Alumnus Bags Comrades Marathon Gold Medal

Alumnus Bags Comrades Marathon Gold Medal
Comrades gold medalist, Mr Nkosikhona “Pitbull” Mhlakwana.

From crawling to the Comrades Marathon finish line in 2019 to finishing sixth in this year’s race, UKZN graduate Nkosikhona “Pitbull” Mhlakwana has travelled a long and winding road in the last three years…and he couldn’t be happier!

‘This time around it was a different finish and a different feeling for me. I am so proud of myself for this achievement and I’m recovering well and feeling strong,’ said Mhlakwana.

Completing the 89km race in an impressive time of 5 hours 43 minutes, he said it was his first attempt at the down run. ‘It was tough running the Comrades after a two-year break because of COVID-19, but as athletes we are happy the race is back and I personally look forward to seeing an improvement in my running time next year.’

The 29-year-old athlete acknowledged how being able to see his family on the route at every cut-off station had meant everything to him. With the anguish they all experienced in 2019, he was happy to see them excited for this year’s finish.

Sharing his plans, Mhlakwana said: ‘For now it’s all about enjoying the moment and celebrating my accomplishment. I did all the hard work of going to the camps and training, so I deserve to take it all in.’

Mhlakwana thanked his support system: sponsors Hollywoodbets Athletics Club, Adidas, Orange Groove and 32Gi, and his team - physiotherapist, Ms Shamim Khan; physical trainer, Mr Craig George; coach, Mr Prodigal Khumalo; and manager, Mr Ross Walters - for always believing in him.

He also extended his thanks to his fans for their supportive messages as well as their unwavering faith in him.

UKZN Manager for Student Health and Sport Mr Mark Bashe applauded Mhlakwana on his performance. ‘As the Sports Division we congratulate Nkosikhona - an alumnus of UKZN and former member of the Athletics Club - and are happy that he has achieved such a great success in the Comrades Marathon.

‘We look forward to him returning to the University in the capacity of a coach and unearthing talent here.’

Words: Hlengiwe Khwela

Photograph: Supplied

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UKZN Emergency Medicine Team Provides Care at Comrades Marathon

UKZN Emergency Medicine Team Provides Care at Comrades Marathon
UKZN’s Emergency Medicine Team at the Comrades Marathon.Click here for isiZulu version

Members of the UKZN Division of Emergency Medicine helped provide medical care at the Comrades Marathon medical tent at the finish of the race at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

The Division also hosted members of the visiting Wits University Emergency Medicine team as well as medical officers from KwaZulu-Natal hospitals, who all offered their services on a voluntary basis.

Said Head of Emergency Medicine at UKZN Dr Sharadh Garach: ‘There are very few ultramarathons of this size, and the opportunity to provide acute and emergency care at this level creates an amazing learning opportunity for the team, and a chance to give back to the community. With over 12 000 runners completing the event dubbed the “Ultimate Human Race”, the medical tent utilised a rapid triage system to categorise unwell runners into treatment categories, ranging from basic wound care to ICU level heat stroke stabilisation.’

Over 300 runners were treated by the team in a 140-bed field hospital, with about 80% of those in need of care arriving during the last two hours of the race.

The UKZN team said they were grateful for the support they received from the Comrades Association, race officials, the race medical director, nurses, paramedics and Emergency Medicine Services (EMS) personnel.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied

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UKZN Academic on Mail & Guardian’s 2022 Power of Women Listing

UKZN Academic on <em>Mail & Guardian’s</em> 2022 Power of Women Listing
Professor Hangwelani Magidimisha-Chipungu.Click here for isiZulu version

UKZN Town Planning lecturer and SARChI Chair in Inclusive Cities Professor Hangwelani Magidimisha-Chipungu has been named as one of the finalists of the Mail & Guardian’s 2022 Power of Women listing under the category of The Governing Woman.

The initiative honours exemplary South African women by recognising their professional achievements.

The final 50 Powerful Women chosen this year are a niche selection of change-makers and industry influencers who have made a positive, notable impact in their respective sectors of academia, agriculture, business, communities, healthcare, mining, media/telecommunications and sport.

‘It is an honour to be recognised by the Mail & Guardian as a Governing Woman for 2022,’ said Magidimisha-Chipungu. ‘This motivates me to work hard to encourage other young scholars to never take for granted any opportunity that comes their way. No matter how small the task is, always bring the complete you,’ she said.

Magidimisha-Chipungu has a long list of titles and accolades to her name, including being a National Planning Commissioner as appointed by the President of South Africa; a National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated researcher, and a South African Research Chairs’ Initiative Chairperson for Inclusive Cities.

She has also served as a city planning commissioner for the eThekwini Municipality with the responsibility of strategically advising the executive committee and councillors and was also on the advisory committee of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, where she advised the Office of the Premier in KwaZulu-Natal on spatial equity.

She was also nominated for a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Award at UKZN.

At a global level, Magidimisha-Chipungu served the International Society of City and Regional Planning (ISOCARP) in co-directing the first workshop for Young Professional Planners (YPP) in South Africa in 2016, and was recognised as the most influential woman by the United Kingdom’s The Planner magazine under the Royal Institute of Town Planners. She was honoured by the ISOCARP President with BRONZE membership - a first for Africa - for the outstanding role she played during ISOCARP 57 and 58 in Doha.

Magidimisha-Chipungu says she has learned in life that you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. ‘I have fallen several times in my life but I refused to remain on the ground. It’s not how many times I have fallen, but how many times I got up afterwards. That is how I measure my success,’ she said.

Commenting on the concept of group supervision at UKZN which she has had great success with, she said: ‘In my field, innovation is often seen as the ability to create value for use by others, and this has been my strategy when reaching out to others. One of my innovative interventions focuses on ways to enable a greater number of students to complete their master’s degree programmes in a relatively short period of time, without flouting University regulations.

‘The approach of group supervision removes the element of solitude among students, and helps to boost morale. The graduation of many students in a relatively short space of time is enough testimony to the success of this intervention. However, it must be noted that for the group supervision strategy to work it requires both students and lecturers to be committed. Without the commitment of both parties it is doomed to fail.’

