Health Sciences Community Pledges to Protect Women

Health Sciences Community Pledges to Protect Women
Dentistry students at the Oath Taking Ceremony.

The School of Health Sciences hosted its Annual Oath Taking Ceremony in which final-year students took an oath to abide by the ethical and professional standards of all professional bodies ... and this year at the same occasion, the School encouraged all male staff, students and parents in attendance to commit to protecting women against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

Academic Leader of Teaching and Learning Professor Verusia Chetty encouraged final-year students to help bring about much needed change through research, advocacy and, above all else, compassion for their patients and clients. ‘Care for the people you encounter in your professions and always ensure that your interactions are professional and of the highest ethical standards,’ said Chetty.

Recently appointed acting Dean of Research in the College of Health Sciences and one of UKZN’s Top 30 researchers, Professor Anil Chuturgoon, delivered the keynote address saying: ‘Your UKZN education prepares you to solve our healthcare problems. You are young, enthusiastic and full of energy, hence the baton is passed onto you to be innovative in order to drive the process of healthcare in the country and alleviate the many diseases that are prevalent.

‘I’ve noticed that the majority of students seated here today are female and that is fantastic. To the male students, I want to plead with you to protect our women because a society that looks after its women will be prosperous.’

After the oaths of the various professions had been taken by the students concerned, an emotional academic leader of Dentistry Dr Tufayl Muslim, joined colleagues on stage to lead the oath against Gender-Based Violence.

Male staff and students in the School of Health Sciences as well as the parents of students pledged to: ‘Speak out loud and promise to never be silent while women suffer. To speak up instead of speaking down.

'To condemn instead of condone, to object instead of objectify. To do everything possible to make this country a better place for women. A place where women never have to fear walking home alone. A place where women never have to worry about what men will think about the clothes they’re wearing. To not mute offensive chat groups and inner circles but to rather unmute oneself and speak out. To be accountable. To be more of a brother, father, son or uncle but most importantly to be more of a man and make sure that the voice of a woman is always heard.’

Words: MaryAnn Francis

Photograph: Supplied

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Seminar Explores Practical Approaches to Communication in Health Care

Seminar Explores Practical Approaches to Communication in Health Care
From left: Professors Hassan Kaya, Ncoza Dlova, and Neil Prose, and Drs Jenny Watermeyer, Bernhard Gaede, Veena Singaram and Margie Mathews.

The seminar on Practical Approaches to Communication in Health Care in sub-Saharan Africa hosted by the South African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE) in collaboration with UKZN’s Department of Family Medicine featured key local and international experts.

Communication is central to health care provision, but is often dismissed as a “soft” skill and does not receive sufficient attention. This notion was challenged by the speakers who presented a wide range of perspectives and work around communication.

Professor Neil Prose from Duke University, USA, reflected on a number of projects that trained health care professionals in cross cultural communication. He shared his experience of strengthening respectful maternal care in Ethiopia and demonstrated the profoundly damaging effects of poor communication with patients. Skillful communication that acknowledges the patient’s context and perspectives is critical in achieving good health outcomes.

Dr Jenny Watermeyer, from the communication unit at the University of Witwatersrand shared her research on the use of translators or interpreters in the clinical setting. She noted that their role is often undervalued and unappreciated. Her study demonstrated the mediating and brokering role that translators play.

Both speakers emphasised that language is a key component in how health professionals engage with or distance themselves in communicating with patients. While good language skills are advantageous, the broader dimensions of communication are vital for quality consultations.

Professor Hassan Kaya, Director of the DSI / NRF Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Knowledge Systems, spoke on the cultural dimensions of communication and the influence of cosmologies on the interaction between a patient and the health care professional. A lack of sensitivity to different cultural understandings of health and illness can impact negatively on communication and how illness, diagnoses or treatment is understood. Cultural humility and acknowledgement are key in developing common ground.

Seminar co-ordinators, Drs Veena Singaram and Bernhard Gaede said the seminar aimed to promote discussion and explore some of the aspects further. They added that it reaffirmed the need to incorporate both language learning and communication skills more centrally in the curriculum of health professions programmes.

The seminar formed part of growing momentum towards forming a Special Interest Group focusing on communication in health professional education.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied

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Imbokodo – Women in Leadership

<em>Imbokodo</em> – Women in Leadership
Scenes from the inspirational Imbokodo Women in Leadership event at UKZN’s Senate Chamber.

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, author and UKZN alumna Dr Judy Dlamini delivered the keynote address at the Imbokodo Women in Leadership event on UKZN’s Westville campus.

Dlamini, a Medical doctor who also holds a PhD in business leadership, delivered a presentation titled: Living a Purposeful Life, during which she emphasised the importance of education and investing in one’s self. ‘You are enough, but you can be more and do more by investing in yourself in all spheres of your life,’ she said.

Dlamini, who is Chancellor of Wits University and an honorary doctorate recipient from UKZN, paid tribute to her family, including her husband and late parents.

She underscored having a positive attitude, “following your dream”, being a change enabler, working hard and having resilience. ‘Dreams come true if you stay focused, work hard and never give up,’ she said.

Dlamini cautioned against patriarchy supremacy, saying it is at the expense of everyone, including men.

Dr Hope Magidimisha, the first Black woman to be awarded a doctorate at UKZN in the Discipline of Town Planning, delivered a dynamic presentation on: How to hold on to your Sanity as a Female Leader.

Magidimisha spoke about her PhD journey and the challenges she faces as a Black woman, saying she had been undermined and soon realised she had become a threat to her male counterparts. ‘You think you are in charge of things, but you aren’t – but you don’t even know that you aren’t in charge!’ She said challenges included being set up for failure, being in a position of power … with no power and losing friends.

She encouraged the 71 women leaders in the audience to focus on their dreams and strengths. ‘Focus on your character – not your reputation. Don’t do things to please other people,’ she said. ‘Get a mentor – someone you can bounce your ideas off – someone you can relate to, engage with and whose ideas you respect.’

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Professor Albert Modi “unapologetically” paid tribute to the women in his life, including his grandmother, his wife, his colleagues and the women in his community. He stressed the importance of the ‘understanding of your true self,’ and said that was the most important insight anyone could have.

Programme Director Dr Joy Ndlovu said: ‘Patriarchy can either break you, or make you stronger.’

Director: Human Resources Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the event which was attended by academic and support staff at the University and school learners from Nazareth Primary School.

The occasion formed part of the inspirational and empowering series of lectures and events hosted by the Human Resources Division.

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Photographs: Albert Hirasen

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Ugalagala Lomculi uMbuso Khoza lethule IsiFundo NgeMpi YaseSandlwana

Ugalagala Lomculi uMbuso Khoza lethule IsiFundo NgeMpi YaseSandlwana
Amazwibela ngesifundo somphakathi ngeMpi yaseSandlwana.Click here for English version

ISikole sezoBuciko besihlele isifundo somphakathi ngeMpi yaseSandlwana, esethulwe wugalagala lomculi uMnu Mbuso Khoza, oyi-Andrew Mellon Foundation Artist-in-Residency e-UKZN.

