and photo: Mandi Barnard

 

Postdoctoral fellow excels at local research symposium

Dr Peter Oyeyipo

Dr Peter Oyeyipo, a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Medical Physiology, received the second prize for his oral presentation entitled “In vitro effects of nicotine on human spermatozoa” which he delivered at Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Postdoctoral Research Symposium 2014.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the in vitro effect of high levels of nicotine on sperm motility and kinematic parameters, viability and acrosome status in normozoospermic semen samples from non-smokers at different nicotine dosages and durations of exposure to ascertain at what concentration nicotine inhibits sperm parameters.

“We concluded that the occurrence of high levels of nicotine in the body and seminal fluid might adversely affect fertilisation capacity of human spermatozoa through a mechanism that involves decreased motility, viability and premature induction of the acrosome reaction,” explained Oyeyipo.

He said that this prestigious and highly competitive award means a great deal to him.  “It gives me great motivation and serves to make me want to do better research. It is also an indication that SU recognises and rewards good research output.”

This annual event is organised by the Division of Research Development, the Postgraduate and International Office, and the Postdoctoral Society of SU.

Article: Mandi Barnard
Photo: Supplied

 

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Winners of ethics essay competition announced

Helene-Marì van der Westhuizen receiving her prize from Dr Graham Howarth, Head of Medical Services in Africa of the Medical Protection Society (MPS)

Every year all students of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences are invited to participate in the annual Medical Protection Society (MPS) Ethics Essay Competition which is facilitated by the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law.  This topic for 2014 was: “Dual loyalties: The case of Wouter Basson in South Africa”.

A fifth year medical student, Helene-Marì van der Westhuizen, submitted an interesting essay based on personal experience gained during her Internal Medicine rotation during which Dr Wouter Basson presented several tutorials.

Marie is the voice of communities in research

Ms Marie Theunissen

Ms Marie Theunissen, an adherence monitor and counsellor at FAM-CRU, was selected as chairperson of the IMPAACT Community Advisory Board’s (ICAB) Leadership Group (ILG). This is the second consecutive term she was selected to serve on the ILG.

The International Maternal Paediatric  Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) Network is a global collaboration of researchers and other partners that evaluate interventions to treat and prevent HIV infection and its consequences through high-quality clinical trials. ICAB/ILG is the community component of this group.

 

Winners of ethics essay competition announced

Helene-Marì van der Westhuizen receiving her prize from Dr Graham Howarth, Head of Medical Services in Africa of the Medical Protection Society (MPS)

Every year all students of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences are invited to participate in the annual Medical Protection Society (MPS) Ethics Essay Competition which is facilitated by the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law.  This topic for 2014 was: “Dual loyalties: The case of Wouter Basson in South Africa”.

A fifth year medical student, Helene-Marì van der Westhuizen, submitted an interesting essay based on personal experience gained during her Internal Medicine rotation during which Dr Wouter Basson presented several tutorials.

Her submission was selected as the winning essay by Dr Graham Howarth, Head of Medical Services in Africa of the MPS in the UK. She received the prize of R 5 000 at the Annual MPS Ethics Evening which was held on 19 November 2014 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).  The event was attended by approximately 2 000 health care professionals.

The second prize of R 2 000 was sponsored by Mediclinic and went to Nabeela Kajee, a fourth year medical student. Her submission was particularly impressive given that she has not yet been exposed to the three week intensive training in ethics in the fifth year of the undergraduate curriculum.

The competition was held this year for the fifth consecutive year and, with the assistance of Prof Keymanthri Moodley, head of the centre, the first three winners have published their work internationally.  “We encourage students to think critically and independently and look beyond the narrow focus of medicine,” Moodley said.

Article: Mandi Barnard
Photo: Supplied

 

Marie is the voice of communities in research

Ms Marie Theunissen

Ms Marie Theunissen, an adherence monitor and counsellor at FAM-CRU, was selected as chairperson of the IMPAACT Community Advisory Board’s (ICAB) Leadership Group (ILG). This is the second consecutive term she was selected to serve on the ILG.

The International Maternal Paediatric  Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) Network is a global collaboration of researchers and other partners that evaluate interventions to treat and prevent HIV infection and its consequences through high-quality clinical trials. ICAB/ILG is the community component of this group.

Theunissen, who helps to recruit, counsel and monitor test subjects for clinical trials, is the intermediary between local communities and this international research network.

“The ILG serves as a link between the researchers and the community,” Theunissen explains. “For instance, when protocols are being developed, the ICAB has to get input from communities and share any concerns they may have.”

