Still 1 000 New HIV Infections Daily in SA

Still 1 000 New HIV Infections Daily in SA
CAPRISA / UKZN HIV Workshop for health specialists recently held in Durban.

The burden faced in South Africa is 1 000 new HIV infections daily, a large number of men who do not know their HIV status, and a high number of teenage girls who get infected daily by older men.

This is according to the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research at UKZN and Director of CAPRISA, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who said the message that needed to be conveyed to these older men was: ‘Leave our girls alone.’

Abdool Karim was addressing health clinicians in an HIV Workshop for health specialists and sharing insights into the epidemiology of HIV in South Africa.

The two-day workshop, hosted by CAPRISA and UKZN’s Department of Internal Medicine, was aimed at preventing unnecessary deaths through capacity building, and reinforcing interdisciplinary specialist collaboration so that specialists are able to identify their role in the management of HIV and TB disease when diagnosing, treating, monitoring, and managing infections and supporting patients.

The workshop hoped to familiarise specialists on their role in achieving the National and Global goal of the 90-90-90 strategy which tables a highly ambitious target of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2020 by ensuring that 90% of all people with HIV know their status, 90% of people diagnosed with HIV are on ART and 90% of people on ART should have their HIV viral load suppressed.

‘By 2030 we can achieve an HIV manageable nation if we can be radical in our healthcare approach by encouraging our communities to get tested, initiating ARVs as soon as possible, and managing and providing necessary support to patients,’ said the Head of Department in Internal Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Nombulelo Magula.

The workshop afforded health specialists from all clinical care disciplines an opportunity and platform to share views and to identify their role in the management of HIV and TB.

‘Our goals are highly ambitious because we want to reverse the spread of HIV and if we want to achieve that, we need to work hand in hand,’ said Dr R Mngqibisa, an HIV Clinician and Director at the Enhancing Care Foundation.

‘We are not doing justice to the population if we do not give explanations and can’t provide patients with enough information on opportunistic infections but instead refer them to go and get tested,’ said Specialist Physician at UKZN Internal Medicine, Dr A Gounden. ‘As doctors we all have our own patient approach but counselling and compliance needs to be emphasised, especially when it comes to HIV and TB.’

‘A doctor-patient conversation is very central. Our jobs as clinicians entail talking with patients and that’s what we should do. Many patients default on taking their medication because there is no conversation between a patient and the doctor,’ said Dr Nokukhanya Msomi, a Pathologist in the Department of Virology.

Head of Department in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UKZN, Dr Motshidiso Sebitloane, said over the years, the rate of mother-to-child transmissions had decreased by 30% in government hospitals since a guideline to get mothers tested every three months and when going to labour was introduced.


author : Sinenhlanhla Ngubane & Lihle Sosibo
author email : sosibol1@ukzn.ac

Honorary Education Professor Awarded Gold Medal from Canadian Organisation

Honorary Education Professor Awarded Gold Medal from Canadian Organisation
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Mr Greg Fergus (left); UKZN’s Professor Claudia Mitchell, and President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Mr Ted Hewitt.

Honorary Professor Claudia Mitchell of the School of Education and McGill University in Montreal, Canada, has received a Gold Medal from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in recognition of her being the leading social scientist in that country.

The Gold Medal is SSHRC’s highest research honour and acknowledges sustained leadership, dedication and originality of thought by an SSHRC-funded researcher.

Mitchell said the honour was particularly meaningful for her as a researcher in Education. ‘We are often seen as being more professionally oriented and not necessarily doing research. So this isn’t just for me – it’s a recognition of the work of the Faculty of Education out there making a difference.’

Mitchell’s ground-breaking research cuts across visual and other participatory methodologies in relation to youth, gender and sexuality; girls’ education; teacher identity, and critical areas of international development linked to gender and HIV and AIDS.

She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books, including Doing Visual Research (Mitchell); Making Connections: Self-study and Social Action (Pithouse, Mitchell & Moletsane); and Was it Something I Wore? (Moletsane, Mitchell & Smith).

Her most recent book is an edited collection Girlhood and the Politics of Place (Mitchell & Rentschler).

According to UKZN’s Professor Relebohile Moletsane, Mitchell has also developed fund-raising capacity in the School of Education, with many of the big research grants won in the past few years bearing Mitchell’s signature leadership.

‘The Gold Medal for Claudia is a befitting honour for a deserving academic, mentor and colleague. Not only has Claudia mentored some senior academics like me at UKZN, but she has also selflessly developed capacity among our postgraduate students in such areas as participatory visual research methods, self-study methods and media studies, including those she personally supervises as well as others,’ said Moletsane.