Isifundo somculo, ebesise-Howard College Theatre, besigabe ngomculo nengoma ngeMpi yaseSandlwana okwenziwe yiKusasa Lethu, okuyiqembu lezitshudeni lomculo nengoma yomdabu ne-Afrikan Heritage Ensemble, ngenkathi iqembu labaculi bakacothoza abayi-16 elasungulwa ngowezi-2015, bephelezela isifundo sikaKhoza.

EMpini yaseSandlwana eminyakeni eyi-140 edlule, amabutho kaZulu anqoba amasosha amaNgisi, okwenzeka kanye emlandweni waseNingizimu Afrika ukuthi amaNgisi ehlulwe udede.

UKhoza oseke wahlabana ngemiklomelo ehlukene, nowungoti kwezamagugu, ulandise ukusuka nokuhlala ngesimo esandulela impi, isikhathi sempi nangemva kwempi. 

‘Njengomuntu othanda amagugu nomculo, kade ngaba nothando lwezingoma nezigameko komlando,’ kusho uKhoza. Ngenza ucwaningo ngamaHubo, okungamahubo angeminyaka yama-1700 neyama-1800 ayeculwa ngabantu kanti ayizibhebhe zesizwe sethu. Lama Hubo aqukethe ulwazi oluningi ngokuthi abaholi nabantu balwa kanjani nokungenisa kombuso wamakoloni nokuthi loku kwaholela kanjani emphakathini esinawo namhlanje,’ kunaba uKhoza. 

Ubalule ukuthi ngowe-1816 ‘kunendlela abantu bomdabu ababecula ngayo kodwa leyo ndlela yashintsha ngeminyaka yama-1879 sekunemithelela yamakoloni, saqala saculisa okwamaNgisi. Izingoma ezaziculwa ngaleyo nkathi kwakungezamaNgisi kanti akusithina labo. Manje uma siya phesheya, siziveze ubuthina, izihlwele azejwayele ngakhoke zichazeka kakhulu.’ 

UKhoza ukholelwa wukuthi umculi ungenye yezindlela ezinhle nezisebenzayo zokugcina ‘‘ngezinsimbi’’ isiko nobugugu. Ufisa ukuthi amahubo asetshenziswe ukuqhakambisa ubunye nokuthi iMpi yaseSandlwana ‘ithathwe njengokunqoba kwaseNingizimu Afrika nomlando nobugugu ukunqanda ubuzwe’.

Uphosele uhulumeni inselelo yokuthi kube kukhulu okwenzelwa abantu ngaphandle kokugwazela ukugcina isiko.

IDini neNhloko yeSikole sezoBuciko uSolwazi uNobuhle Hlongwa ithe: ‘Sibonga i-Andrew Mellon Foundation ngokusivumela ukuthi siqhakambise izinto zesiNtu ngobuciko. E-UKZN, sihlose ukuvuselela amahubo.’

UDkt Patricia Opondo ofundisa izifundo kwi-African Music & Dance (i-AMD) uthe: ‘Kuyintokozo kwa-AMD ukuvakashelwa wuMbuso Khoza izinyanga ezintathu eyi-AMD Andrew Mellon Foundation Artist-in-Residence. Sifunde lukhulu kuye kanti mkhulu umsebenzi awenzile ukunothisa izinhlelo zethu ngokusungula i-UKZN Amahubo Ensemble. Sikubheke ngabomvu ukusebenzisana ngomuso. Ukuvakashelwa wuMbuso kuhlomulise uhlelo lwe-AMD ne-UKZN ngenxa yokuthi uyisibonelo sezinga eliphezulu kwezokufundiswa komculo wesiNtu njengeciko nomvikelo wamahubo.’

Amagama: uMelissa Mungroo

Isithombe: uSethu Dlamini

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ISikhungo Sezinhlelo Zolwazi Lwendabuko Siqhakambisa Ubuntu KwezeMpilo Ngokwengqondo

ISikhungo Sezinhlelo Zolwazi Lwendabuko Siqhakambisa Ubuntu KwezeMpilo Ngokwengqondo
Izethameli ebezikwi-World Mental Health Day yase-Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems.Click here for English version

I-DSI/NRF Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (i-CIKS) igubhe i-World Mental Health Day ekhempasini i-Westville ngomcimbi obuhlose ukwazisa ngokunqanda ukuzibulala. Kulo mcimbi bekukhona ongoti bezengqondo, abelaphi bendabuko, abasebenzi basenyuvesi kanye nomphakathi.

Inkulumo kaNks Londiwe Cele wase-UKZN, esihloko sithi Ubuntu and Mental Healthcare: The Power of Social Integration, ibigxile ezinsikeni zobuntu njengokuphokophela, ukwesekana kwabantu nobunye, ukunakekela, inhlonipho nokuhlonipheka. ‘Emphakathini onobuntu, umuntu ogula ngengqondo uyemukelwa, angakhishwa inyumbazana emndenini nasemphakathini ngokucula, ngokusebenza, ngokusina, ngezinganekwane, ngokugubha, ngemisebenzi yomsamo nangokuphila emphakathini,’ kusho uCele.

‘Inkulumo phakathi kwezikhulumi ibalule ubumqoka bokuba wumphakathi uma kubhekenwe nezinto ezithinta ukugula ngengqondo. Imigomo yokuphokophela, ukwesekana (ukuzwelana), ukunakekela, inhlonipho nokuhlonipheka ebuntwini kuthiwe yiyo eyisisekelo sokubuyisa ubuntu nokunciphisa amathuba okuzibulala kwabantu ezindaweni ezisemakhaya nezisemadolobheni.’

Umelaphi wendabuko uDkt Zabalazile (Makhosi) Makhoba uthe kumqoka ukuthola umnyombo wokugula ngengqondo uma kwelashwa ukugula ngengqondo. ‘Esikhathini esiningi uthola ukuthi imbangela ngeyesimo somoya,’ kusho uMakhoba. ‘Ukuphazamiseka ngengqondo kungaba ngenxa yokulahleka nokusebenzisa isibongo okungesona esakini.’

UMakhoba ubale ukuhlukumezeka, ukhwantalala nexhala, umzwangedwa nokusebenzisa izidakamizwa njengezinye zezizathu zokugula ngengqondo. Ongoti ezindleleni zesiNtu bathe ukugula ngengqondo kwakuthathwa njengenkinga yempilo ngokwenhlalo yabantu bomdabu.

Imenenja yoCwaningo yase-CIKS uDkt Mayashree Chinsamy iveze ukuthi isiKhungo sibona ubumqoka bokuthatha izinto ngeso lesiNtu ngokubambisana nongoti ezindleleni zokwenza izinto ngeso labantu, yingakho sekusungulwe isigcawu socwaningo ngezindlela zokwenza izinto ngeso lesiNtu mayelana nokugula ngengqondo.

Izingxoxo nemibukiso efana nalo mcimbi beyiyingxenye yohlelo lokuphucula ulwazi nokunqonda izindlela zokubuka izinto ngeso labantu nezindlela zokwenza izinto ezihambisana nesimo sengqondo ngokwesiko nangokwemvelo emiphakathini ethile. Lesi sithangami sokuthekela nokucobelelana ngolwazi bekungesokuqinisa amaxhama okuxhumana phakathi kwabelaphi besilungu nabomdabu ngokufundisana nangokuphucula isimo sezempilo kulo mkhakha.