She has always been an advocate for community representation in research, and is very passionate about her membership to ILG. “It is important for people to understand what research is really about so they don’t feeling they are being used as guinea pigs,” says Theunissen.

“Research won’t be useful if the community doesn’t have a say in it, and without community input it would be very difficult to recruit participants for the clinical trials.”

She is thankful for the support she has received from the FAM-CRU team, and in particular her mentors who have been instrumental in her professional development that has led her to this point.

Article and photo: Wilma Stassen

 

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Excellence in nursing scholarship vital

From left to right are Profs Hester Klopper, CEO of FUNDISA; Usuf Chikte, Executive Head: Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, FMHS; Dr Therese Fish, Deputy Dean: Community Service and Interaction, FMHS; Profs Wim de Villiers, Rector Designate, SU; Marietjie de Villiers, Deputy Dean: Education, FMHS; and Anita van der Merwe, Head: Division of Nursing Sciences, FMHS

Prof Wim de Villiers, the rector designate of Stellenbosch University (SU), delivered the welcoming address at a conference of the Forum of University Nursing Deans in South Africa (FUNDISA) hosted at SU’s Division of Nursing on 19 February 2015.

At this conference, attended by all the heads of nursing programmes at higher education institutions in South Africa, issues of national importance around nursing and midwifery came under the spotlight.

It was De Villiers’ first official speaking engagement as SU rector designate. He was appointed in December, and takes up his position in April.

 

Excellence in nursing scholarship vital

From left to right are Profs Hester Klopper, CEO of FUNDISA; Usuf Chikte, Executive Head: Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, FMHS; Dr Therese Fish, Deputy Dean: Community Service and Interaction, FMHS; Profs Wim de Villiers, Rector Designate, SU; Marietjie de Villiers, Deputy Dean: Education, FMHS; and Anita van der Merwe, Head: Division of Nursing Sciences, FMHS

Prof Wim de Villiers, the rector designate of Stellenbosch University (SU), delivered the welcoming address at a conference of the Forum of University Nursing Deans in South Africa (FUNDISA) hosted at SU’s Division of Nursing Science on 19 February 2015.

At this conference, attended by all the heads of nursing programmes at higher education institutions in South Africa, issues of national importance around nursing and midwifery came under the spotlight.

It was De Villiers’ first official speaking engagement as SU rector designate. He was appointed in December, and takes up his position in April.  Currently, he is Dean of the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

In his opening remarks at the FUNDISA meeting he said that nursing and midwifery are vital components of health care. He stressed that he holds academic scholarship in high regard.

De Villiers is a Matie alumnus and medical doctor who also studied and worked in England and America for 24 years. He obtained an MB,ChB from Stellenbosch University and a DPhil in Immunology from Oxford University. In America he practised as a gastroenterologist and also established himself as a respected researcher in this field. He held a number of senior positions at the University of Kentucky (UK), including Head of Gastroenterology and Administrative Head of the UK’s group of hospitals and clinics, known as UK HealthCare.

The training of nurses and the scholarship of the subject are of particular interest to De Villiers. “Higher education institutions play a pivotal role in this regard, and the commitment to excellence shown by universities and structures such as FUNDISA is very encouraging.”
 
“We need to pursue excellence in nursing scholarship in South Africa,” he said. He praised FUNDISA for their focus on academic excellence, which is clearly stated by their motto of ‘excellence in university nursing scholarship’.

De Villiers added that the focus of these institutions must not be on education only, but research and scholarship are of equal importance. “Nursing and midwifery are dependent on expert knowledge and skills.”

He also touched on the importance of an interprofessional team approach and explained that recent research suggests that collaboration between health professionals has a positive impact on the quality of service.  “In USA hospitals one will often find the office of the Chief Nursing Officer right next to the office of the Chief Operating Officer.”

De Villiers cautioned that South Africa is facing an epidemic of non-communicable diseases over the next decade. South Africa was successful in managing HIV related issues, but the biggest challenge health care will be facing in the near future is that of non-communicable diseases.  “We need to train for this and do research if we want to manage this challenge successfully.”

The Division of Nursing at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences hosted the two day event. The newly appointed head of the division, Prof Anita van der Merwe, said that she aims to have the undergraduate nursing reinstated at Stellenbosch University and to develop the PhD programme to full capacity.

Article: Mandi Barnard
Photo: Desmond Thompson

 

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International anaesthetists impressed with local facilities

Dr Xavier Salah-Blanch from Barcelona presented a workshop on ultrasound-guided nerve blocks for shoulder and arm surgery

Anaesthetists from all over the world who attended the World Congress on Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy, were impressed with the standard of the practical training component which was hosted by Stellenbosch University (SU). The congress was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in November last year.