Professor Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan added: ‘Professor Mitchell’s pioneering research has made such a positive impact on so many people around the world.’ Dr Linda van Laren said: ‘Claudia is indeed a deserving recipient of this prestigious award. She devotedly sustains and supports many participatory research projects related to gender issues across continents.

‘Her South African research initiatives have spanned several decades. South Africans have benefited greatly from her personal, active involvement in HIV and AIDS research projects where social issues are confronted.’

The award comes with a US$100 000 prize which Mitchell will use to launch a new research project with several of her doctoral students.

One of Mitchell’s doctoral students, Ms Mandisa Dhlula-Moruri, said: ‘Professor Mitchell is a beacon to us,’ while her other doctoral student, Ms Tanya Van der Walt, said: ‘She is always so generous with her knowledge and scholarship, and this award is richly deserved.’


author : Melissa Mungroo
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

USolwazi WesiNgisi Ushicilele Incwadi Ngo-Douglas Livingstone

USolwazi WesiNgisi Ushicilele Incwadi Ngo-Douglas Livingstone
USolwazi Michael Chapman nencwadi yakhe esanda kushicilelwa ethi: Green in Black-and-White Times: Conversations with Douglas Livingstone.

Click here for the English version

USolwazi Michael Chapman waseSikoleni SezobuCiko ushicilele incwadi entsha enesihloko esithi-Black-and-White Times: Conversations with Douglas Livingstone.  

Le ncwadi iqhakambisa izingxoxo phakathi kukasosayensi nombhali wezinkondlo ohlonishwa umhlaba wonke u-Livingstone kanye nomhlaziyi wemibhalo u-Chapman ababengabangani isikhathi eside.

Izingxoxo zabo – ezikhunjulwa kule ncwadi - zithatha abafundi zibabeke ezikhathini zakudala lapho kwakunezivunguvungu kwezombusazwe eNingizimu Afrika ngeminyaka yama-1970 nama-1980 kuze kube yisikhathi esilandele esobandlululo, lapho kubhekwa ukukhathazeka okungapheli  kuka-Livingstone, njengososayensi nembongi, mayelana nokuthi umhlaba ungalashwa kanjani.

U-Chapman ukholelwa ukuthi le ncwadi iqala ngesikhathi somzabalazo wenkululeko ngeminyaka yokuphela kwama-1970 nama-1980 kodwa futhi ikhombisa nomzabalazo wokuguqulwa kwendlela okwakufundwa ngayo isiNgisi eNingizimu Afrika kusukela ekugxileni esikweni lamaNgisi aseBhrithani kuya ekugxileni kwezaseNingizimu Afrika nezase-Afrika.

‘U-Livingstone uvamise ukusithatha asibeke lapho izinkondlo zingakaze zisibeke khona phambilini. Futhi ubuye asibeke mhlawumbe nalapho kungakaze kufinyelele isayensi khona phambilini. U-Livingstone wayehlala egcizelela ukuthi, ngaphezulu kwakho konke, imbongi kumele ihlulelwe ngokwekhono layo lokunandisa. Wayezibona njengomuntu ongahlukile ekubeni yimbongi nomuntu nje ojwayelekile. Ngizamile ukukhombisa ukusebenza kwalendlela,’ kuchaza u-Chapman.

Unethemba lokuthi incwadi iyathokozisa futhi iyindaba emayelana nezinkondlo, isayensi, abantu abajwayelekile, izimpendulo zabantu neminyakazo yabo yokubhekana nezimo ezinhlobonhlobo.

‘Le ncwadi ithinta izindaba ezimayelana nomphakathi zesimanje njengoba kunokuhoxa kweBhrithani (Brexit) nokuphumelela kuka-Donald Trump okhethweni lokuba umongameli; kwezasekhaya, ibheka udaba lwama -#Fallists kanye ne-EFF. Sibona ukunyakaziswa okusibeka endleleni yokubeka uvo  ngendlela eyamukelekile. U-Douglas Livingstone wenze ngempumelelo into engajwayelekile okuwukuhlanganisa umqondo wezezinkondlo nowesayensi noma ukucabanga ngokwezinkondlo kanye nokwesayensi.’

Incwadi iyatholakala ezitolo ezinkulu zezincwadi, ku-Amazon naku-UKZN Press.


author : Melissa Mungroo
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

Gastric Cancer Prevalent Among Indian Men in Durban – UKZN Study Finding

Gastric Cancer Prevalent Among Indian Men in Durban – UKZN Study Finding
Stock image of male gastric cancer.