Lo mbukiso ukhangise ngezinto eziningi ezithinta izihloko zocwaningo ngesimo sempilo yengqondo, izithangami zokucobelelana ngolwazi ezingeni lomhlaba, izinhlangano zosizo, ukushaya imithetho ngezempilo zengqondo namabhuku ocwaningo.

Umfundi oqeqeshelwa umsebenzi eMnyangweni we-Occupational Therapy uNks Nokwanda Khanyile ubalule ihlazo ngaloku kugula nokungazi ngakho, wathi: ‘Liningi ihlazo elihambisana nokugula ngengqondo kubantu abamnyama, nangazo zonke izinhlobo zokhwantalala kanti ukhwantalala yinto abantu abaningi abangakayazi.’ 

UMnu Simphiwe Simamane wakwaMasipala waseThekwini ulandise ngophathwa wukhwantalala kwakhe, wagcizelela ubumqoka bokuthi uma ubhekene nesimo esinje kumele kube khona umuntu oxoxa naye nokubheka zonke izimpawu zokhwantalala njengobuhlungu bentamo, intukuthelo, ukulahlekelwa yithemba nokuqwasha. ‘Ziphilele, wenze umehluko uma ungakwazi, uhlale unobuntu,’ kusho yena.

UNks Lori Barausse wase-UKZN wasungula inhlangano elwa nokunqanda ukuzibulala i-Survivors of Loved Ones of Suicide (i-SOLOS), ngemva kokushonelwa wumuntu amthandayo owazibulala eminyakeni eyishumi edlule. ‘Ukucwaswa okuhambisana nokugula ngengqondo kusekuningi kuleli zwe nasemhlabeni jikelele,’ kusho uBarausse. ‘Kuseyisifo esidelelekile njengoba ezinye izifo ezinjengomdlavuza noshukela zithathwa ngendlela ehlukile kunangendlela ukugula ngengqondo okuthathwa ngayo ngenxa yokuthi ukuphathwa wukhwantalala akubonakali emehlweni.’

Uthe kumqoka kakhulu ukuxhumana, wakhuthaza bonke abantu ukuthi baqikelele izimpawu zokufuna ukuzibulala. ‘Ukuzibulala kuyagwemeka ngokuphelele. Akube khona okhuluma naye noma omsizayo,’ kusho yena. Ungavakashela ku: noma ku: ukuthola eminye imininingwane.

Izithunywa zivumelene ngokufakwa kwemigomo yobuntu emfundweni kusukela emazingeni aphansi ukuze ibe yizindlela ezamukelekile zokunqanda ukuzibulala.

Lo mcimbi uvale ngokuthi izethameli zicobelelana ‘ngemiyalezo ezigoduke nayo’ okukhona kuyo lokhu: (1) ubambiswano nobunye phakathi kwabelaphi besilungu nabomdabu kuyo yonke imikhakha, (2) ukuhloniphana okungenzeka ngokuqhakanjiswa kwamasiko esintu ukuvala igebe elikhona phakathi kwabantu abadala nentsha, (3) izindlela zolwazi ezihambisanayo eziqhakambisa inhlonipho nokuhlonipheka kwemibono engafani kanye nokwazi ngezindlela ezingefana zokweseka labo abanaloku kugula. 

Amagama: u-Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Isithombe: u-Albert Hirasen

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Blended Learning Study Scoops Award at Research Day

Blended Learning Study Scoops Award at Research Day
The winning Audiology team.

Undergraduate students in the School of Health Sciences (SHS) presented their winning Discipline specific research projects at the School’s annual Research Day.

Academic leader of Research in the SHS, Professor Pragashnie Govender, encouraged the students to adopt a science communication approach and ensure that the findings of their studies were always conveyed back to the communities where they were conducted. ‘Research creates new knowledge and understanding and is the force behind everything that we do. Ensure that you share your findings with the wider community and become advocates for improved healthcare.’

First prize was awarded to Audiology students, Ms Tersia Erasmus, Ms Nomali Jali, Ms Pamela Mthiyane and Ms Shanique Ronne for their presentation titled: Audiology and Speech Language Therapy Students’ Attitudes and Perceptions towards Blended Learning at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

BL is a pedagogical approach combining online asynchronous and/or synchronous and face-to-face contact time between lecturers and students, enabling learning to occur independent of time or place. Global studies have indicated that the majority of students prefer face-to-face contact time in the classroom. A study at the University of South Africa indicated that only 10% of students found BL to be beneficial, hence the success of blending learning is dependent on students’ willingness to learn in a blended learning environment.

The winning study involved research on a total of 170 second to fourth-year students of which 74% had access to the internet off campus and 84% who used the internet to study. Results revealed that students in the more advanced years of study, including third and fourth-years, had a more positive attitude to BL than the second-years who preferred face-to-face contact.

Overall, the participants demonstrated a positive attitude and perception towards BL despite challenges to internet access off campus, connectivity issues and insufficient training. BL was found to improve students’ skills, enhance learning experiences and foster a student-centered approach to teaching and learning.

Optometry and Occupational Therapy students tied for joint second place for their studies titled: The Effects of Laptop Screen Luminance on Ocular Tear and Accommodative Functions, and Answering the Training Needs of Child Mentors Through a Bespoke Training Package at the Inanda Children’s Wilderness Park.

Said Physiotherapist and one of the adjudicators, Mr Ntsikelelo Pefile: ‘As adjudicators, we have never seen this exceptional quality of work in the history of the SHS. You have contributed to curriculum development and produced novel, innovative studies. Congratulations to you all.’

Words: MaryAnn Francis

Photograph: Supplied

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UKZN Hands Over Chemo Infusion Unit to Durban’s Addington Hospital

UKZN Hands Over Chemo Infusion Unit to Durban’s Addington Hospital
Partners and funders of the MLCCP Project - Clinical component.

UKZN’s Multinational Lung Cancer Control Programme (MLCCP) has officially handed over the Chemo Infusion Unit and 20 chemo chairs to Addington Hospital’s Oncology Unit.

The hand over took place six weeks after the launch of the project’s Phase 2 achieved through collaboration with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Secure the Future (BMSF STF), the Cancer African Network for Care, Education and Research (CANcer), and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health (KZN DoH).

MLCCP completed renovations at the Oncology: Chemo Suite Project and formally handed it back to Addington management. ‘The Hospital is honoured to have the UKZN-MLCCP back,’ said CEO Dr Mthetheleni Ndlangisa.

‘We appreciate the work that has been done by BMSF and UKZN-MLCCP under the leadership of Dr Themba Ginindza. This will not only benefit us as a hospital but our patients too,’ said Ndlangisa.

He said the relationship and the chemo suite will make patients feel respected and dignified. ‘The hospital’s Oncology unit has faced challenges in the past and we believe this relationship has vindicated us.’