Delegates commuted daily to the Tygerberg Campus to attend workshops organised by the Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS).

Reference group will enhance rehabilitation in health promotion

The panel at the launch of the position paper of the Rehabilitation Reference Group were (from the left) Drs Gubela Mji, Stefanus Snyman and Lizahn Cloete

The newly established Rehabilitation Reference Group (RRG) celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December with a mini symposium themed “Breaking Barriers, Joining Hands”, where it launched its position paper.

The rationale for the launching of the position statement was to create awareness and visibility of rehabilitation as an essential strategy for improving the quality of life of people with disabilities. “It is also to raise a voice to, and develop partnerships with key stakeholders within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), Tygerberg Hospital and beyond with regard to the development of the RRG,” said Dr Gubela Mji, a founding member of the RRG and Director of the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies at the FMHS.

 

International anaesthetists impressed with local training facilities

Dr Xavier Salah-Blanch from Barcelona presented a workshop on ultrasound-guided nerve blocks for shoulder and arm surgery

Anaesthetists from all over the world who attended the World Congress on Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy, were impressed with the standard of the practical training component which was hosted by Stellenbosch University (SU). The congress was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in November last year.

Delegates commuted daily to the Tygerberg Campus to attend workshops organised by the Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS).

A total of 150 candidates attended the 12 workshops at the dissection laboratories and animal house on the Tygerberg Campus. Four nerve block workshops and four chronic pain workshops were offered on cadavers. Pigs were used in four nerve block workshops, which offered candidates the opportunity to practice nerve blocks with ultrasound and nerve simulation guidance under supervision on living tissue, as it is done on patients.

Several international visitors, well known in the specific field, presented the workshops which were booked in advance and had long waiting lists.
“Visiting presenters, candidates and congress organisers provided overwhelmingly positive feedback,” said Dr Francois Retief, one of the organisers of the workshop. “Some of the international presenters commented that the samples and dissections were the best quality they have ever worked with, which is a great compliment to the Division of Anatomy and Histology at the FMHS.”

Retief also mentioned that many people are going overseas to attend similar cadaver workshops. “Thus, it was a special opportunity to offer this kind of workshops on international standard.”

“The Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care will continue to offer similar workshops this year and the first was held in February,” he said. Interested parties can address enquiries to francoisretief@hotmail.com.

Article: Mandi Barnard
Photo: Supplied

 

Reference group will enhance rehabilitation in health promotion

The panel at the launch of the position paper of the Rehabilitation Reference Group were (from the left) Drs Gubela Mji, Stefanus Snyman and Lizahn Cloete

The newly established Rehabilitation Reference Group (RRG) celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December with a mini symposium themed “Breaking Barriers, Joining Hands”, where it launched its position paper.

The rationale for the launching of the position statement was to create awareness and visibility of rehabilitation as an essential strategy for improving the quality of life of people with disabilities. “It is also to raise a voice to, and develop partnerships with key stakeholders within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), Tygerberg Hospital and beyond with regard to the development of the RRG,” said Dr Gubela Mji, a founding member of the RRG and Director of the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies at the FMHS.  

The RRG was established after Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, the National Minister of Health, in 2013 requested that the FMHS be represented on a National Task Team on Rehabilitation. Dr Mji is now the Stellenbosch University representative on the task team.

A need for feedback from different institutions that offer both rehabilitation training and practice was one of the reasons behind the establishment of RRG in the FMHS. It is hoped that the group will represent the FMHS and respond to questions regarding rehabilitation. It is also hoped that the RRG will facilitate a deeper understanding of the rehabilitation philosophy and scope of practice within the FMHS and beyond. As the FMHS works closely with Tygerberg Hospital, they included the rehabilitation professionals at the hospital.

Dr Stefanus Snyman, a member of the panel for the discussion session at the launch, explained that the position paper is “more than just a politically correct statement by a group of health care workers claiming to know what is going on”. “The positioning statement serves as an opportunity the faculty can utilise to transform the way we develop and offer our services to the patient,” he said.

Dr Lizahn Cloete, also a panel member, concluded that rehabilitation fits everywhere. “It is everyone’s responsibility and is a strategy that plays an important role in disease prevention and health promotion because it brings out functionality and participation,” she said.

Article and photo: Mandi Barnard

 

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International honours for local specialist

Prof Bob Mash

Prof Bob Mash, Head of the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, recently received the Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) by peer review in London.

He became a member of the college in 1989 and has spent most of his working career since 1990 in South Africa.  “Recently I re-engaged with the Royal College as Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health, visited the RGCP  in 2011 and asked it to assist with strengthening primary care in SA,” explains Mash.  