A study by UKZN academics has indicated a significant prevalence of gastric cancer (GC) among Indians - mainly men - in Durban.

The study – published in the South African Medical Journal - was titled: “The Spectrum of Gastric Cancer as Seen in a Large Quaternary Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”.

The authors said a lack of good-quality data made it difficult to understand the burden of oncological disease in South Africa.

GC is the fifth most common visceral malignancy in the world, and the third highest cause of cancer-related death. However, there are major deficiencies in the registry and cancer data is reported poorly nationwide.

The retrospective study was conducted using a patient database at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH) in Durban between 2009 and 2014, during which time 131 patients were referred for treatment. Of these, 63 were Indian, 59 African, seven White and two mixed race. Fifty-five percent were male while the average age of all the patients was 60.

The authors found that the most common locations of gastric cancer were the body and distal parts of the stomach (antrum and pylorus). Thirteen percent of the patients had a family history of GC.

According to the World Health Organization, GC is more common in males than females, and relatively common in Asian countries such as Japan and Korea, while it is rare in southern African countries. More than half of the total cases of GC are diagnosed in East Asia each year.

Studies suggest that people who eat a diet high in smoked, salted, or pickled foods may be at an increased risk for stomach cancer. Nitrates and nitrites are nitrogen-based chemicals added to certain foods, especially cured meats such as ham, bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats. Both nitrates and nitrites combine with other nitrogen-containing substances in the stomach to form cancer-causing agents known to develop into stomach cancer.

Symptoms, which usually indicate the disease being advanced, include abdominal discomfort or pain, blood in stools, bloating (especially after eating), diarrhoea or constipation, fatigue, gastrointestinal bleeding, indigestion or heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and weight loss.

In general, treatment for stomach cancer depends on the size and location of the tumour as well as the stage of the disease and the individual’s age and overall health. High risk patients are those who consume alcohol and who smoke cigarettes. Treatment for early-stage cancer is aimed at curing the disease whilst with advanced stage cancer, a cure is unlikely and the goal is to reduce pain and restore some quality of life. Surgical removal is the only curative treatment whilst chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used in addition to surgery or as palliative treatment.

UKZN’s Dr Emil Loots, a renowned Gastroenterologist in Durban and a co-author of the study, said the following about the findings: ‘Gastric cancer is often present in advanced stages because of non-specific symptoms and few clinical signs. It is imperative, especially among high risk groups, such as Indian male patients, to seek healthcare for abdominal symptoms. A timeous assessment with gastroscopy may detect gastric cancer in the early stages and may be lifesaving. The study also indicates the need to establish cancer registries and centralised management in order to promote innovative research to fight the disease.’


author : MaryAnn Francis
author email : francism@ukzn.ac.za

Inaugural Auditing Discussion Forum a Great Success

Inaugural Auditing Discussion Forum a Great Success
Panellists: Mr Manqoba Zungu of Deloitte; Audit Manager at KPMG, Ms Simone Esbend; Mr Yusuf Kharwa of PwC; and Manager at the Auditor-General’s office, Ms Amanda Zungu.

“Quality Control Within Audit Firms and Auditors’ Liability” was the topic for a panel discussion hosted on the Westville campus by the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.

The inaugural forum provided a platform for panelists from leading auditing firms PwC, KPMG, and Deloitte, and representatives from the Auditor-General’s office, to inform students about practical aspects associated with auditing practices.

Risked based audits versus auditor liability, quality assurance reviews and quality control manuals were among issues discussed by the panelists: Manager at the Auditor-General’s office, Ms Amanda Zungu;   Audit Manager at KPMG, Ms Simone Esbend; Mr Manqoba Zungu of Deloitte, and Mr Yusuf Kharwa of PwC.

The School’s Acting Dean, Dr Mabutho Sibanda, said the aim of the event was to develop and nurture sustainable partnerships with the accounting profession.

‘We need to be responsive and proactive to industry needs as we try to move away from being just knowledge factories that regurgitate text book theories. This discussion is aimed at creating new dynamics in teaching and learning in response to the dynamic student, industry and society needs,’ said Sibanda.

Discussions included subjects such as the media’s interpretation or misinterpretations of the Auditor-General’s municipality audits and the manufacturing of audit information due to time constraints.

‘All auditors face auditor liability - it depends on the financials we audit,’ said Zungu. ‘If the risk is high and the audit is politically sensitive it is signed off by a senior member. When it comes to municipality audits, there are instances where the culture of the municipality makes you think everything is risky due to poor controls. Hence, liability depends on the organisation,’ said Zungu.