Magidimisha-Chipungu, who is also the founder and chief editor of the Journal of Inclusive Cities and Built Environments, says if she could achieve one thing for South Africa, it would be to ‘make cities more inclusive, smart and resilient.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo and Patrick Visser

Photograph: Supplied

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Prestigious Emerging Researchers Award for UKZN Academic

Prestigious Emerging Researchers Award for UKZN Academic
Dr Andile Khathi, proud recipient of an NRF award.Click here for isiZulu version

UKZN senior lecturer and researcher Dr Andile Khathi has received the National Research Foundation (NRF) Research Excellence Award for Early Career / Emerging Researchers in the Life Sciences.

The presentation was made to Khathi during the NRF Awards ceremony at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town.

The NRF makes the award - which includes R50 000 to be used for research-related activities - in the interests of developing and enhancing the stature of early career/emerging researchers and individuals with disabilities. Part of the rationale is to inspire new and emerging researchers to be high achievers and give them the experience of what it takes to become a recognised scholar, as part of the transformation agenda.

Generally, the prestigious NRF awards honour the country’s leading scientists and best-performing researchers, recognising excellence and achievement in knowledge creation and dissemination.

Said Khathi, ‘I’m finding it hard to believe that this is happening to me. I’m inspired to work even more so that we push the boundaries of science. I don’t consider this award my own - it belongs to our Endocrine physiology research team. We have lovely postgraduate students (past and present) who help us push boundaries and make our science better each day. I also share this award with my research partners, Dr Sethu Ngubane and Dr Ntethelelo Sibiya with whom I do most of my work. I’d like to acknowledge my colleagues in the School who always open their doors to me when I need help or advice. A special thank you goes to Professor Musa Mabandla and Professor Anil Chuturgoon for their ongoing support. Lastly, I would like to thank my family and friends. They are my biggest cheerleaders who keep me going.’

Khathi is the Academic Leader in the Discipline of Human Physiology in the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences. He is the co-founder and chairperson of the Diabetes and Endocrine Research Society of South Africa and a Topic Editor for Frontiers in Endocrinology, one of the leading journals in his field. He is a Y-rated NRF researcher. To date, he has published 55 publications, one book chapter and graduated five PhD and 17 master’s students. He is currently supervising eight masters and 12 PhD students.

In 2018, Khathi created a novel animal model for diet-induced prediabetes, a condition where the blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. This model was the first in the world to achieve this without any chemical or genetic manipulation. Using this model, he has shown how complications often associated with type 2 diabetes, actually begin during the prediabetic state.

His work has further improved the understanding of how people with prediabetes are at an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms and even death due to the asymptomatic nature of the disorder when compared with non-prediabetic individuals. This research was included in a World Health Organization report discussing how prediabetes should be listed as a recognised comorbidity for COVID-19. In line with this, he has designed a novel diagnostic device for the early detection of prediabetes and is currently developing a prototype.

Said Dean of Research at the College of Health Sciences Professor Anil Chuturgoon: ‘We extend our heartiest congratulations to Dr Khathi. His novel research is in the field of managing Diabetes Mellitus where he’s been at the forefront in the development of new diagnostic tools for the early diagnosis of endocrine disorders. An NRF-rated researcher, his pioneering work has been recognised nationally and internationally. We are proud of his accomplishments and wish him great success in his research endeavours.’

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied

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Be Mindful - Safety First, Says UKZN’s Risk Management Services

Be Mindful - Safety First, Says UKZN’s Risk Management Services
The Msunduzi Fire Department extinguishing a blaze at the Safety and Awareness Day hosted on the Pietermaritzburg campus.Click here for isiZulu version

UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus hosted a Safety and Awareness Day at the Students Union Building which, despite cold and rainy weather, attracted a large number of students.

The day’s main buzz phrase was: “Be Mindful!”

Students had been invited to the event by UKZN alumnus and administrative officer Ms Saziwe Madikane on behalf of Risk Management Services (RMS).

Pietermaritzburg Campus Director Professor Albert Modi welcomed the initiative and emphasised the value of student safety on campus. ‘I’m hoping you will learn a lot today,’ he said to the gathering.

The aim was to raise awareness among students about how to protect themselves and help avoid landing in dangerous situations caused by the misuse of alcohol and drugs. Said Madikane: ‘We wanted to enlighten all students, but mainly first-years, about the services available on campus and inform them about safety-related priorities.’

Various stakeholders and partners spoke to students, including the K9 Unit, who did an inspection presentation featuring their wet-nosed canine colleague, Nola.

The Msunduzi Fire Department demonstrated how to put out a fire, what to do if you catch alight, how to treat burns and how to rescue people from a fire. ‘If you get burned, do not put anything but water on the burn - just normal tap water,’ said Mr Vusi Tshabalala of the Msunduzi Fire Department.

Students were alerted to some of the realities and possible dangers of campus life - such as the potential consequences of leaving a drink unattended at a party. There were gasps all around the room when it was explained what the effect of a unit of alcohol is for a woman compared to the impact on a man.

‘You are loved, you are courageous, you are worthy, you are unique, you are responsible for your own safety, and you have a right to say NO,’ - that was the message shared by Sister Maharaj from the Northdale Trauma Centre.

‘You need to know your limits. Only you know how much enough is,’ said Mr Nhlakanipho Msimang of the KZN Liquor Authority.

The event was very interactive with refreshments provided and lots of prizes on offer.

Sponsors who participated in the day included: the Students Representative Council; Student Governance Leadership Development; Student Counselling; the Disability Unit; the HIV Centre; the Northdale Crisis Centre; the KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Authority; the Department of Student Resident Affairs; Safety Health and Environment; the Msunduzi Fire Department; the Department of Correctional Services; the South African Police Services (SAPS), SAPS Investigation Unit and the K9 Unit.

‘Congratulations to Mr Trevor Abrahams, Ms Saziwe Madikane and all participants,’ said Professor Modi. ‘This event was a huge success!’

Words: Cindy Chamane

Photographs: Supplied

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Student in U20 Women’s Junior Springbok Rugby Squad

Student in U20 Women’s Junior Springbok Rugby Squad
Junior Springbok player, Ms Mary Zulu.

Ms Mary Zulu, a 19-year-old UKZN student, has been selected for the U20 Women’s Springbok rugby team.