Local bioethicist appointed to advise on HIV cure research

Prof Keymanthri Moodley

Prof Keymanthri Moodley was invited to join two working groups of the International Aids Society (IAS) by the president of the society, Francoise Barré-Sinoussi.  

Prof Moodley is the director of the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and holds a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant on HIV cure research. She said that the Centre has an international reputation in the field of HIV and ethics, from HIV prevention, to HIV treatment and now to an HIV cure.

 

International honours for local specialist

Prof Bob Mash (centre) visited the RCGP’s international department in London when he was presented with the Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Pictured here are Mash with RCGP president Mike Pringle (right) and Amanda Howe (left), president-elect of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA)

Prof Bob Mash, Head of the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, recently received the Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) by peer review in London.

He became a member of the college in 1989 and has spent most of his working career since 1990 in South Africa.  “Recently I re-engaged with the Royal College as Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health, visited the RGCP in 2011 and asked it to assist with strengthening primary care in SA,” explains Mash.

The president of the RCGP visited SA in 2012 and met with Mash and the SA Academy of Family Physicians at the British High Commission and subsequently a collaboration agreement was signed between the Academy and the RCGP during a meeting at Victoria Falls.

“Following this we incorporated the RCGP as a partner in a project to strengthen primary health care in South Africa through primary care doctors and family physicians,” says Mash.  This project is funded by the European Union and Ghent University and all eight universities in South Africa offering medical training are involved. It is led by the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences with Mash as lead applicant.

In this project, which will run until August 2016, the RCGP is sharing its expertise in training and assessment by training family physicians from around the country to be clinical trainers in the workplace and by training the examiners from the College of Family Physicians to improve the quality of the national exit examination for family physicians.

Article: Mandi Barnard
Photo: Supplied

 

Local bioethicist appointed to advise on HIV cure research

Prof Keymanthri Moodley

Prof Keymanthri Moodley was invited to join two working groups of the International Aids Society (IAS) by the president of the society, Francoise Barré-Sinoussi.  

Prof Moodley is the director of the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and holds a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant on HIV cure research. She said that the Centre has an international reputation in the field of HIV and ethics, from HIV prevention, to HIV treatment and now to an HIV cure.

She will serve on the Programme Committee for the 8th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention to be held in Vancouver in July 2015, to review submissions and plan the programme on HIV cure research.

She will also serve on an International Scientific Working Group that will be exploring strategies for an HIV cure. She is one of two African representatives in the group of 57 members, both of whom are from South Africa.

“My subgroup will be looking at gene or cell therapy as a strategy for HIV cure research, considering both the science and the ethics in parallel,” Moodley explained. The group will continue working until the 2016 IAS Conference that will be held in Durban, where research outputs will be presented.

Article and photo: Mandi Barnard

 

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Rural nursing group tackles health care challenges

The founding members of RuNurSA at the 2014 Rural Health Conference

A nursing forum aimed at improving the conditions and standards of nursing in rural South Africa was launched at the 2014 Rural Health Conference held in Worcester in September last year.

The group, called RuNurSA, was established through collaboration between Stellenbosch University’s Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health and the Western Cape College of Nursing at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Boland Campus.

“Nurses form an integral part of the grass roots health teams caring for rural communities,” said Ms Guin Lourens, clinical training platform manager of Ukwanda at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Networking to facilitate evidence-to-action in the disability field

The Afrinead symposium offers an excellent networking opportunity to international stakeholders to address the needs of people with disabilities

The African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD) held its fourth symposium in Malawi in November 2014, as part of linking with its membership and drawing new membership to discuss issues of translation of research evidence in Africa. The symposium drew more than 200 delegates which included many government officials from both regional – South Africa, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda – and international countries – Canada, Ireland, Norway and USA.

 

Rural nursing group tackles health care challenges

The founding members of RuNurSA at the 2014 Rural Health Conference. Fltr: Annelie Theunissen, Helta Jordaan, Guin Lourens, Liesl Strauss, Maseko Molatelo, Kittie Nieuwoudt, Alta Davids, Kate Joyner and Ruben Geweldt

A nursing forum aimed at improving the conditions and standards of nursing in rural South Africa was launched at the 2014 Rural Health Conference held in Worcester in September last year.

The group, called RuNurSA, was established through collaboration between Stellenbosch University’s Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health and the Western Cape College of Nursing at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Boland Campus.

“Nurses form an integral part of the grass roots health teams caring for rural communities,” said Ms Guin Lourens, clinical training platform manager of Ukwanda at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

According to her, rural health nursing is clouded by nursing attrition, vacant posts, and a lack of scarce skills, and it is RuNurSA’s aim to provide leadership, inspiration and vision to nursing staff faced with the realities and challenges of rural health care.

