SHS Research Day and Oath Taking Ceremony
The College of Health Sciences’ School of Health Sciences (SHS) hosted its annual SHS Young Health Scientists Research Symposium at UKZN’s Westville campus.
This annual Symposium is designed to showcase and highlight recent scientific and clinical research conducted by young health scientists. Research groups of students from nine SHS disciplines presented their projects at the Symposium held at the Joosab Hall.
Guest speaker, UKZN’s Dean of Research and renowned researcher, Professor Urmilla Bob said the students presenting at the Symposium are evidence of the sustaining power of scientific investigation. She spoke about the importance of postgraduate studying and gave students advice on how to stay on top of the research game.
‘Please pursue your postgraduate studies, if not for yourselves, but for your country,’ she advised. Reflecting on her personal experiences as a researcher, Bob encouraged students to pursue their studies further and told them they were not limited to UKZN.
School Operations Manager, Mr Vishnu Govender said the symposium aims to exchange research findings and experience between the nine disciplines.
Speech-Language Therapy representatives, R Kullen and R Narainsamy presented their topic titled Health Sciences Student’s Knowledge and Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Physiotherapy’s E Dlanjwa, K Hlophe, A Khuzwayo, K Mhlongo, W Mthembu and L Ndlovu’s topic was The Effects of a Single Session of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretching and Static Stretching on Hamstring Muscle Flexibility.
Leisure Sciences’ AN Dlamini, PA Mathebula, L Madonsela and T Mayeza’s topic was Investigation of the Prevalence of Non-Communicable Disease and the Associated Risk Factors Among Citizens Residing at Banana City Durban – KwaZulu-Natal.
The other topics were: Effects of Naringenin on the Expression of Hepatic Nuclear Factor (Erythroid-Derived)-like 2 (nrf2), in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes, by Bam PN, Dlomo K, Jadwat N, Karodia MA, Msomi T, Nyawose TT and Rizvi SK from Pharmaceutical Sciences; Occupational Risks in Service Learning: Millennial Health Science Students Fear Factor - by Mulla A, Naidoo SN, Ngubane N and Nkosi Z from Occupational Therapy; Hamstring/Quadricep Ratio and Hip Abduction Strength Imbalances in Amateur Rugby Union Players With or Without Previous Injuries, by Brown M and Kearns K from Biokinetics; The use of Android Smartphone Sound Measurement Applications for Self-Monitoring of High Noise Exposure in Resource Constrained Communities, by Mthembu SN, Mthethwa L, Van der Burgh SD and Zuke N from Audiology; The Impact of Gaming on Accommodative and Vergence Facilities After Exposure to Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Display by Gopichunder B, Luggya A,Khulu S, Majola T and Paruk H from Optometry and An Investigation Into the Hydration Strategies of Half Marathon Runners by Morgan G, Ramcharan FD from Exercise Science.
All the young scientists were awarded certificates for their participation. The top three winners received trophies. Optometry took the first spot for their study which investigated the change between accommodative and vergence facilities before and after exposure to gaming in a virtual reality (VR) device amongst participants with normal binocular visual function.
Their results showed that binocular accommodative facilities and vergence facilities increased after 25 minutes of VR gaming. The significant improvement of both facilities suggested future research investigation on the utilisation of VR gaming for the management of binocular accommodative and vergence facilities. Speech Pathology took second place while third place went to Audiology.
The symposium was followed by the School’s 23rd Oath taking, attended by over 1 000 people including parents.
The two functions were hosted on 22 and 23 October and this was a first for the School to hold two important functions on two consecutive days.
Govender thanked all professional, technical and academic staff who made these two events possible, ‘Without you this would not have been possible.’
Words and photographs: Nombuso Dlamini