UKZN Students host Health Day
First to fifth year Medical students together with final year Dentistry colleagues held their annual Health Day Screening Community Outreach Initiative at the Wiggins Secondary School in Cato Manor, Durban.
The students, all volunteers for UKZN Friends of Médecins Sans Frontieres (FoMSF), provided free health screening and health education to 300 adult and paediatric patients.
Chairperson of the UKZN FoMSF (Doctors Without Borders), Ms Lisha Jeena said adult patients were screened for symptoms of tuberculosis, body mass index, blood glucose, blood pressure and dental health while the children were offered a separate rotation which included an assessment of their nutritional status, the presence of symptoms of tuberculosis and their dental health.
Referrals were made to the Cato Manor clinic for further management and HIV testing was available to adult patients on a voluntary basis.
Jeena said the initiative was done in collaboration with the NGO iThembaLethu, the People’s Hope Clinic, iThembalabantu, and the Dentistry Discipline on UKZN’s Westville campus.
Jeena said the initiative serviced three times the number of patients than the inaugural event in 2015. ‘We greatly appreciate the collaboration with the organisations and Dentistry students.’
All patients were provided with a meal by the NGO Food for Life and a UKZN FoMSF health pack which consisted of a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.
The Health Day also boasted a children’s entertainment area where the young ones could colour in and draw. In addition, one of the students provided face-painting.
The team acknowledged its sponsors: the South African Medical Association, the Cato Manor Clinic, the Departments of Dentistry at RK Khan Hospital and King Dinuzulu Hospital, and the UKZN HIV/AIDS Programme.
Said Jeena: ‘It was a great day, not only of service to the community, but of learning between students from Medical School and the Dentistry Department. We are truly grateful for a successful team effort.’
The students plan to have a similar event next semester. UKZN FoMSF hopes for collaboration with more UKZN faculties in order to grow the initiative and improve on the holistic service offered to patients in Cato Manor and other communities.