MLCCP’s Phase 2 programme is based at UKZN’s School of Nursing and Public Health and includes an important clinical component evaluating lung health, histological subtypes and the genetics of lung cancer, clinical presentation, treatment outcomes and pulmonary rehabilitation.

The second phase of the R40-million MLCCP, being led by UKZN academic and epidemiologist Ginindza, and Professor Chite Asirwa of Kenya, will focus on fast-tracking diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer through the use of advanced oncological and respiratory diagnostic equipment.

BMSF Director Mrs Phangisile Mtshali thanked the UKZN-MLCCP team for making the relationship possible and the hospital staff for being open to the idea of working with BMSF and the University.

Mtshali also thanked the oncology sisters for their assistance. ‘I hope Addington as a regional hospital will continue working with academics in unsurpassed research.’

‘As BMSF, we have a commitment to patients and to the industry,’ said BMSF’s Senior Executive, Vice-President and Deputy General-Counsel, Mr Joseph Campisi Jr, who is a lung cancer survivor.

Addington Radio-oncologist Dr Tandiswa Lusu said the unit, which provides lung cancer therapy, handles between 90 to 270 patients a month.

The hospital treats various types of cancer with patients coming from as far away as Stanger, Bizana, Port Shepstone and Kokstad.

Ginindza and his team are not done yet. Renovations are taking place in five phases with stages 1-3 – the lung cancer research/diagnostic unit, oncology reception and the chemo suite - already complete.

Work on phases 4 and 5, which includes the oncology wards and oncology social space where educational programme will take place, is about to start. ‘We are also looking forward to securing our mobile screening unit and employing staff who will provide the services,’ he said.

The hand over was followed by a tour of the Unit and of the Oncology department.

In the first phase of the project which began in April 2017, a team of scientists worked with communities and health ministries in Kenya, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Tanzania and South Africa, promoting lung cancer awareness, identifying pathways of care, strengthening the cancer registry and understanding palliative care utilisation.

The KwaZulu-Natal arm of the project aims to initially benefit communities in Umlazi, Chatsworth, South Durban Basin, Imbali and Sobantu, with the potential for a scale-up to other areas.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied

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UKZN Links with AmaZulu Football Club

UKZN Links with AmaZulu Football Club
Enhanced experiential learning for UKZN’s BELS students with AmaZulu FC.

UKZN’s Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Science (BELS) division has formed a collaboration with the AmaZulu Football Club to provide postgraduate students with an opportunity to work more closely with a professional football team.

BELS Academic Leader, Dr Rowena Naidoo says the link encourages direct contact and co-operation between staff, students and the football club. ‘AmaZulu FC will provide valuable hands on learning opportunities to our postgraduate students,’ said Naidoo.

The opportunities are partly limited to the AmaZulu junior structures (U13 – U19), with students delivering training programmes designed by the AmaZulu High Performance Manager, Mr Joshua Smith. According to Smith, students will also assist in sport science testing and assessment on all performance levels.

‘We finalised our link-up with the UKZN honours programme students at the end of September,’ said Smith. ’It’s a win-win setup, in that we provide the students with valuable practical time on the field, and they provide us with their skill-set and knowledge of strength and conditioning,’ Smith said.

‘I have really enjoyed interacting with the students and seeing the conditioning coaches and sport scientists of the future working with the Usuthu youth teams. A big thank you to Dr Rowena Naidoo, the head of the BELS division, who was fundamental in facilitating the co-operation. We look forward to watching this grow from strength to strength,’ added Smith.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied

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UKZN and Australian Researchers Join Forces on Male Teacher Shortage Research Project

UKZN and Australian Researchers Join Forces on Male Teacher Shortage Research Project
From left: Professor Deevia Bhana, Dr Shaaista Moosa, Dr Kevin McGrath and Professor Penny van Bergen.

UKZN academics worked with Australian researchers on a project titled:

The Plight of the Male Teacher: An Interdisciplinary and Multileveled Theoretical Framework for Researching a Shortage of Male Teachers.

UKZN researchers involved were School of Education academic Professor Deevia Bhana and postdoctoral student, Dr Shaaista Moosa, while their Australian counterparts were Dr Kevin McGrath and Professor Penny van Bergen.

In the study, they consider why it is important for primary and early years schooling to include both male and female teachers. The researchers refute previous calls, directed by public and political discourse, for male teachers to enhance boys’ educational outcomes or to act as role models or father figures.

Instead, they present a theoretical framework that justifies calls for male teachers at four levels: the child level, the classroom level, the organisational level, and the societal level. While complex barriers may continue to limit male teacher representation, the researchers hope that this interdisciplinary framework might stimulate further international scholarly discussions about the interactions between teacher-gender, education, and culture.

Bhana believes that for men to choose to work as teachers of children in the early years of schooling, they must first overcome and confront gender barriers. According to Bhana, gender expectations and stereotypes strongly influence why men shy away from teaching – with teaching often viewed as “women’s work”, associated with the care, and nurturing of young children.

‘Consequently, men who teach young children may have their masculinity questioned or scrutinised, and not be seen as “real men”,’ said Bhana. ‘In the context of South Africa’s war on gender violence, men who teach young children could pose a counter narrative to the dominant stereotype related to violence and domination. Schools also benefit when men who nurture and care produce a new learning environment that poses challenges to gender inequalities.’

Bhana notes that in South Africa there is little policy imperative in addressing the missing men in the early years of schooling. ‘For communities to promote positive representations of men, including men at this schooling phase, the focus must be on creating gender harmony and peace,’ she said.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Supplied

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Arts Student Excellence Awards Ignite Passion for Success

Arts Student Excellence Awards Ignite Passion for Success
Students from the School of Arts who received excellence awards.

The School of Arts hosted a Student Excellence Awards event at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music during which students were rewarded for excellent academic performance in various categories.

Dean and Head of the School of Arts Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa said: ‘I encourage students to continue to work hard, to pursue your studies further and to take advantage of the scholarship and funding opportunities available. The School will always support you.’

Offering advice to students, Media Studies lecturer Ms Luthando Ngema said: ‘The Arts are always needed, despite the limited funding we receive. Arts deserve more recognition because of our creativity and innovation and we should continue, as creatives, to fight for our space.’

Student Mr Siphamandla Ngcobo (Best Music: African Music and Dance), whose research titled: Passing on the Baton, delves into the contributions of Brother Clement Sithole in the development of the Zulu umakhweyane bow, said: ‘This award means that I’m one step away from accomplishing my dream of promoting the umakhweyana bow and the business side of music and to eradicate the exploitation of musicians.’

Student Ms Nomakhwezi Becker (Best Drama and Performance: Drama) did research into her own background as a South African-German citizen discovering what home or belonging meant for her. ‘I did this through theatre and research, and within theatre - this is the language I feel is able to communicate something as fluid and hybrid as belonging for me,’ she said.

Becker is working on her one-woman theatre piece titled: When Coasts Meet, with former supervisor and now colleague, Nomcebisi Moyikwa. The work received a fringe ovation award at the National Arts Festival this year.

‘I want to continue writing for performance as well as research work and to develop my theatre making skills for our time,’ she said.

