30 July 2014 Volume :2 Issue :40

College of Health Sciences spreads "Madiba Magic"

College of Health Sciences spreads
Dermatologists spreading the love at Edith Benson Children’s home.

UKZN College of Health Sciences (CHS) students and doctors celebrated International Nelson Mandela Day by spending their 67 minutes offering services to different communities in Durban and surrounding areas. 

Members of the Medical Students Representative Council (MSRC) at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine and the Department of Public Health went to the Happy Valley Clinic in the Valley of 1000 Hills and Westville Juvenile Prison. 

The students presented a special programme to clinic patients, providing useful information about healthy eating and general well-being. They also conducted breast examinations and eye and Body Mass Index (BMI) tests on people in the community. 

Head of Public Health, Professor Joyce Tsoka-Gwengweni, and Research Manager from UKZN, Dr Myra Taylor, spoke to the community about healthy eating and the idea of creating vegetable gardens to provide organic food for themselves. 

At Westville Juvenile Prison, students spent their time educating young offenders about safe sex, HIV and STIs and medical male circumcision.  

The programme aimed to create HIVand AIDS awareness among young offenders and provide support and mentorship to young people while encouraging them to look beyond their current situation. 

The programme was co-ordinated by the CHS Public Relations Manager, Ms Maryann Francis; Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine HIV Counselor, Ms Lindiwe Mbhele, Miss Kwanele Mahamba of the MSRC Finance and Projects section and Bonginkosi Mafuze, MSRC. 

Young offenders were treated to edutainment during which they were able to win Madiba T-shirts by answering health related questions. They were also given a chance to ask questions. 

Mahamba did a presentation on STIs while Mbhele did a presentation on HIV andAIDS, in which she encouraged the prison youth to know their status and advised the men to undergo medical circumcision.  

After the presentations, more than 100 young offenders lined up to get tested by the health officials. 

Prison warder and HIV Councillor Mr A Mthembu said: ‘I am surprised by the number of boys who have showed up to the clinic to be tested. We have this facility open daily but they never come.’

One of the inmates, known as Sunshine, said he was grateful for the information: ‘I am happy that UKZN came and gave me the courage to want to know my status. I will try harder to live a responsible life.’  

School of Health Sciences’ members of the Hindu Student Association (HSA) and other Medical students spent Mandela Day at Malagazi Township where, in conjunction with the Berea and Food for Life Group, they fed about 500 community members  hot meals, desserts and soft drinks. They also conducted free eye tests, BP monitoring, and face painting for the children who all received small gifts. The students also conducted first aid demonstrations. 

The theme for the day was: “Our Hands can Help to Build a Brighter Future”. 

Department of Dermatology doctors led by Professor Anisa Mosam, and UKZN’s Dermatology HOD, Dr Ncoza Dlova, visited the Edith Benson Children’s Home where they handed out gifts.   

The doctors screened about 49 young children some of whom exhibited serious skin problems including fungal infection, eczema, viral infection, and pigmentation and inflammatory disorders. They were referred to the children’s skin clinic at King Edward VIII where they will be given proper treatment. 

Dr Nerissa Moodley of Stanger Hospital’s Dermatology Department arrived with a boot full of new toys and clothes. ‘This is our way of giving back to the community and also to have the humbling experience of being where our patients live.’ 

Mrs Firdose Moola thanked the UKZN doctors for the donations and their much needed skills. 

The doctors left the home with hope and promised to visit annually.  

Members of the HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP) visited Umlazi Child and Youth Centre, a home for abandoned children where they handed out toys, clothes, toiletries and shoes.

 Nombuso Dlamini

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