“Capacity building, advocacy and leadership in rural nursing should be deemed paramount if access to comprehensive quality rural health care is to be realised,” Lourens added.

Article: Wilma Stassen
Photo: Supplied

 

Networking to facilitate evidence-to-action in the disability field

The Afrinead symposium offers an excellent networking opportunity to international stakeholders to address the needs of people with disabilities. Fltr: Mr Dave McComiskey, President of CBM; Prof John Saka, Vice Chancellor of the University of Malawi; Prof Usuf Chikte, Executive Head of the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University; Dr Gubela Mji, Head of the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Stellenbosch University and Minister Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Malawi

The African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD) held its fourth symposium in Malawi in November 2014, as part of linking with its membership and drawing new membership to discuss issues of translation of research evidence in Africa. The symposium drew more than 200 delegates which included many government officials from both regional – South Africa, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda – and international countries – Canada, Ireland, Norway and USA.

“It was satisfying to see the symposium well represented by persons with disabilities from Malawi,” said Dr Gubela Mji, the director of the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and founder member of AfriNEAD.

AfriNEAD, which is situated in the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, was founded in 2007 to ensure that networking and research contributes to a better quality of life for people with disabilities in Africa. “It is a flagship project of our Centre and its aim is to facilitate evidence-to-action in the disability field so as to impact for real change in the quality of life of people with disabilities in Africa,” Mji said.  

The focus of this network is on the translation of research into evidence-based advocacy, practice and policy – particularly in the pan-African context – to ensure that issues of disability are systematically addressed in a coherent and consistent fashion.  

“AfriNEAD’s mission is to be a dynamic disability sector network where there is a free and open exchange of ideas and evidence to advance the realisation of equal rights for people with disabilities and to promote action for social inclusion and participation,” Mji said.  “Our vision for AfriNEAD is that it will become a significant contributor to and facilitator around the needs of people with disabilities in Africa.”  She added that one of the key functions of AfriNEAD is to assist in translating existing and new research in the disability arena into meaningful evidence-based advocacy, practice, products and policy.

The fifth AfriNEAD symposium will be held in Ghana in 2017.

Article: Mandi Barnard
Photo: Supplied

 

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Talent and hard work needed to be a health worker

Just over 500 new first-year students were welcomed to Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences earlier this year. Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean of the Faculty, congratulated the students for being selected from a large group of applicants, and also cautioned them on the hard work and dedication that will be required to complete the course.

 

Talent and hard work needed to be a health worker

Just over 500 new first-year students were welcomed to Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences earlier this year. Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean of the Faculty, congratulated the students for being selected from a large group of applicants, and also cautioned them on the hard work and dedication that will be required to complete the course.

“Your presence here today is a remarkable feat. You’ve clearly been blessed with an extraordinary talent – you are intellectually gifted, you are good at problem solving, and you probably have an excellent memory… But what distinguishes outstanding from average achievers, is how hard you work,” said Prof Volmink.

Of the more than 3000 applicants, only 305 students were accepted to study medicine (MB,ChB) and 211 students were accepted for the allied health programmes – dietetics, physiotherapy and speech-language and hearing therapy.

Two of the MB,ChB candidates are identical twins Lilene and Inge du Toit. Last year they made the list of top matriculants in Western Cape with averages of 95.3% and 94.8% respectively. They will both be staying at Huis Francie van Zijl residence where their mother, Erdine, also stayed 32 years ago when she studied nursing at Tygerberg. Their father, Dr Danie du Toit, also studied at Tygerberg and is still involved with the Department of Surgical Sciences.

Another first-year medical student, Elsje-Marie Geldenhuys, is actually in her ninth year of study at Stellenbosch and last year obtained a PhD in anatomy here. “My first ‘first year’ was in 2007 when I started my BSc in Molecular Biology. In 2010 I did my honours in anatomy and that’s when I realised I want to be a doctor,” said Elsje-Marie.  She went on to do her masters and thereafter her PhD in anatomical pathology.

Elsje-Marie, who also lectures at the Division of Anatomy and Histology, hopes to complete her MB,ChB by 2021, and after two years of internship and a year of community service, start her four-year specialisation in pathology.