Mr Sabelo Cele won the Best Drama and Performance: Movement award and Mr Jethro Settler the Best Digital Arts award.

Settler’s work is based on Afrofuturism, which is trying to create a unique place for young African voices to envision a future that is theirs – ‘one they can feel proud of and not feel like they need to cut out aspects of being African to be modern.’

Said Settler: ‘These awards are a great motivation for me. They confirm that what you’re doing is worth something. My plans are to continue with the production of Afrofuturist art and enter the Design Indaba,’ he said.

Another award winner was a judge at the Labour Court of South Africa, Mr David Hofmeyr Gush whose work titled: WHAAAAAAT, earned him the Best Fine Arts prize. ‘My piece is a comment on the plethora of mindless social media comment. In the “hard hats” I use terracotta clay as a construction material in order to contrast its conflicting elements of strength and concomitant fragility,’ he said.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Ashley Gavu

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UKZN Seals Partnership with Moses Kotane Institute

UKZN Seals Partnership with Moses Kotane Institute
UKZN’s Professor Deresh Ramjugernath and MKI’s Advocate Thembelihle Mapipa seal research partnership.

A research partnership recently signed by the Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) and UKZN is based on research, innovation and maritime as a strategy to contribute to the economic development of KwaZulu-Natal.

This is underpinned by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) found across all Colleges of the University.

Professor Bala Pillay of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science welcomed guests at the signing ceremony and reflected on Moses Kotane as a struggle icon who always had a strong sense of economic freedom through education and training in STEM as disciplines necessary to attain that freedom.

Pillay thanked the MKI and its board members for having faith in the programme and their confidence in supporting the University and its students. ‘We have a common end goal of students’ success and training students for relevance in the workplace and society,’ he said. 

Corporate Services Executive Manager for MKI Advocate Thembelihle Mapipa thanked UKZN for partnering with MKI (mainly on research and innovation) and reflected on the number of postgraduate students MKI has supported through bursaries. ‘We’ve injected a lot of government funds into empowering students from this Institution and other institutions across South Africa, and look forward to further engagements,’ said Mapipa.

Professor Manoj Maharaj of UKZN’s Discipline of Information Systems and Technology and an MKI Board member highlighted the importance of the new MKI mandate to focus on research and commented on the long-standing relationship between the two institutions, saying he looked forward to further collaboration between the University and MKI. ‘We’re not just handing out bursaries anymore but partnering in research collaborations that drive a research agenda for the province. Positioned as a primary Institute for research with the provincial government, STEM is our crux and that’s why we’re focused on these Colleges because that is our mandate,’ said Maharaj.

UKZN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Deresh Ramjugernath highlighted the synergy between the University’s strategic plan that focuses on research excellence through relevance and socio-economic impact and the provincial government’s mandate for institutions to provide research that had a socio-economic impact. ‘The country needs a well-rounded graduate, someone who also has the softer skills required for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and that’s what we are hoping to achieve with this partnership,’ said Ramjugernath. ‘This requires complementary supervision of students, with each institution imparting skill sets and moulding a new type of graduate that understands that their purpose isn’t just to get a qualification but to better the lives of South Africans through socio-economic impact.’

MKI’s Head of Research Dr Simphiwe Buthelezi said she was very pleased the partnership had been finalised. Buthelezi highlighted programmes that MKI had in place to assist bursary beneficiaries such as the Experiential Learning Programme for PhD students and Internship Programme for graduates - programmes developed to assist students gain relevant industry experience and for bursary holders collate primary data for the province.

She thanked the MKI and UKZN representatives, especially Ramjugernath and Pillay, for their unwavering support in ensuring that this partnership had come to fruition.

‘We hope the partnership won’t amount to just a piece of paper but really provide an impact. We know that by collaborating there’s so much we can achieve in working towards this mutual goal of assisting the province,’ said Buthelezi. 

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Albert Hirasen

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I-UKZN Ilekelele AbakaMatikuletsheni Ngokuhlolwa Kwezivivinyo Zokuphela Konyaka

I-UKZN Ilekelele AbakaMatikuletsheni Ngokuhlolwa Kwezivivinyo Zokuphela Konyaka
Kushikisha ufudu kanje ezigcawini zokulungiselela izivivinyo zikamatikuletsheni.Click here for English version

Bangaphezu kwama-700 abafundi baka-Grade 12 basezikoleni zamabanga aphezulu KwaZulu-Natal abahlomule ohlelweni lokulekelela abafundi abenza izifundo Zokuhlelwa Kwamabhuku Ezimali. Lolu hlelo beluhlelwe iSikolo SezokuHlelwa KwamaBhuku EziMali, EzoMnotho NezeziMali njengengxenye yokukhiqiza ama-charted accountant amaningi abantu abamnyama.

Lolu hlelo olwaqalwa wuDkt Msizi Mkhize ngonyaka wezi-2015, lulekelela abafundi bakamatikuletsheni abalungiselela izivivinyo zokuphela konyaka mahhala. Luhlelwe ngabafundisa isifundo seZokuHlelwa KwamaBhuku EziMali e-UKZN belekelelwa yi-ABASA UKZN Student Chapter kanti lesi sigcawu sithinta izihloko eziningi ukulekelela abafundi hhayi ukulungisela izivivinyo zokuphela konyaka kuphela kepha futhi nokubalungisela ikusasa.

Lezi zigcawu zenzelwe ukusiza abafundi baphucule amamaki abo okuphela konyaka okubasiza ngamaphuzu okuyofundela umsebenzi (i-APS) okusebenza uma sebethathwa enyuvesi.

Elandisa ngomsuka wokuqalwa kwalezi zigcawu, uMkhize ofundisa enyuvesi nothola uMklomelo woThisha Ovelele uthe wabona ukubaluleka kokwazi izibalo uma wenza isifundo sezokuHlelwa kwamaBhuku EziMali kanti loko kwakungavamile ukugcizelelwa ezincwadini zesifundo sokuHlelwa KwamaBhuku Ezimali, ngakho wayefisa ukubhekana naleyo nselelo. 

‘Iningi labafundi lalingazithandi izibalo kanti ngangifisa ukufaka izindlela zokufunda ezimnandi ezenza abafundi babeneqhaza ekufundeni kwabo. Ukulekelela abafundi ngezindlela ezimnandi zokwenza izibalo noma isifundo sokuHlela KwamaBhuku EziMali yindlela enginikela ngayo emphakathini nengikhuthaza ngayo abafundi ukuthi baphase lezi zifundo,’ kusho uMkhize. 

Ezinye izinto ezifundwa kulezi zigcawu ngamasu okufunda, izindlela zezivivinyo, ukugqugquzelwa, ukwelulekwa ngamasu emisebenzi ekhona kanye nangokucelwa ngabafundi, abafundisayo nabafundi ebenza iMastazi kubuyekezwa izibalo. Abafundi bathi ziwusizo izigcawu futhi bakwazi nokubamba iqhaza nabo. UNks Akabongwa Ngcobo waseMtapo High eLindelani uthe ukucathuliswa namasu okubuyekeza kuwusizo kakhulu, wengeza ngokuthi ukubheke ngabomvu ukwenza izifundo ze-BCom e-UKZN uma esephase umatikuletsheni.