Zulu, who also plays for UKZN and the Sharks, said qualifying for the Junior Springboks squad included being part of a training camp and playing in the Youth Training Centre (YTC) Games.

She started playing rugby with her brothers and sisters and later at her primary school. In Grade 9 Zulu joined a local team in Mandeni - where her home is - going on to be chosen for the Sharks squad.

She said her parents were proud of her achievements. ‘They have been pushing me to work hard so I can get to Springbok level because my goal is to make the South African team, play on the international stage and explore the world.’

Zulu was a member of the Bok team which played against Zimbabwe a few weeks ago, winning 55-0.

Excited and appreciative of the opportunity to represent her country, she said she was working towards qualifying for the Senior Springbok team next year.

Having faced a lot of adversity growing up, Zulu acknowledged Mr Lagleder Gerard and Mr Hayne Clarke, for being father figures to her, for being her support system and encouraging her, even through COVID-19. She says the challenges have made her achievement far more worthwhile, inspiring her to reach for the stars in her career.

Zulu thanked her fellow players and coaches for the impact they have had on her in what is a highly competitive sport.

As a second-year student doing a Sports Science degree she said she was grateful for a sports scholarship from the University. She says it is challenging at times playing for three different teams and trying to stay up to date with academic demands.

She aims to become a biokineticist and a coach while continuing with sport.

Zulu added that she was very aware of the importance of education and aimed to pursue her studies further.

UKZN Manager for Student Health and Sport Mr Mark Bashe said the Sports Division was excited about Zulu’s call to the Springboks U20 team.

He said: ‘We have been able to utilise the additional budget received from the Executive Management Committee towards improving our programmes and bettering the performance of our women’s sports teams. We hope to see more UKZN women’s rugby players being drafted up into the various national teams to join Mary and other UKZN alumni who are playing for the Springboks.’

Words: Hlengiwe Khwela

Photograph: Sethu Dlamini

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UKZN Hosts Women’s Day Dialogue with the Zulu Queen

UKZN Hosts Women’s Day Dialogue with the Zulu Queen
Highlights from the Women in Conversation Dialogue.

‘Everything I do for the community, I do for myself, so I can draw strength from the same people that I’ve had the privilege of helping.’

These were the words of Her Royal Highness Queen Ntokozo kaMayisela in her address at a Women in Conversation Dialogue hosted by UKZN.

KaMayisela, the founder of Kamaskolo Foundation and the In-Between Girls Programme (which every woman can relate to), said the Lord Almighty puts individuals in situations outside their comfort zones to build their characters and reward them at the right time.

She also led women in a song titled: Wemadoda Sabelani.

In her welcome address, the Executive Director of UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division, Ms Normah Zondo, highlighted how the event was aimed at celebrating women and the struggles and achievements they faced daily.

Said Zondo: ‘We are honoured to host the Queen who is passionate about gender equality and women empowerment - two subjects that are part of UKZN’s transformation agenda as an Institution. The University has worked with traditional leadership and the royal family in the past to advance several causes, and we see this dialogue today as a continuation of that work which is part of our broader efforts in contributing to the advancement and development of all communities in the province. We are encouraged by the Queen’s work to advance women’s empowerment and fight GBV, and we hope that through her foundation, she will work closely with the University.’

Dr Gugu Mazibuko, the Academic Leader for African Languages in the School of the Arts, reviewed Zulu rituals involved in King Misuzulu KaZwelithini’s traditional crowning which included witnessing the late King Goodwill’s burial; the succession of the Regent Queen KaDlamini Zulu and her death; the cleansing ceremony; the hunting and killing of a lion; the entry into the kraal; and the state ceremony scheduled to take place at Moses Mabhida stadium announcing the King as the Constitutional Monarch.

Recalling iconic women such as Princess Mkabayi KaJama, Queen Mthaniya KaSibiya, Queen KaMsweli and Queen Nandi KaMhlongo, Mazibuko noted how women have always played powerful leadership roles in the Zulu culture.

Mazibuko examined other important traditional customs for women, including Umkhosi Womhlanga (Reed Dance), Umhlonyana (Coming of Age Ceremony), Umemulo (21st Birthday Celebration) and Umkhosi Wesivivane (for unmarried women).

UKZN PhD student and businesswoman Ms Thandi Ngxongo discussed the principles of respect, humility, hard work, unity and resilience instilled in her by her grandparents. A qualified engineer with a UKZN degree and MBA, she encouraged women to take full advantage of any opportunity they got because ‘someone is always watching.’

Highlighting her journey to becoming the owner of a petrol station, she said it was important to ‘pursue your vision and put together a plan to make it happen.’

Emphasising the importance of uplifting others, Ngxongo said: ‘Don’t underestimate the power of influence. Invest in your own self-development so that when you sit at the table, you have something of value to offer.’

In closing proceedings, Interim Senior Director for Student Services at UKZN Professor Fikile Mazibuko noted how songs at the event related to issues of GBV in the country.

Thanking the speakers, organisers and performers, Mazibuko acknowledged the Queen for her foresight, insight into the family unit, and her long-standing spirit of servitude. ‘Thank you for reminding us of home and leaving us better informed,’ she said.

The event was facilitated by alumnus Dr Lusanda Zwane and included amazing performances by the Red Lights choir as well as a moving poetry rendition by Ms Lucy “Impondokazi” Mbali titled: Ahh Ndlovukazi.

To watch the event, click here.

Words: Hlengiwe Khwela

Photographs: Albert Hirasen and Sethu Dlamini

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24th JOMBA! Live Opening Night Returns to Sneddon Theatre

24th JOMBA! Live Opening Night Returns to Sneddon Theatre
Hominal/Xaba opened the 24th edition of JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience at UKZN’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

After two years of online performances, the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience returned “home”- and UKZN’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre was packed to capacity for the opening night occasion.

The annual dance extravaganza is presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities.

One of the few remaining contemporary dance festivals in South Africa, JOMBA! features performances over two weeks; offering dancers, choreographers and the public an opportunity to engage in workshops, discussions and master classes.

Artistic Director and dance lecturer at the University Dr Lliane Loots delivered a warm keynote address welcoming all dance/arts lovers back “home”, saying this year’s festival was about journeying back in the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre space (open for the first time in three years) to fight political, social, economic, and artistic loneliness.