Article and video: Wilma Stassen

 

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From the faculty's pen

Textbook of Psychiatry


The Textbook of Psychiatry focuses on the most important aspects of recognising and treating common psychiatric disorders relevant to psychiatric practice in South Africa. It recently has been published by the Department of Psychiatry of Stellenbosch Unviversity's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The third edition has been revised to keep abreast of new developments in the field, providing updated information in keeping with the current evidence base. The authors have combined their knowledge of the literature together with their own clinical experience, presenting in each chapter a concise overview of the most important aspects of the topic. The book incorporates the recently revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition and is an excellent resource for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Authors: Emsley, Pienaar and Seedat

The book is available from Mandy Harck at 021 938 9023 or mji@sun.ac.za at R450.00

Infection Prevention and Control


“An essential guide for infection prevention and control for all health practitioners working in resource-limited areas.”—Professor Lucille Blumberg

Infection Prevention and Control is a crucial guide for health care workers, especially those working in low resource settings.

Chapters cover:

  • Infection prevention and control programmes
  • Micro-organisms relevant to infection prevention and control
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Hand hygiene
  • Healthcare facility design
  • Cleaning and waste management
  • Surveillance and outbreak investigation
  • Tuberculosis IPC
  • Anti-microbial stewardship.

The book is available at Bettercare and various bookstores. It can also be downloaded for free at www. bettercare.co.za/books/infection-prevention-and-control/.

Royalties from the sale of this book go to the Infection Control Africa Network (ICAN).

Click here to read full article on SU newsblog

Ebola Prevention and Control


 “An essential item for your clinic and hospital shelves. All those involved in the care of patients suspect for having Ebola should be familiar with the contents of this book.” Prof Dale Fisher

Ideal for use in training courses, Ebola Prevention and Control is a guide to managing, preventing and controlling Ebola and other viral haemorrhagic fevers, especially in resource-limited settings. It is a resource for health care workers, managers and administrators.

Topics

  • virology and epidemiology
  • patient management
  • protection of health care workers, and
  • support services.

It is written by Dr Angela Dramowski (Stellenbosch University) and Professor Shaheen Mehtar (Stellenbosch, ICAN, WHO), and endorsed by the Infection Control Africa Network (ICAN).

The book is available at Bettercare  and can be downloaded for free at www.bettercare.co.za/books/ebola-prevention-control.

Click here to read full article on SU newsblog

 

 

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Student's Oxford learning experience

Ms Nabeela Kajee

A fifth year medical student, Ms Nabeela Kajee, was one of a group of only 50 medical students from all over the world that were selected to do an elective at Oxford University last year. She shares her experience of this renowned establishment:

“That sweet city with her dreaming spires, she needs not June for beauty’s heightening”. This is the first quote I ever read about Oxford and the start of a dream to one day experience it for myself. So when the time came to choose an elective, Oxford University was a natural choice for me.

International collaboration

Visiting physicians from the Netherlands

A group of physicians from the Netherlands visited the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) recently as part of a clinical leadership visit to South Africa. They met with representatives from various disciplines, including orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, internal medicine and radiation oncology.

Mr Eben Mouton, Director: Business Management at the FMHS, said international collaboration is important to the faculty. “Increasing national and international collaboration in health professions education and leadership in health is a strategic objective of the faculty.”

Tyger Maties’ heroics make front page news

This article was published in Die Burger

While scared shoppers were frantically running out of a shop where a gruesome attack just took place, two brave Tyger Maties rushed towards the scene to help the injured without any thought of their own safety.

Their heroics made front page news in two of the biggest daily newspapers in the Cape.

 

Student's Oxford learning experience

Ms Nabeela Kajee

A fifth year medical student, Ms Nabeela Kajee, was one of a group of only 50 medical students from all over the world that were selected to do an elective at Oxford University last year. She shares her experience of this renowned establishment:

“That sweet city with her dreaming spires, she needs not June for beauty’s heightening”. This is the first quote I ever read about Oxford and the start of a dream to one day experience it for myself. So when the time came to choose an elective, Oxford University was a natural choice for me.

Oxford, similar to Stellenbosch, is a university town where student and academic activities form the cultural heartbeat of this educational hub. Few places can boast as diverse a learning environment, with regular academic activities and open debate.  

Being amongst the oldest universities in documented history, Oxford has its plethora of traditions. Graduations, for example, are conducted to a great extent in Latin and formal attire and graduation gowns are commonplace.

In this environment I undertook a month-long elective at the John Radcliffe Hospital, in the field of General Internal Medicine. It was interesting working in a National Health Service (NHS) driven system where public health systems are inextricably linked to health care in all disciplines of medicine. It was especially fascinating to explore the South African National Health Insurance framework from this perspective.

I had the opportunity to work with highly skilled clinicians during my time in Oxford, with daily bedside teaching as well as patient management opportunities. It was Sir William Osler (whose presence can still be felt in Oxford today) who said: "Knowledge comes, it is wisdom that lingers". This elective opportunity allowed for deeper understanding to develop as it inspired reflection.  