UNks Anele Mkhize waseMbizweni High uthe indaba yezivivinyo zokuphela konyaka yayishayisa ngovalo kodwa ngemva kwesigcawu sokubuyekeza lehla ixhala, waba nethemba lokuthi uzophumelela ezivivinyweni zakhe.

IDini eyiNhloko yeSikolo SezokuHlelwa KwamaBhuku Ezimali, Ezomnotho NezeziMali uSolwazi Mabutho Sibanda ithe lolu hlelo luyingxenye yezinhlelo zesikole zokuphosa esivivaneni emphakathini, lucija abafundi baka-Grade 12 amakhono esifundo SokuHlelwa KwamaBhuku EziMali nawezibalo. ‘Sikholwa wukuthi ngokubambisana nezikole zamabanga aphezulu, sizoliphucula izinga labafundi ekuhlolweni okuzayo.’

USibanda ubonge ithimba likaMkhize, uNks Zama Gumede, uMnu Siphiwe Mqadi, uMnu Henry Marada noMnu Siphesihle Mkhize ngokuzinikela kulolu hlelo.

Amagama: u-Lungile Ngubelanga

Izithombe: Zithunyelwe

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Academic’s Contribution to New Book Enhances Understanding of Global Savanna Systems

Academic’s Contribution to New Book Enhances Understanding of Global Savanna Systems
Professor Peter Scogings with the newly-published book: Savanna Woody Plants and Large Herbivores.

The publication of a book titled Savanna Woody Plants and Large Herbivores is the culmination of years’ of work by Professor Peter Scogings of the School of Life Sciences, who was one of the editors of the work.

The book deals with the interactions between woody plants and browsing mammals in global savannas and discusses contemporary savanna management models and applications.

Throughout the 21 chapters the focus is primarily on the C4 grassy ecosystems with woody components that constitute the majority of global savannas. Savannas occur in tropical and sub-tropical climates as well as the warm, temperate regions of North America.

The comprehensive publication covers a range of topics, including the varying behaviour of browsing mammals, the response to browsing by woody species, and the factors that inhibit forage intake. Contributions came from active researchers and experts all over the world, and in the book they compare and contrast different savanna ecosystems, offering a global perspective on savanna functioning, the roles of soil and climate in resource availability and organism interaction, and the possible impacts of climate change across global savannas.

‘This book represents a valuable contribution to current research, and provides new insights on this research and on recent developments in understanding global savanna systems,’ said Scogings.

Scogings explained that the book’s content filled a gap in literature on savanna management issues, including biodiversity conservation and animal production, and applies concepts developed in other biomes to future savanna research.

Scogings and his collaborators structured the publication to complement contemporary books on savanna or large herbivore ecology with the focus on the woody component of savanna ecosystems and large herbivore interactions in savannas. Tree-mammal systems of savannas and other eco-systems of temperate and boreal regions are compared, and the work provides numerous case studies of plant-mammal interactions from various savanna ecosystems.

The book will be of relevance to those working in ecology, wildlife and conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science, among other fields.

Scogings has been at UKZN since 2015 and it was during that year that he also began work on this publication with his collaborators, bringing to reality an idea conceived almost 20 years ago. Through his attendance at the annual Savanna Science Network meetings, Scogings was able to discuss the idea with many of the world’s top savannah ecologists and elicited their eager co-operation on the publication.

Scogings, who holds a C-rating from the National Research Foundation and is Associate Professor of Terrestrial Ecology, was the Academic Leader of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology on the Westville campus in 2015 and on the Pietermaritzburg campus until the end of 2018.

This publication is an exploration of the areas of expertise he has dedicated his career to, including plant-herbivore interactions, secondary metabolites, savanna ecology, and rangeland management.

He completed his undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology and Geology at the former University of Natal (now UKZN) and went on to achieve his Masters in Wildlife Management from the University of Pretoria and a doctorate in Pasture Science from the University of Fort Hare. He spent 13 years at the University of Fort Hare and 12 years at the University of Zululand before joining UKZN.

Words: Christine Cuenod

Photograph: Supplied

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Security Robot, 3D Food Printer and Electric Surfboard on Show at Mechanical Engineering Open Day

Security Robot, 3D Food Printer and Electric Surfboard on Show at Mechanical Engineering Open Day
Teams demonstrate their desktop 3D food printer, mobile security robot and electric surfboard at the Mechanical Engineering Open Day.

A mobile security robot, an electric surfboard with a water jet attachment and a desktop 3D food printer were standout design projects on display at UKZN’s annual Mechanical Engineering Open Day on the Howard College campus.

Fourth-year Engineering students displayed 20 ingenious design projects which form part of degree requirements in final-year Design and Research Project modules.

Groups of three or four students are allocated projects at the beginning of the year giving them the opportunity to gain experience for the working world and put skills learned throughout their degrees to the test.

Students Mr Kasheel Kasipershad, Mr Darryn Gopaldass and Mr Muziyanda Hlabisa, supervised by Mr James Collins, designed the indoor mobile security robot intended to replace patrol officers as modern security adapts to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Using line tracking and obstacle avoidance, the robot is able to navigate autonomously, and thanks to the installation of a Bluetooth controller, can be controlled remotely by way of a mobile app.

Using a camera and a passive infrared sensor (PIR), the robot is able to detect intruders and alert its central control room via email or SMS.

‘The desktop mobile security robot has the potential to pave the way for a variety of different technologies that could change the security industry,’ said group leader Kasipershad. ‘It provides a 24/7 sophisticated quality dependent security system that will offer a sense of security.’

The aesthetically pleasing robot, with its WALL-E like features, boasts a simple assembly process and was a great triumph for the team, who were pleased with their brightly coloured and appealing design. Group members had to be resourceful in their problem solving, abandoning a four-wheel drive system in favour of a rear-wheel drive one after a motor failure. They also worked on machining a wheel adaptation to be mounted onto the frame.

With this technology becoming increasingly popular, the team looks forward to seeing this design of robot offering more permanent security solutions where needed.

Some Open Day visitors met the friendly-looking Security Robot which was moving through the venue with the purpose of detecting humans and sending a response to the control panel.

Three other UKZN students - Mr Nzuzo Nene, Mr Aravind Arunakirinathar and Ms Divya Naidoo, who were supervised by Mr Avern Athol-Webb - developed the desktop 3D food printer with a gear pump design that eliminates the need to constantly replace syringes.

Naidoo said that 3D printing of food represents a new frontier in the culinary industry, where printers are being used to save time and effort, and to pioneer elaborate and original designs and ingredients. They are used throughout the culinary world in commercial kitchens, bakeries, confectionaries and by hobbyists, while NASA commissioned a 3D food printer design for use by astronauts on deep space missions.

Naidoo highlighted the potential for 3D printers to be used to combat the global challenge of food scarcity by producing healthy, nutritious food on a mass scale.