Said Loots: ‘The curatorial provocation of the 24th JOMBA! is “the (im)possibility of home” where we have set out, through a series of both live and digital performances, workshops, and artistic encounters, to interrogate a series of dance offerings that negotiate heritage, culture, nostalgia, and identity.

‘In the wake of COVID-19, JOMBA! focuses this year on dance makers who, in both big and small ways, use their dance making to interrogate, question and perform a sense of self, a sense of place, and a sense of “other” that reconceptualises ideas of home, belonging, community and, perhaps too, the current impossibility of one fixed sense of home,’ she said.

‘JOMBA! 2022 is honouring artists who pose questions such as: Where is home? Who decides? And, importantly, what are the possibilities for an artistic practice like dance written on, in, and with the body to engage in creating new spaces of both personal and political belonging, and to remember the words of Hannah Arendt, to “add something of one’s own to the common world” and re-imagine community?’

JOMBA! opened with a witty and terrifying performance - Hominal/Xaba - choreographed and performed by Marie-Caroline Hominal of Switzerland and Nelisiwe Xaba of South Africa.

The title of the piece is taken from the names of the performers/choreographers, thus uniting both artists as well as dissolving the very notion of who is the creator. Hominal and Xaba, who studied together in London, always wanted to meet again in a common project and in this work, the two women from different continents and cultures confront their femaleness and look at evolving power relationships.

JOMBA! runs until 11 September at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the Howard College campus.

Tickets for performances at the theatre are R80 reduced to R65 for students, scholars and pensioners. Booking is through Computicket.

For more information and a full downloadable programme, visit

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Val Adamson

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International Association of Women Judges’ Mentorship Project Launched at UKZN

International Association of Women Judges’ Mentorship Project Launched at UKZN
UKZN School of Law academics with members of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges and LLB students at the launch of the KZN Mentorship Programme.

UKZN Law students will benefit from a prestigious mentorship programme initiated by the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges (SAC-IAWJ).

The programme aims to educate, nurture and empower Law students - with the priority being women - in South Africa.

The KwaZulu-Natal mentorship programme was initiated by the provincial co-ordinators of the SAC-IAWJ: KZN, and regional magistrates Ms Pearl Andrews and Ms Nomfundo Sipunzi.

Formed in 2004, the SAC-IAWJ membership comprises judges and magistrates who work to bring together female and male judicial officers, who embrace the objectives of the International Association of Women Judges.

The SAC-IAWJ is committed to the protection and promotion of fundamental human rights and equality before the law as enunciated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996.

Andrews said the aim of the mentorship programme was to foster a mutually beneficial professional relationship between experienced and knowledgeable members of the judiciary and legal professionals who guide those being mentored (LLB students) to assist them achieve personal career goals. It will also provide a contextual understanding by the involved students of the functioning of the South African courts and related aspects.

Said Andrews: ‘The mentorship programme is intended to afford mentees the rare opportunity to observe, implement and experience theoretical legal knowledge gained and applied in practice. The mentorship programme will also develop the legal writing and communication skills of mentees.’

The SAC-IAWJ mentorship programme was inaugurated in 2015 in various provinces, while the KwaZulu-Natal programme was launched at the UKZN School of Law in July this year.

The KZN programme benefits 41 Law students from UKZN at third- and fourth-year level as well 15 Law students from the University of Zululand.

Delivering the welcome address, the Acting Dean and Head of the UKZN School of Law, Mr Adrian Bellengère, commended the SAC-IAWJ for the programme aimed at shaping Law students into well-rounded legal practitioners of the future. Bellengère highlighted the importance of collaborations between the legal fraternity and institutions of higher learning.

The KZN launch event was attended by Madam Justice Connie Mocumie of the Supreme Court of Appeal and former President of the SAC-IAWJ, who presented on issues around integrity, righteousness, and giving back to communities.

Third-year UKZN Law student Ms Sarika Naidoo was delighted to haveAndrews as her mentor. Said Naidoo: ‘It is truly a blessing to have Ms Andrews, a regional magistrate, as my mentor. Through her, I now have access to a court room and I’m able to observe proceedings - this is truly a privilege.’

Naidoo says she’s determined to contribute to the development of the community at large and make a difference. ‘I firmly believe that every single thing that I learn throughout this programme will help develop and mould me into a competent individual capable of being a driving force of change in South Africa.’

Words: Hazel Langa and Sarika Naidoo

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal

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School of Education Hosts Fun-Filled Orientation Week

School of Education Hosts Fun-Filled Orientation Week
Orientation Week activities taking place for first-year Education students.Click here for isiZulu version

First-year Bachelor of Education students were welcomed back to campus by the Dean and Head of the School of Education Professor Thabo Msibi and his staff after an extended period of online teaching and learning.

The students were introduced to support structures, both academic and non-academic, offered by the University, College of Humanities, and the School of Education, to assist them achieve academic success.

A variety of questions and concerns were answered and addressed as students got together to engender team spirit and camaraderie before attending classes.

The Orientation Week culminated in a fun-filled sports day featuring students in a variety of events including soccer, netball, tug-of-war, balloon races, three-legged races, egg and spoon races, running, sack races, volleyball, goal shooting and snooker.

These activities were arranged on the sports fields and other available venues on the Edgewood campus where students spontaneously danced to Jerusalema.

A soccer match between the Edgewood staff and first-year students provided great excitement.

The main organisers were the academic leader of Teaching and Learning, Dr Samu Khumalo; the Academic Leader of the Bachelor of Education programme, Professor Asheena Singh-Pillay, and the academic leader for Teaching Practice, Ms Mari van Wyk.

Words: NdabaOnline

Photographs: Supplied

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CIDERU Helping Lead the Way to Better Health

CIDERU Helping Lead the Way to Better Health
At a screening session are (from left) Mr Khodani Mavhusha, Ms Simangele Bengu, Ms Phumla Mbatha, Mr Tshivhase Pfarelo, Sister Lindiwe Sibanyoni, Dr Samkeliswe Madlabane, and Mr Edward Masinga.

The Multinational Lung Cancer Control Programme (MLCCP) housed in UKZN’s Cancer and Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Research Unit (CIDERU) is hosting two-day X-ray screenings and awareness projects on lung cancer at eight clinics in the uMgungundlovu area.