Regarding the value of employing UKZN graduates, all firms unanimously highlighted the value they added.

‘Trainees play a key role in our teams because no-one can do an audit alone. The expectation is that these trainees have theoretical knowledge which is important as they know the risk involved and they benefit from well-rounded knowledge through being part of the team,’ said Kharwa.


author : Thandiwe Jumo
author email : Jumo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Scientist New President of SA Society for Atmospheric Sciences

UKZN Scientist New President of SA Society for Atmospheric Sciences
Professor Sivakumar Venkataraman (fourth left) with fellow SASA council members.

UKZN’s Professor Sivakumar Venkataraman was elected President of the South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences (SASAS) during the society’s 2016 conference in Cape Town.

Venkataraman, who will hold office for a minimum of two years, was also a presenter at the conference, as was his masters student, Ms Priyanka Singh, who spoke on the topic of: “Comparison between Aerosol Optical Depth Acquired from Sun Photometer and MODIS Satellite over Durban”.  The presentation was about the detailed measurement of aerosol loads using the UKZN sun photometer (part of AERONET).

Also presenting was Post-doctoral Research Fellow Dr Ruchith Ramakrishna Devaki, who spoke on: “Influence of Aerosol-Cloud Interaction on Austral Summer Precipitation over Southern Africa During El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Events”.

Professor Michael Savage of the Discipline of Agrometeorology in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) gave a lecture as the 2016 recipient of the inaugural SASAS medal in recognition of his research and educational and technical achievements in a field related to atmospheric science.

Savage discussed: “Open Water Evaporation quo vadis?”, concerning how evaporation estimation was still a challenge for the atmospheric, agricultural and environmental sciences, particularly in the face of climate change. He reviewed various methods allowing evaporation to be measured or estimated routinely with reliable accuracy and precision, including remote sensing modelling methods. He also presented an application of the MoninObukhov Similarity Theory (MOST) to open water evaporation and the impact of climate change for differing scenarios using a long-term dataset.

Venkataraman has an Atmospheric Research Group (ATMRES) at UKZN, where he, along with students and colleagues, dedicates time and energy to monitoring the aerosol burden, influenced by land use change and human activity, in the skies of Durban and surrounding areas. Recognising the importance of collaborative research for atmospheric and climatic research in the context of global change, the group collaborates with researchers throughout southern Africa, Réunion, and France, among other countries. The group’s work is contributing to the characterisation of anthropogenic regional factors and their relative climatic impact for climate modelling to enable efficient environmental management and climate change mitigation.


author : Christine Cuénod
author email : cuenod@ukzn.ac.za

Classics Department Hosts Visiting UNISA Professor

Classics Department Hosts Visiting UNISA Professor
Professor Richard Evans of UNISA with staff and students from UKZN’s Classics Department.

The Classics Department within the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics (SRPC) recently hosted visiting lecturer from the University of South Africa (UNISA), Professor Richard Evans.

Evans spent a full week engaging with staff and consulting with students, while also presenting lectures and seminars on various topics.

His public lecture focused on: “Propaganda on Ancient Coinage”, examining the origin of ancient Greek coinage with illustrations of coins from Sardis, Ephesus and Pergamum, and also addressed the question of the significance of the contribution to a monetary culture of this region of Asia Minor (ancient Turkey).

The lecture examined the remarkable coins issued by the eunuch Philetarios who controlled the fortress at Pergamum and whose family continued to rule this area during the Roman Empire.

Evans’ first seminar titled: “Re-dating the Foundation of Syracuse” led to a critical analysis of the literary evidence comprising Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Diodorus Siculus.

His discussion indicated that the city of Syracuse traditionally considered, on the basis of Thucydides, to have been founded in the 730s BC, was actually to be re-dated to between 670 and 650 BC.

In another seminar, Evans spoke about Tacitus’s Histories and the Deaths of Three Roman Rulers. ‘The surviving four books of Tacitus’s first extended historical account relates to the upheaval that occurred in the aftermath of Nero’s suicide in June AD 68. The Roman Empire was affected by a lengthy spell of civil war and this instability was also felt in Rome itself where urban unrest occurred for the first time since the 80s BC,’ he said.

Evans debated the accuracy of the descriptions of their deaths and to what extent the narrative was influenced by topical elements related to the ‘demise of tyrants or heroes’.

