UKZN Friends of MSF Reinforce Health Education in Cato Manor
The UKZN Friends of Medecins Sans Frontieres (FoMSf) recently hosted an annual community wellness day in Cato Manor, Durban.
FoMSF is a student-run organisation affiliated to Doctors without Borders (MSF). This organisation hosts numerous events throughout the year including an annual Health Day.
This year, the event was at the Cato Crest Community Hall and Masibambisane Community Centre, both of which are well-known “hubs” in Cato Manor. Students from UKZN Medical School, Physiotherapy and Dentistry volunteered to provide health screening and advice to participants in the area.
This event saw approximately 200 patients being screened for TB, blood pressure, blood glucose and HIV. Of those who agreed to be tested, 3.48% had a blood glucose reading over 11mmol/l; 13.21% had systolic pressure greater than 130 bpm and 6.58% had signs indicative of tuberculosis.
All patients consulted with senior students, where specific intervention plans were discussed. Approximately 35 patients were then referred to Cato Manor Clinic for further investigation and management. This upstream screening process identified problems which may have otherwise gone undetected.
‘Each participant received advice from the Dentistry and Physiotherapy students. The latter was particularly helpful to the elderly cohort of the population, many of whom suffered from joint and/or muscle pain. Dental Therapy students again enthralled the children with demonstrations and oral hygiene advice. Not only did the children learn, but they also had fun,’ said Cheshni Jeena who is the UKZN FoMSF Chairperson.
Over 350 children under the age of 12 attended the wellness day. Physiotherapy was the favourite for children this year, with the students from this faculty conducting interactive group exercise routines.
FoMSf would like extend a hearty gratitude to our collaborators like iThemba Lethu, our stalwart comrades; Lizzie Mkhize and her team at the Masibambisane Community Centre; UKZN Dentistry and Physiotherapy Departments for their support and donations; VNA Consultants for sponsoring a large portion of our expenses; the South African Medical Association for assisting with the medical equipment and the event organising team: Kimera Naidoo, Musawenkosi Mthembu and Nqubeko Dzanibe as well as the rest of the FoMSF Executive Committee and volunteers for investing countless hours into ensuring this event was a success,’ expressed Jeena.
FoMSf also hosted Code Makers, who aim to expose children to computer programming at an early age as an attempt to expand their career options.
To bring a little more cheer to children, face painting and colouring activities were offered.
Participants were offered health packs containing soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste and adults received additional vegetable packs.
Words: Lihle Sosibo and Cheshni Jeena