My medical elective has certainly been one of the richest experiences of my life - both in terms of formal education and personal development. My experience was captured by the wording on a two-pound coin that I got on my trip: “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”. It was as true to me as the day the Cambridge scholar Sir Isaac Newton first coined the saying: “If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.

Photo: Supplied

 

Tyger Maties’ heroics make front page news


While scared shoppers were frantically running out of a shop where a gruesome attack just took place, two brave Tyger Maties rushed towards the scene to help the injured without any thought of their own safety.

Their heroics made front page news in two of the biggest daily newspapers in the Cape.

On the afternoon of Monday, 12 January, two fourth-year medical students at Stellenbosch University, Mishqa Jakoet and Nicole Dramat were grocery shopping at the Pick n Pay in Boston, Bellville, when an assailant attacked three people with a scissor inside the store.

“Shoppers ran to the door… I saw a line of blood on the floor and we [Jakoet and Dramat] ran to help a woman that was stab several times,” tells Jakoet.

“It was very traumatic. This was the first time we saw something like this outside of the hospital. But we just relied on our training,” says Jakoet. They have both worked with trauma wounds during rotations at Tygerberg Hospital during their third year.

They were also asked to help a second victim who also suffered multiple stab wounds.

According to Dramat, they had to use makeshift dressings from items in the shop, such as dish cloths. Other shoppers and staff members were also very helpful - they kept watch over them until the assailant was captured, brought them everything they asked for and also helped to treat and compress the wounds, says Dramat.

Two more medical students, Hendrik Booyens and Christopher Norman, also arrived and help attend to the patients.

The supermarket is a mere 4 km from the Tygerberg Campus and is frequented by Tyger Maties students.

“I don’t go there very often, and I believe that it was God’s will that we were there to help those people,” says Dramat.

Both women were admitted to hospital and were in a stable condition, while a third victim was treated and discharged on the same day. The motive for the attack is unknown.

Article: Wilma Stassen

 

International collaboration

On the photo in the front (from left to right) are: Drs Erdogan Batman, Marco van Woensel, Irene van Liempt and Pieter Wijnsma
At the back (from left to right) are: Prof Rob Lambert (FMHS), drs Neshaad Schrueder (FMHS), Ivo Buchholz, Eric Lamsma, Eric Janssen, Bert Jan ten Tije, Mr Eben Mouton (FMHS) and Dr Ger Demper

A group of physicians from the Netherlands visited the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) recently as part of a clinical leadership visit to South Africa. They met with representatives from various disciplines, including orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, internal medicine and radiation oncology.

Mr Eben Mouton, Director: Business Management at the FMHS, said international collaboration is important to the faculty. “Increasing national and international collaboration in health professions education and leadership in health is a strategic objective of the faculty.”

He noted that South Africa’s unique disease profile offers opportunities in training and research which are not necessarily found in European countries.

“Stellenbosch University is increasingly establishing itself as an internationally acclaimed higher education institution and the faculty is an important contributor,” Mouton said.

Article and photo: Mandi Barnard

 

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A boost for wellness - Cape Town Medical 10 race

Fltr: Drs Bapoo Nabeel, Elize Louw and Prof Razeen Davids

The Cape Town Medical 10, a running race for health professionals, is probably the oldest similar event in the world. The 35th staging of this race took place in November 2014 and 22 of the 251 participants were students or staff members of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) or Tygerberg Hospital.

The charity which was supported was the Cancer Association of South Africa, in memory of Dr Abel de Kock, a well-known and respected physician from the Life West Coast Hospital.

Giving back to the hospital which saved his life

Dr Ronel Uys, Ms Toni-Lee van Niekerk and Mr Gerhard van Niekerk

Tygerberg Children’s Hospital was the scene of a heartwarming reunion when a Cape Town entrepreneur returned to meet the person who had treated him for childhood cancer nearly 20 years ago, and give back to the ward which had helped save his life.
 
“I’m so grateful to the doctors and staff who looked after me when I was so sick,” said Gerhard van Niekerk, who stayed in the paediatric oncology ward during long stints undergoing chemotherapy and treatment at Tygerberg Children’s Hospital.
 

 

A boost for wellness - Cape Town Medical 10 race

Runners who represented the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Cape Town Medical 10 race were (fltr) Drs Elize Louw, Yazied Chothia, Prof Anton Doubell, Ms Helette Doubell, Profs Elvis Irusen, Razeen Davids and Dr Mathew Koech

The Cape Town Medical 10, a running race for health professionals, is probably the oldest similar event in the world. The 35th staging of this race took place in November 2014 and 22 of the 251 participants were students or staff members of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) or Tygerberg Hospital.

