07 October 2015 Volume :3 Issue :46

Physiotherapy Lecturers Present Papers at Conference in Holland

Physiotherapy Lecturers Present Papers at Conference in Holland
Mrs Verusia Chetty and Mr Saul Cobbing.

Two UKZN Physiotherapy Lecturers presented their ongoing doctoral research studies at the 12th International AIDSImpact Conference in Amsterdam.

AIDSImpact is an international behavioural and psychosocial science Conference that addresses issues related to HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care, focusing both globally and on specific communities and countries hardest hit by the epidemic.

A College of Health Sciences Competitive Research Grant allowed Mrs Verusia Chetty and Mr Saul Cobbing to attend and present at the conference.

Both Lecturers are holders of a Medical Research Council’s National Health Scholarship to pursue their PhDs.

Discussing her research, titled: “A Rehabilitation Model as a Key to Comprehensive Care in the Era of HIV as a Chronic Disease in South Africa”, Chetty said: ‘The current response to HIV in resource poor settings needs to integrate disability into its model of care in a viable and effective way. A learning-in-action approach was the protagonist in developing a novel model to guide rehabilitation within a resource poor setting.’

Supervised by Dr Jill Hanass-Hancock, Chetty’s study suggests that all settings including acute hospital, intermediate clinic, home-based care, outreach and community based rehabilitation need to be harnessed and incorporate a gamut of rehabilitation services in a co-ordinated manner. ‘The assumption is that the burden on the healthcare system will be curbed and the projected benefit for all stakeholders will promote sought after service delivery in rehabilitation of people living with HIV (PLHIV),’ she said.

Cobbing’s study, titled: “The Design and Implementation of a Home Based Rehabilitation (HBR) Programme for People Living with HIV and Disability in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”, describes the successes and challenges of training home base carers to implement the HBR programme for adult people living with HIV.

The study demonstrated that a task-shifting approach is a valuable means of providing alternative rehabilitation options to PLHIV in a resource-poor community. ‘By training care workers to conduct simple HBR, it may be possible to scale up the treatment of the ever-growing number of individuals living with HIV and disability,’ Cobbing said.

Chetty said she had been passionate about HIV and rehabilitation since she began studying for a degree in Health Sciences. ‘My colleague Saul and I share this passion and we are in collaboration with the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division, initiating a Research, Education, Advocacy and Disability  (READ) project which brings together young dynamic researchers from across Africa to a point of discussion and mentoring programmes.’

Cobbing said prior to UKZN, he had worked as a physiotherapist closely involved in the rehabilitation of people living with HIV and in that position realised how he as a professional in the field could help improve people’s function and quality of life.

They both enjoy family time and are determined to complete their PhDs and pursue further goals.

Lunga Memela

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