The free X-ray services are being provided to the communities of uMgungundlovu near Pietermaritzburg through clinics at Imbalenhle, Impilwenhle, Sinathing, Azalea, Esigodini, Willowfontein, Ashdown, and Grange, until the end of September.

Most of the clinics deal with a large number of TB patients, making them ideal sites for lung cancer screening, given the overlap in symptoms between the two diseases. The programme thus provides valuable support to the public health sector and the broader community.

The purpose of the drive is to raise awareness about lung cancer including early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care, thereby hopefully lessening the burden of lung cancer patients on the public health system. 

The MLCCP, created in response to the pressing need to improve treatment outcomes for lung cancer, has energised the hearts of the people they serve, giving them hope.

Said Ms Xoli Mtunzi of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health: ‘Thank you for assisting us to reach out to our patients in the different areas. Some are far away and out of reach but through this initiative, we are now able to offer them the help they need.’

Head of Diagnostics at Aurum Innova Mr Khodani Mavhusha thanked those involved in the project saying most areas designated as rural locations had no access to health facilities offering the necessary services but the MLCCP was getting to those places and making a difference in the health sector.

‘X-ray services are supposed to be easily accessible, however, we are living in a state where accessibility is limited. Mobile operations in this regard, play a huge role in taking health care services to places where it is difficult for hospitals/clinics to reach,’ said Mavhusha.

‘We have a lot of people out there who require these services, and by simply doing a chest X-ray we can avoid some of the deaths that occur in our communities.

‘My dream is for us to achieve more and this is possible through having CT scanners in a mobile setup. I’d like us to be the catalyst for change and to introduce those kinds of modalities in rural areas because I believe they bring a lot of change and can assist and enrich our health systems.’

A proud participant in the X-ray drive held at Impilwenhle Clinic, Mr Bonginkosi Lwandle, took part in the initiative because of concern for his health and the wellbeing of his family.

Said Lwandle: ‘I was speaking to others involved and we all agreed the service we have received from CIDERU through the MLCCP has been outstanding. We would have spent a lot of money if we had gone through the private sector.’

Words: Ziphezinhle Sibisi

Photograph: Supplied

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First Online Scientific Conference Co-Hosted by UKZN

First Online Scientific Conference Co-Hosted by UKZN
ISEE Conference organising team.

The International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) Africa Chapter in partnership with UKZN held the inaugural online Scientific Conference recently, featuring eight keynote speakers and 32 other senior and junior presenters.

Topics on an Environmental Epidemiology theme included indoor and outdoor air pollution, e-waste, climate change, pesticides and chemicals, toxic metals, water and sanitation, and ethics.

Titled: Understanding Africa’s Environmental Health Challenges, a total of 185 delegates and guests participated in the event.

The conference was commissioned by the ISEE Africa Chapter EXCO, led by the Chair, Dr Kwaku Poku Asante, whose report emphasised that potential health challenges suffered in Africa could be associated with environmental difficulties.

Issues involved included air and water pollution, climate change, soil degradation, biodiversity loss, deforestation, desertification, over-exploitation of natural resources, and ocean acidification. With this in mind, Asante called for evidence-based research, requiring the attention of governments and global partners.

Excellence awards were presented to the five highest-ranked emerging researchers: Mr Afua A Amoabeng Nti of the University of Ghana; Ms Michaela Deglon and Ms Lethabo Makgoba, both of the University of Cape Town; Ms Tolulope Olawole of the Covenant University in Nigeria, and Mr Osei Dacosta of the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Ghana.

The organising committee included the Chair, Professor Mohamed Aqiel Dalvie of the University of Cape Town; Dr Sylvia Takyi from the University of Ghana; Professor Rajen Naidoo from UKZN; Dr Lawrencia Kwarteng of the Biomedical and Public Health Research Unit-CSIR, Ghana); Dr Nosiku Munyinda of the University of Zambia; Dr Sokhna Thiam of the African Population Health Research Center (APHRC) in Senegal), and Dr Oyewale Morakinyo of the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

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UKZN and Partners Host WEF NEXUS Winter School

UKZN and Partners Host WEF NEXUS Winter School
Participants at the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Winter School.

The origins of the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus Winter School can be traced back to a workshop in March 2020, says Professor Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi of UKZN’s Centre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems (CTAFS).

It was during a lunch break at the workshop that the idea evolved from discussions between colleagues who set out to make it a reality. However, the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2021 scuttled plans for the first Winter School.

The team then decided to host an online WEF Nexus Masterclass in place of the Winter School as they had already invested so much time into planning.

‘The Masterclass proved to be a success with more than 80 participants from across the globe involved in the three-day online training event,’ said Mabhaudhi. The Masterclass, retained as part of the WEF Nexus capacity development programme, provides an introductory and foundational course to understanding WEF Nexus concepts and tools. 

Hosted this year at the Future Africa Campus of the University of Pretoria, the WEF Nexus Winter School is a partnership between the CTAFS, IHE Delft Institute for Water Research, the Water Research Commission (WRC), WaterNet, and the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA). Other partners include the One CGIAR Nexus Gains Initiative, Jones and Wagener Engineering Associates and the WEF Nexus in Africa Initiative.

‘What is a nexus? Simply put, it means to connect,’ said Mabhaudhi. ‘The WEF Nexus refers to the interconnectedness of water, energy and food.’

‘The goal of the Winter School is to showcase tools for assessing trade-offs and synergies among the WEF sectors. The WEF Nexus Winter School provides an advanced hands-on experience, focusing more on tools and applications and how these can be applied in real world contexts. Focusing on early career researchers, the Winter School aims to build their capacity in this emerging research area.’

‘The inspiration for this initiative is continuing capacity development and training people within the various regions who can really make a difference because as teachers we are the multipliers of the people we teach,’ said UKZN’s Professor Graham Jewitt, one of the partners in the Winter School.

The Winter School also included participants from different backgrounds as part of strengthening the science-policy-practice interface. The diverse participation provided a platform for collaborative and transdisciplinary problem solving.