The charity which was supported was the Cancer Association of South Africa, in memory of Dr Abel de Kock, a well-known and respected physician from the Life West Coast Hospital.

First run in 1978, it was organised as a result of a letter to the South African Medical Journal in June that year by Hennie Muller, a senior physician in Cape Town (1).  He pointed out that a group of doctors in Finland had organised a race for medical practitioners over 10km, who felt that it would add some credence to local doctors recommending healthy lifestyles to their patients if it could be shown that they practiced what they preached.  It was organised by JP van Niekerk (the oldest participant in this year's race) and Tim Noakes. Originally, the race was only for medical practitioners and in 2005 it was opened to other health professionals and walkers.

The race retains its uniqueness of being run on a handicap basis. In order to give the scratch runners a better chance, the handicap had been cut from one minute to half a minute head start per year for the over 40’s. With JP van Niekerk being present, this meant a 16 min head start for the oldest runners and walkers, of which some of the participants were members of the FMHS team.

Sr Hillary Rhode from the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care was the leading lady in the women’s handicap until the last 10 metres. She took second place with a “photo finish” last effort. Dr Therese Fish, Deputy Dean: Community Service and Interaction, also finished second in the Woman’s Walking event.

This initiative is actively driven by Dr Fish and Prof Razeen Davids, head of the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine. These two old classmates from medical school are determined to encourage all staff members to take the Wellness Strategy of the Western Cape Government as well as the Faculty to heart and prepare for the next race in 2015.

Article: Dr Therese Fish with acknowledgment to Sydney Cullis - Race Director Medical 10
Reference 1.   Muller H . Letter to editor. S Afr Med J 1978 ; 53 : 1010
Photos: Supplied

 

Giving back to the hospital which saved his life

Gerhard van Niekerk, who spent time in the paediatric oncology ward at Tygerberg Children's Hospital as a teenager, returns to thank the department who helped to save his life. From left: Mr Reitz Krige, Dr Ronel Uys, Ms Toni-Lee van Niekerk, Mr Gerhard van Niekerk, Mr Malcolm Kling, Prof Mariana Kruger and Dr Anel van Zyl. Van Niekerk donated R10 000 to the hospital on behalf of his company, Progrow

Tygerberg Children’s Hospital was the scene of a heartwarming reunion when a Cape Town entrepreneur returned to meet the person who had treated him for childhood cancer nearly 20 years ago, and give back to the ward which had helped save his life.
 
“I’m so grateful to the doctors and staff who looked after me when I was so sick,” said Gerhard van Niekerk, who stayed in the paediatric oncology ward during long stints undergoing chemotherapy and treatment at Tygerberg Children’s Hospital.
 
Van Niekerk, who donated R10,000 to the paediatric oncology ward through his solar energy company, ProGrow, said it was his way of giving back to the ward which had steered him back to health when he was a teenager.
 
“It’s made my day seeing Gerhard again after all these years,” said Dr Ronelle Uys, principal medical officer for the paediatric oncology ward, who treated him for cancer of the lymph glands between 1993 and 1996.
 
“He was very ill at the time. Seeing Gerhard so well and strong is so rewarding. It makes our work worthwhile,” said Uys.
 
Van Niekerk returned to the hospital with his wife, Toni-Lee, and friend of many years, Reitz Krige.
 
“I remember Gerhard in his first year of high school. He was the only boy who was allowed to wear a cap at school because he’d lost his hair from chemotherapy. It’s been a journey over these years, but it’s wonderful to see him so well and to see him visit the hospital which helped him so much,” said Krige.
 
Van Niekerk, who is a judo champion in his age group, plans to continue donating to Tygerberg Children’s Hospital through his company, and to encourage other business leaders to support the hospital.
 
Paediatric oncologist, Prof Mariana Kruger, who heads up the Paediatric Oncology Unit and the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital Trust, said the donation would be used to buy a special scale for yery ill children who were bedridden and unable to stand on an ordinary scale.
 
“We have so many needs in the oncology department, including expensive equipment, but we are dedicated to looking after the children in our care,” said Professor Kruger.
 
Prof Kruger said childhood cancer could be cured in up to 80% of children.
 
“It’s important to be diagnosed in good time, with good treatment from paediatric oncology experts.”
 
Mothers and caregivers of children in the oncology ward said they were encouraged by the care shown by the medical staff.
 
“I feel like my daughter is in good hands here,” said Elmarie Fortuin, whose eight-year-old daughter, Emmarentia, is being treated for childhood cancer at the hospital.
 
Article and photo: Kim Cloete