For their design, the team noted that in order to print foodstuffs, food is required in a liquid or paste form for extrusion, with existing 3D printers using syringes to deposit the food onto the print bed. The group focused on improving this syringe mechanism to eliminate the need to swap out syringes when the food is depleted, and achieved this by developing a unique gear pump extruder inspired by ChocoL3D’s chocolate extruder. To test this design against existing syringe mechanism counterparts, they developed a syringe pump that will print the same foods as the gear pump and compare print resolution, height and accuracy.

The group also focused on the print bed, as regular 3D printers usually make use of a heated print bed for materials going from a solid to liquid state, the reverse of what happens in a 3D food printer, leading the trio to design a cooling bed with thermoelectric coolers.

At the Open Day, the team used chocolate as their printing material, although the printer can accommodate other types of food if small adjustments are made to its settings. They demonstrated their extruder designs and undertook experimental tests on different types of chocolate as well as showing visitors a video or live demonstration of their syringe pump icing a cake.

The electric surfboard with a water jet attachment was created by fourth-year Engineering students Mr Shalyn Rabilall, Mr Thobani Mwandla and Mr Sashin Kuppan, supervised by Professor Glen Bright, and Mr Christian Basson and Mr Erlank Slabbert, who originally set out to design and build an electric-propelled, hydrofoiled surfboard but when it fell outside their budget they decided instead on an electric surfboard with a water-jet attachment.

Inspired by a launch video by Samsung that depicted a family using products similar to jet-skis, the group decided to explore the design of a product that fell between a surfboard and a jet-ski, influenced by the fact that petrol engines are gradually being phased out of vehicles, including those used in water sports.

‘Surfing in South Africa can use technology to advance the sport,’ said team leader Rabilall.

The design exceeded the group’s expectations. ‘We’re most pleased about the fact that we managed to produce an eye-pleasing board, with reinforced awkward areas,’ said Rabilall.

The group had to be creative when it came to fibre-glassing the side of the board with a curvature, and achieved this by cutting thin strips of fibreglass and layering them side-by-side across the circumference of the board. They also used 3D printed components for the water-jet attachment, demonstrating the effect that such printing has had on the design and manufacturing industry.

Words: Christine Cuenod

Photographs: Supplied

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I-UKZN Ivelele Engqungqutheleni ye-SA Society for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology

I-UKZN Ivelele Engqungqutheleni ye-<em>SA Society for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology</em>
Abakade bemele i-UKZN engqungqutheleni, kusukela kwesobunxele wuMfu Rev Lehlohonolo Mathibe, uSolwazi Rajshekhar Karpoormath noMnu Siyabonga Ndlovu.Click here for English version

Umfundi wase-UKZN woMkhakha we-Pharmaceutical Science nababili abafundisayo bethule izinkulumo ezinohlonze kuNgqungquthela yoNyaka yama-53 ye-South African Society for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology ebiseNyuvesi yasePitoli.

INyuvesi ibimelwe uMfu Dkt Lehlohonolo Mathibe woPhiko lwe-Pharmacology, uSolwazi Rajshekar Karpoormath woPhiko lwe-Pharmaceutical Chemisty noMnu Siyabonga Ndlovu, umfundi osebenza unyaka wokugcina ku-BPharm.

Izinkulumo zabo zithakaselwe, zenza kwaba nezinkulumompikiswano ezishubile. UMathibe ukhulume ngabazali noma abameli abahamba nezingane zabo ezixinwe yizifo zomgudu wokuphefumula ukuthi kuyenzeka yini benze odokotela noma onesi banike izingane ama-antibiotic’ ezindaweni zokwelapha zikahulumeni. UMathibe uthe iningi lezifo zomgudu wokuphefumula libangwa ngamagciwane kanti ukwelashwa ngama-antibiotic akusizi ngalutho.

Kepha ucwaningo luveze ukuthi amaphesenti angama-76 (n = 233) abazali noma abameli bathathela izingane zabo ama-antibiotic kwathi abazali noma abameli abangamaphesenti angama-73 (n = 223) abenzanga ukuthi odokotela banike abantwana babo ama-antibiotic.

UMathibe udle umhlanganiso we-SASBCP Best Publication Award emunxeni we-clinical pharmacology ngephepha lakhe locwaningo olusihloko sithi Management of Stable Angina Pectoris in Private Healthcare Settings in South Africa, olwashicilelwa kwi-CardioVascular Journal of Africa ngowezi-2018.

Inkulumo ka-Karpoormath isuselwe ephepheni lakhe locwaningo lomsebenzi wocwaningo alenza ezingeni lomhlaba nabacwaningi abahlonishwayo e-University College London eNgilandi nase-Sapienza University e-Rome, e-National Institute of Health Centre for the Control and Evaluation of Medicines nase- D'Annunzio University of Chieti/Pescara eNtaliyane.

Isihloko sayo besithi Design and Discovery of a Novel Kinesin Spindle Protein (KSP) Inhibitors as Potential Anticancer Agents.

I-KSP iyiphrotheni lokuhamba, elibuye libizwe ngeEg5, elinomsebenzi omkhulu ekuhlukaniseni izicubu. Ukungabi khona kwe-KSP kubulala izicutshana ezinomdlavuza.

Ucwaningo luka-Karpoormath luveza ukuthi ngokwezibalo izinhlobo zama-1,3,4-thiadiazole zakhombisa ukuvima i-KSP.

Into enkulu ngalolu cwaningo wukuthi okokuqala ngqa i-KSP nenhlanganisela ye-thiadiazole ene-K858 kutholakale ngempumelelo, okuveze ukuthi yi-isomer S-858 kuphela ebisebenza. Imiphumela yenhlanganisela ye-Eg5-K858 izosiza abacwaningi emhlabeni wonke ukuthi baqhamuke nezakhi ezintsha ezilwa nomdlavuza.

Inkulumo kaNdlovu ibisuselwa ephepheni locwaningo lwezinga lwe-Honours ayenza nesinye isitshudeni se-BPharm. Isihloko salo sasithi Effects of Z-venusol on Cancer-related Inflammatory Cytokines in MDA-MB-231, BT-20 and MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines In Vitro.

Ucwaningo lwakhe lwaveza ukuthi iZ-venusol ekhishwe ethangeni elimila ngasemfuleni elibizwa ngogobo ingaba yikhambi lomdlavuza webele, elilwayo nokwelashwa komdlavuza okwenzeka njengamanje.

UDkt Zaphy Nlooto, inHloko yeziFundo oPhikweni lwe-Pharmaceutical Sciences, ubabongele laba bobathathu ngokumela kahle uPhiko ne-UKZN.

Amagama: uNombuso Dlamini

Izithombe: Zithunyelwe

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Successful Industrial Expo at School of Engineering

Successful Industrial Expo at School of Engineering
Staff members and students interacting with industry exhibitors at the SAIMC Industry Expo.

An industrial expo organised by the Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Measurement and Control (SAIMC) at UKZN’s School of Engineering attracted students, lecturers and SAIMC regional and committee members, among others.

The expo, which involved collaboration between the School of Engineering and SAIMC, included a variety of industries which displayed state-of-the-art products and processes.