The participants spent five days learning various tools and applications for assessing the WEF Nexus. On the first day, they were placed into five groups, representing five southern African countries. Part of the process was for them to use these countries as case studies for which they would be applying the tools learned. This culminated in a mini-summit on the last day, facilitated by GWP-SA, where participants presented their country case studies and policy recommendations, thus completing a circle of learning WEF nexus concepts, tools and discourse and their application for informing policy and investment planning.

It was not all work and no play. On the third day, participants had an opportunity to visit the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) campuses in Roodeplaat and Silverton in Pretoria where they were given a tour of various facilities such as hydroponics and biogas digesters.

The cherry on top was the launch of the Water Energy Food Nexus Narratives and Resource Securities., which coincided with a gala dinner.

 A Global South Perspective - a book edited by Mabhaudhi, Jewitt, Professor Aidan Senzanje, Professor Albert Modi and Professor Festo Massawe - provides a unique perspective of the WEF Nexus from a Global South perspective. With at least three of the editors forming part of the WEF Nexus Winter School facilitation team, participants learned how the book is a synthesis of knowledge on research, policy and practice case studies on the WEF Nexus.

‘The programme enlarged my horizons in terms of my way of thinking and increased my knowledge within my career and also inspired me to start working more on the nexus approach and inspiring others,’ said Professor Brown Gwambene, a lecturer and researcher at the University of Iringa in Tanzania.

‘I would like to incorporate the WEF nexus more into sanitation and circular economy aspects,’ said Ms Mendy Shozi, MSc Environmental Science Researcher at UKZN’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Research and Development Centre (WASH R&D Centre).

‘Our intention is to build the WEF Nexus Masterclass and Winter School into annual events for WEF Nexus capacity development,’ said Mabhaudhi. ‘We will soon launch a community of practice to support continuous networking and knowledge sharing.’

WordsCindy Chamane

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UKZN Graduate Heads Education and Technology Start-Up Company

UKZN Graduate Heads Education and Technology Start-Up Company
Ms Nomfundo Sibiya.

UKZN Education alumnus Ms Nomfundo Sibiya is the head of Horizon Education, an Edutech (education and technology) start-up business.

The company aims to bridge the gap in the South African education system by addressing the skills shortage in the manufacturing sector caused by the underperformance of South African students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

‘My mother, a teacher, inspired me to pursue a career in Education, helping me understand what it takes to be a teacher,’ said Sibiya. ‘My desire to advance the Early Childhood Development field led me to better understand educational psychology. Because of this, it has made it easier for Horizon Education to provide services and solutions tailored for different categories of learners which we believe will have a positive impact on them.’

In addition to the skills she acquired from being a member of UKZN’s experiential learning platform, Enactus, she learned a lot from her elder sister who was her inspiration and role model. ‘My sister is a resilient and purposeful woman who always encourages me to better myself and the community around me,’ she said.

Sibiya leads a team of 17 who are from various sectors including engineering, marketing, computer science, IT and commerce.

Horizon Education, which runs mainly drone and robotics workshops, has already held several successful events at schools around Durban. The company also offers mathematics tutoring services.

‘My journey so far as the CEO of Horizon Education has been filled with growth and learning. I have had to step out of my comfort zone and strive hard to realise my full leadership potential - not just for my personal development but also for the company to be successful,’ she said.

Horizon Education recently hosted its inaugural Edutech Summit in partnership with Innovate Durban. ‘The idea behind this conference was to foster collaboration between various stakeholders within the education technology space. We wanted to create an ecosystem in which businesses, innovators, and educational institutions could network and discuss working towards improving South Africa’s educational system through the use of technology,’ said Sibiya.

The event provided a platform for Horizon Education to showcase the work it has been doing with learners from Cato Manor. The learners underwent training in workshops on design thinking, robotics, electronics, and pitching, culminating in the youngsters presenting their solutions at the Edutech Summit.

Sibiya has this advice for students: ‘Take advantage of every opportunity. Instead of being terrified of failing, relish the opportunities. Success is often measured by what you have learned rather than by how well you performed a task or filled a role. Enjoy the experience and connect with the people around you. There is always information and knowledge out there for you.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

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High Accolade for Town and Regional Planning PhD Candidate

High Accolade for Town and Regional Planning PhD Candidate
Mr Edmore Mutsaa.

Doctoral student in Town and Regional Planning at UKZN Mr Edmore Mutsaa is one of the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN) Top 30 Young Planning Professionals.

The award is made - in recognition of excellence achieved - to individuals aged below 35 who have demonstrated leadership qualities and are making a difference in their field or communities or in both.

As a recipient of the award, Mutsaa demonstrated knowledge and experience of spatial planning, land use management and land development.

‘The award raises one’s professional profile and gives you validation which impels you to continue striving for excellence so just like anyone would, I feel great about this award,’ said Mutsaa. ‘It’s an acknowledgement from the national planning professional board - in my field that’s as good as it gets!’

His doctoral research focuses on Smart Cities, the Future of Cities in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. ‘The idea is to model or remodel smart cities in an inclusive and sustainable manner, particularly in an environment mired with a plethora of social, spatial, political and economic intricates,’ he said.

Mutsaa’s accolades during his studies at UKZN include several Certificate of Merit awards, a Golden Key International Honours Society Award, Dean’s Commendation Certificate awards, and Young Professional Planner (YPP)-ISOCARP/2016 recognition.

He is a well-rounded researcher in the built environment discipline and his work has been published in reputable journals, while his academic accomplishment and research prowess led to his appointment as a research assistant for the Inclusive Cities Initiative. He is also the assistant editor for Journal of Inclusive Cities and Built Environment.

Mutsaa is a part-time lecturer for postgraduate students in Town and Regional Planning, and is actively registered with SACPLAN. He believes in the boundless potential of blending town planning practice with academics for the advancement of both as well as for communities.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

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UKZN Hosts Women in Leadership Conference

UKZN Hosts Women in Leadership Conference
Panellists, guest speakers and participants during the NASDEV Women in Leadership Conference hosted by UKZN.

Student development practitioners from South African Higher Education Institutions gathered at UKZN recently for a four-day National Association for Student Development (NASDEV) Women in Leadership Conference.

Held under the theme Equity vs Equality: Women Empowerment in Modern Day South Africa, the conference aimed to empower emerging and current women in leadership.