‘The aim of the event was to enable Engineering students from all disciplines to experience industry processes that involve automation, measurement, instrumentation and control,’ said Academic Leader Research and Higher Degrees in the School, Professor Akshay Saha. ‘This provided students with a real experience of the processes and equipment they would be using in real life applications for their own organisation and their clients as well. Most importantly, the expo displayed state-of-the-art processes and instrumentations related to industrial revolution 4.0.’

Saha and Mr John Owen-Ellis, who both opened proceedings and welcomed everyone to the event, encouraged students to network and interact with industry vendors, examine the vast array of products at close quarters and generally experience the industry first-hand. There was a lot of interest at the exhibition tables as regional members had displayed high-tech products and gave freely of their time and expertise.

Mr Paul Sikhakhane told students all about SAIMC, followed by a brief presentation by Owen-Ellis on the transition to employment and what kind of options opened up after graduation.

Saha said the Engineering School leadership was very impressed with the expo and planned to include the industry experts on the Industry Advisory Board of the School.

•    SAIMC’s Durban branch thanks the following regional members for their presence and contribution to the day’s success: Technews Publishing, ICA, Krohne, Swagelok, Metso, Loadtech, PSA, Pulse, IFM, Elonics and Mzukulu.

Words: Zolile Duma

Photographs: Nathan Sibanda

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Academic Shares Ideas on Network Governance for Sustainable Livelihoods at International Conference

Academic Shares Ideas on Network Governance for Sustainable Livelihoods at International Conference
From left: Professor Betty Mubangizi with Ms Tsoanelo Shata and Ms Nicky McLeod, both of Environment and Rural Solutions (ERS).

Governance and the effectiveness of institutional configuration for enhanced landscape stewardship, was the focus of a presentation delivered by UKZN’s Professor Betty Mubangizi at the 8th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Cape Town.

Mubangizi is the NRF-DST Research Chair in Sustainable Local (rural) Livelihoods based in the School of Management, IT and Governance.

‘This year’s conference theme of Restoring Land, Water and Community Resilience was significant for the ideals of my Research Chair and particularly so for the Matatiele region where my students and I have ongoing research projects on various aspects of governance and sustainable livelihoods,’ said Mubangizi.

The annual conference was jointly hosted by the Water Research Commission and the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER). Based in the United States, the SER is a conservation organisation whose mission is to advance the science, practice and policy of ecological restoration to sustain biodiversity, improve resilience in a changing climate, and re-establish an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture.

The workshop, during which Mubangizi shared her experiences on governance and sustainable livelihoods, was organised under the banner of the uMzimvubu Six-Year Catchment Partnership Programme (UCPP) which Mubangizi joined at the beginning of this year.

The programme is a civil society-driven collaboration of state, NGO, communal and private sector role players, with a common vision of restoring the watershed and improving the capacity of the catchment to provide a wide range of ecosystem services to sustain livelihoods and build resilience of local and downstream rural communities.

Mubangizi’s presentation focused on ‘good governance being an important aspect of ecological restoration as is an understanding of the various actors in the network of stakeholders and how their activities can be monitored in contributing to the overall objectives of the network.

‘The research being carried out under my Chair will go a long way towards increasing our understanding of the working relations between communities, their municipalities and other local actors and how these relations can be strengthened, monitored and communicated to enhance sustainable rural livelihoods,’ said Mubangizi.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied

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MBA Students Visit Toyota SA Manufacturing Plant

MBA Students Visit Toyota SA Manufacturing Plant
MBA students pictured with Mr Suben Moodley, Senior Vice President of Toyota (fourth left) and Dr Macdonald Kanyangale, GSB&L Academic (fifth left).

UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership Master of Business Administration students in the Supply Chain and Operations Management module toured the Toyota South Africa Manufacturing Plant in Durban to get experience of “lean thinking philosophy and application in a real-life manufacturing plant”.

‘The tour complemented what we teach in two ways,’ said module co-ordinator, Dr Macdonald Kanyangale. ‘First, it provided insights to students on how lean thinking is applied not only in the manufacturing context, because it is key for our students to think of lean operations in different contexts where service is provided. Good managers need to be able to reduce costs while not compromising on customer satisfaction. Second, the learning tour reflects our commitment to integrate theoretical and practical understanding of concepts in the way we teach our MBA students - theory alone is not enough.’

The students got a chance to learn from Toyota’s Senior Vice-President Mr Suben Moodley who explained that the organisation was a complex manufacturing operation, making it vital for the company to pay attention to the human element of Lean Operations.

Moodley unpacked the Toyota Production System (TPS) and the Japanese philosophy critical to maximising profits while keeping production costs low. He said the TPS has been used successfully in non-automotive businesses and encouraged MBA students to apply what they had learned in their own business environments.

MBA student Ms Mandisa Ndawonde said the tour was an enlightening experience. ‘The theory was covered well and we got to experience the practicality of what we are learning in class. The information will assist me going forward, not just academically but business wise too,’ said Ndawonde.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Hazel Langa

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Masters Student Needs Support to Attend Dysphagia Research Society Event in Puerto Rico

Masters Student Needs Support to Attend Dysphagia Research Society Event in Puerto Rico
Ms Tasneem Fareed Karani representing South Africa at the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics conference in Taipei earlier this year.

UKZN master’s degree student in Speech-Language Therapy, Ms Tasneem Fareed Karani is one of only eight successful applicants for entry to the Dysphagia Research Society (DRS) annual conference under a Sponsor-A-Student Program 2020.

The programme allows members of the public, including the DRS Community, to donate to the Sponsor-A-Student Education Fund which helps students attend the annual meeting each year.

The next conference is in San Juan in Puerto Rico in March next year and Karani is asking for votes through donations to help her attend the meeting.

Karani’s Master’s degree study is titled: Crispy, Crunchy and Crackly: An Exploration of the Food Acoustic Properties on the Swallow Mechanism.

Her study, being supervised by Professor Mershen Pillay, is located in a larger, novel research project which is motivated by the need to deliver viable solutions to those at risk of swallowing-related aspiration pneumonia in vulnerable communities, such as South Africa. 

‘The outcomes of my study may contribute to the re-engineering of food sensory properties to improve swallowing for those suffering from disorders. Such foods will be immensely useful where there are reduced or no swallowing rehabilitation services,’ said Tasneem.

‘It’s been a dream of mine to attend this prestigious dysphagia conference and to initiate conversations with professionals from all across the world who are also passionate about sharing information on swallowing disorders,’ said Karani. ‘The success of my application depends partly on the number of votes I receive from friends, family and colleagues, and the votes of the members of the DRS committee,’ she said. ‘Every person who donates US$5 (about R75) or more receives a “one use only” voting link. Support from the University community will assist in making it possible for me to attend the conference and represent UKZN and South Africa.’

Karani obtained her undergraduate degree cum laude in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the University of Witwatersrand. She has won numerous accolades including the AB Clemons Research Award for the best student in both Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, a Golden Key Award for four consecutive years, and the Faculty Dean’s Medal Award.

Karani, who has presented her research both locally and internationally, completed her community service at Stanger Hospital in KwaDukuza in 2018 and this year was the flag-bearer for South Africa at the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP) conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

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Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied

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