A gala dinner was held to officially open the conference. Delivering her address as a guest speaker, Her Royal Majesty, Queen Ntokozo kaMayisela turned her focus on the emotional aspect of womanhood - urging women to take charge of their emotional wellbeing. She called on women to support and lean on each other, be kind to themselves and others, and always allow the process of emotional healing.

Ms Normah Zondo, UKZN Corporate Relations Executive Director, said the conference was happening as South Africa celebrates the great strides of women in sport, politics, business, research and other areas. ‘Many of us are still in high spirits following the victory of Banyana Banyana who were recently crowned as the queens of African football. Here in KwaZulu-Natal, the first woman Premier, Ms Nomusa Dube-Ncube - a graduate of UKZN - was recently elected into office,’ she said.

She said one of UKZN’s perpetual missions is women empowerment, adding that the University believes it has made significant progress in this regard, citing the number of female graduates it produces annually, the empowerment of female academics, and the number of women in leadership positions as evidence. ‘At this year’s Autumn Graduation ceremonies, 8 795 students graduated, of which 63.38% were women. UKZN also has more than 30% of Black women in senior management positions, while over 26% are part of the middle management and almost 50% are skilled/junior management staff members. Moreover, we have created an environment that encourages and supports women empowerment. We agree that we are not where we want to be, but we are certainly on the right track. We have put in several programmes, including the Imbokodo Women in Leadership and Academia Programme, to help us consolidate these gains,’ she said.

Presentations, panel discussions, sharing of ideas, good practices and robust debates during the question and answer sessions kept the audience interested and engaged throughout the conference.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Internationalisation at the University of Cape Town Professor Sue Harrison spoke on Women in Higher Education: Factors Influencing the Career Trajectory of Women in Senior Management in Higher Education.

Harrison encouraged women to choose the path they wanted for their purpose and encouraged practitioners to welcome opportunities and decide what to do with them.

She advised women leaders to create opportunities for their staff to enable them to shine, and for women to work in enabling environments that allowed them to find satisfaction in their work, while believing in themselves.

Harrison said women often carried a large portion of the family with them. What was important to her was to place family alongside a career, giving it the same importance. She encouraged women to inject new thinking to the spaces they were in and be brave enough to bring them to the table.

The Head of Postgraduate Studies and Research in the College of Human Sciences at the University of South Africa, Professor Azwihangwisi Mavhandu-Mudzusi, spoke on LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity in Higher Education - Transformation (Policies and Frameworks). She said there was still stigmatisation and discrimination in the Higher Education sector, the church and sports, especially at rural-based universities. Mavhandu-Mudzusi said that sometimes LGBTQIA+ individuals were forced to become parents to get society off their backs about their gender status.

In her findings, this discrimination led to students giving up their sexuality, underperforming academically, dropping out, choosing courses considered “safe”, having multiple concurrent partners, staying in abusive relationships and intentional exposure to HIV.

Mavhandu-Mudzusi said Higher Education Institutions needed to destabilise heteronormality, create safe spaces for students and have representation in all structures.

Other topics and panel discussions during the conference included subjects around Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. A panel which included female students from the Student Women Economic Empowerment Programme (SWEEP) of Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) and Universities South Africa (USAf) debated the mentorship and funding challenges faced by students. The session was moderated by UKZN alumni, Founder of Fri-Verse and a current Bachelor of Law student, Ms Nobuhle Mzobe.

Co-Creating an Action Plan of Volunteerism: How Might we Better Support Young Women in Business, was the topic of another panel discussion moderated by UKZN alumni, Ms Mbali Bhengu, founder of Mindswitch, which looked at the benefits of volunteerism for students.

Other panel discussions and presentations highlighted the Higher Education perspective in relation to gender representation and equity in sports and student leadership, including addressing policies, the effects of gender-based violence and challenges faced by Black women in the workplace.

Discussions concentrated on how Black women are conditioned to accept the bare minimum. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University student Ms Wandile Cele said Black women dealt with a number of challenges and were often taught how to be selfish rather than selfless.

Words: Sithembile Shabangu and Sinegugu Ndlovu

Photographs: Albert Hirasen

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Macroeconomics Research Unit Developing Business Confidence Index

Macroeconomics Research Unit Developing Business Confidence Index
The technical team working on the Durban Business Confidence Index are from left: Professor Harold Ngalawa, Dr Ntokozo Nzimande and Dr Adebayo Kutu.

The Macroeconomics Research Unit (MRU) in UKZN’s School of Accounting, Economics and Finance has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and eThekwini Municipality that lays a framework for the development of the Durban Business Confidence Index (BCI).

In the three-party agreement, the MRU is the technical partner responsible for formulating an implementation plan for the BCI, developing and testing the methodology for the index, conducting regular surveys, computing the index and compiling quarterly reports on changes in investor sentiments in eThekwini Municipality.

The DCCI plays an administrative role that involves managing activations and the launch of the final project through its various networking platforms, providing a gatekeeper’s letter for the surveys, and compiling project overview documents, progress reports, and other associated project materials in collaboration with UKZN’s MRU. The project is being funded by eThekwini Municipality.

Founder of the MRU Professor Harold Ngalawa; MRU Executive Committee member Dr Ntokozo Nzimande, and Research Director at the Unit Dr Adebayo Kutu comprise the technical team working on the Durban BCI.

‘The project was rolled out in March this year with a pilot phase and the first substantive index will be released in October,’ said Ngalawa, adding that the index would serve as a barometer to measure business and investor sentiments, monitor economic growth and project turning points in economic activity within the greater eThekwini region.

In the pilot phase of the project, it was found that the Durban BCI for the second quarter of 2022 was 34.69, indicating that the mood or sentiment of business people in the greater Durban area was negative. The index compares very well with the 2022 second quarter BCI for South Africa computed by the Stellenbosch University’s Bureau of Economic Research (BER) in collaboration with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) which was recorded at 42, indicating that the mood or sentiment of business people in the country was also negative.

The Durban BCI was lower than the SARB/BER’s national BCI, indicating that the level of business confidence in eThekwini Municipality was lower than the national average in the second quarter of 2022.

Said Ngalawa: ‘This finding is not surprising, especially given that the Municipality was hit by severe floods and landslides following heavy rainfall between 11 and 13 April this year, which prompted the President to declare a National State of Disaster on 18 April. This happened while the region was still struggling to recover from the effects of the July 2021 looting and burning as well as COVID-19 and the corresponding policy responses.

‘This is a ground-breaking project in which the BCI will measure the present mood or sentiment of business people in conducting their day-to-day business in Durban.’

A member of the Durban BCI technical team, Dr Ntokozo Nzimande, said in theory, business confidence could be described as the degree of sentiment towards risk-taking by business for whatever reason.

‘If there is low business confidence in the economy, entrepreneurs and investors delay or postpone expenditures intended for the present period. Conversely, if business confidence is high, economic agents are willing to spend at the prevailing economic conditions. This suggests that there is a turning point where investment decisions change direction,’ Nzimande said.

He further pointed out that the reaction of businesses to the current economic environment could be interpreted as a function of their perceptions and evaluations of current business conditions and expectations of future eventualities. The level of these two psychological identities of perceptions and expectations impacts directly on the human nature observed in business decisions. Actions taken by businesses can to a large degree be ascribed to the level of business confidence.

The business confidence index, according to MRU’s Research Director, Dr Adebayo Kutu, helps in the development of business cycle models and the improvement of forecasts in the behaviour of macroeconomic variables.

Words: NdabaOnline

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UKZN and Finnish Researchers Working Together in Murder Study

UKZN and Finnish Researchers Working Together in Murder Study
Researchers (from left, back) Professor Shanta Balgobind Singh, Dr Karoliina Suonpää, Ms Linda Anning, Professor Janne Kivivuori and Dr Gerelene Jagganath; and (front) Dr Rob Chetty, Professor Sultan Khan and Dr Patrick Bashizi Murhula.

UKZN researchers have joined forces with Finnish counterparts in a pilot project for a comparative study of murder in their countries.

The UKZN team comprises Professor Shanta Balgobind Singh, Dr Gerelene Jagganath, Professor Sultan Khan, Dr Rob Chetty and Dr Patrick B Murhula, while the team from Finland boasts Professor Janne Kivivuori, Dr Karoliina Suonpää and Ms Anna Raeste.

The research will compare Finnish and South African homicide (murder) cases in a standardised manner within a specific area, using the European Homicide Monitor (EHM) developed by Kivivuori. The EHM-short manual is a coding instrument which separates compiled information into smaller units to explain underlying trends and patterns on homicide.

The EHM approach enables the use of different data sources, typically including the files and records of the criminal justice system and its investigative process. As the instrument has already been used in Finland and elsewhere in Europe, the key area of the current research is to explore the applicability of the EHM approach within the South African context and conditions.

Examples include the gender distribution of offenders and victims, time cycles of homicide, killing scenes, socioeconomic backgrounds of involved parties, and motives.

Comparative homicide research ultimately aims to create knowledge that can be used in the prevention of lethal violence.

‘If the pilot supports the feasibility of the EHM approach in South Africa, the instrument could be used more broadly nationally,’ said Balgobind Singh. ‘The instrument allows for a detailed comparison of places within countries as well as pattern changes. If extensively applied, it could allow internal and international comparison, to provide data on how successful violence prevention policies are.’

This research will also strengthen collaboration with the South African Police Services.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

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Specialist Psychiatrist Applauded for Reorganisation of Psychiatric Services at Townhill Hospital

Specialist Psychiatrist Applauded for Reorganisation of Psychiatric Services at Townhill Hospital
Dr Vidette Juby.

Specialist psychiatrist at the Townhill Hospital’s Out Patients Department in Pietermaritzburg Dr Vidette Juby has been lauded by UKZN’s School of Clinical Medicine for identifying gaps and improving systems in the management of the facility.

Townhill is a psychiatric hospital which serves as a referral centre for KwaZulu-Natal. When Juby joined in 2020 as a newly qualified consultant she identified issues with the way the Out Patients section was run and offered to work there to oversee the management of the unit.

Prior to joining the Psychiatry Department and specialising, Juby ran her own highly regarded general practice so she used her background from that experience to ring the changes at Townhill.

Juby said problems she identified included: poor staff supervision, lack of continuity of care and thus poor patient satisfaction, difficult referral processes which frustrated external stakeholders and translated into low patient numbers, and general bleakness and clutter in the unit.

Juby and her team brainstormed on ways to improve the system and proposed that management support a reorganisation strategy. This was done with careful consideration given to the limited recourses at the hospital and an understanding that no additional resources could be acquired.

The strategy included: (1) motivating for permanent medical staff including a psychiatrist, a medical officer with an interest in integrative out-patient care, a full-time psychiatric registrar on a six-month rotation basis, and a psychiatry intern to be assigned as permanent staff; (2) the reorganisation of clinics to attend to new patients, and sub-specialty patients on particular days; (3) the introduction of an appointment system to prevent long waiting times and (4) the initiation of evidence-based teaching and supervision programme where all cases are reviewed by the consultant, academic topics are discussed and journal articles relevant to out-patient psychiatry presented.

Juby also appealed to the private sector to sponsor paint for the unit and organised for general improvements and maintenance to be carried out.

Patients’ attending the Out Patients section now report a better quality of care and care experience. There has been particularly good feedback regarding the appointment system and the improved continuity of care.

Said Medical Officer at the Out Patients section Dr K Padayachee: Dr Juby has been pivotal in creating and sustaining a dynamic therapeutic environment at the Townhill Hospital Outpatients Department. The new system has reduced patient waiting times and enables holistic health care delivery to patients. Dr Juby is readily available to assist in providing quality care for patients and offers constant support to her team.’

Acting Head of the Clinical Unit at Townhill Hospital Dr Reyanta Bridgmohum said: ‘Staff working in the Out Patients Department feel supported in their daily work. There is positive energy in the workplace, which has become a centre of excellence for out-patient psychiatry training. An intern doctor said “this was the best ever rotation of my internship” and voiced a strong desire to return to UKZN Psychiatry to specialise. Psychiatry registrars echo this, expressing that they have had exposure and teaching on a vast array of psychiatric illness that they do not usually get experience in, working in exclusively in-patient units. Juby has brought true excellence to service delivery and teaching and is an asset to our hospital and our department!’

Words: Lihle Sosibo

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