His final seminar for the week was on: “Herodotus on the Battle of Marathon: Myth or History?”, during which Evans examined the text of Herodotus History Book 6, revealing interesting and complex evidence. ‘When measured against the local topography and geography, it calls into question the historian’s understanding of this episode and hence his accuracy in covering this seminal event in the Greco-Persian conflict.’


author : Melissa Mungroo
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

History of the Modern Chicken Debated at UKZN

History of the Modern Chicken Debated at UKZN
Dr Mike Lacy, Dr Mariana Ciacciariello, Mr Richard Fritz and Dr Nicky Tyler.

The history of the modern chicken and ventilation of broilers in hot weather, were the two subjects debated by a United States academic during a guest lecture hosted by the Discipline of Animal and Poultry Science in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES).

Dr Mike Lacy, the retired Head of Department of Poultry Science at the  University of Georgia and a Fulbright Scholar, was accompanied by Mr Richard Fritz, Managing Director of the World Poultry Foundation (WPF).

The duo were visiting as part of the US Department of State’s Fulbright Specialist Programme, which enabled Lacy to work with the WPF and the KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute (KZNPI) ‘to provide assistance to historically disadvantaged poultry producers who have faced significant production constraints due to high feed costs, absence of disease control and a severe lack of educational resources’.

The visit involved Lacy assisting the KZNPI with the training of extension agents to address the needs of small and disadvantaged producers in the country. Lacy also helped teach government extension agents, and poultry and egg farmers attending the KZNPI, and visited farmers to provide hands-on instruction and training in the areas of biosecurity, poultry housing, feed quality and conversion rates, disease prevention and egg quality.

He also assisted the KZNPI in evaluating their curricula and teaching programmes.

An overarching goal of the project is to help South African small farmers increase egg and poultry meat production which will help address protein malnutrition issues in their families and communities.

Lacy spoke on the tracing of some of the history of poultry across the world, and particularly in his home state of Georgia, while considering contrasts and similarities in South African poultry production. Discussion included topics like the spread of disease and techniques for cooling housing.

Lacy covered the history of the domestication of chickens, which initially happened for sport, and how they were consulted for auguries in the Roman Empire. Students also heard about how “hen fever” gripped Europe and the USA in the mid-19th Century, leading to increased ownership and breeding of chickens.

Lacy and Fritz also noted UKZN’s fame for its innovations and research into poultry nutrition and housing.


author : Christine Cuénod
author email : cuenod@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN and ABSA Collaborate to Develop Investment Skills

UKZN and ABSA Collaborate to Develop Investment Skills
ABSA stock brokers Mr Ridwaan Moolla and Mr Marnus Viljoen with students and budding Johannesburg Stock Exchange investors.

Get rich quick schemes and other “Wolf of Wall Street”-style money-making methods were soundly debunked at the “Power of the Stock Market” seminar hosted by UKZN’s AfriHub at the Graduate School of Business building on the Westville campus.

The aim of the student-focused event was to improve investment planning and wealth creation by skilling university students in the use of tools and opportunities available on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

ABSA Bank Stock Brokers, Mr Ridwaan Moolla and Mr Marnus Viljoen, presented a clear and user friendly overview of how the JSE works as well as how the youth should approach investing. Students were given a step-by-step guide in understanding the complex investment terminology, how to distinguish between an asset and liability and how to execute basic trades.

The Hub for the African City of the Future (AfriHub) is an innovative project within UKZN’s School of Engineering which aims to facilitate skills development through multidisciplinary engagement and thereby enable social and economic growth in South Africa and the rest of Africa.


author : Rudie Kimmie
author email : kimmier@ukzn.ac.za

New Appointment for Senior UKZN Academic and Researcher

New Appointment for Senior UKZN Academic and Researcher
Dr Shenuka Singh - looking forward to her exciting new challenge.

The acting College Dean for Teaching and Learning and a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Dentistry at UKZN’s College of Health of Sciences, Dr Shenuka Singh, has been appointed a member of the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC) of South Africa.

‘This is national recognition for my involvement in research ethics. I am very happy and look forward to this exciting new challenge,’ said Singh, who also chairs UKZN’s Humanities and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee.

The NHREC, a statutory national body established under the National Health Act, is mandated to ensure that health research is conducted in accordance with the highest ethical standards and in line with international best practice.

Singh said functions of the NHREC include: developing and implementing guidelines for the functioning of Health Research Ethics Committees; establishing norms and standards for conducting research with human participants and research using animals; and advising the National Department of Health and provincial departments on any ethical issues concerning research.

Singh’s appointment became effective in December 2016 and she will serve as a member of the Council for the next three years.

She is also a member of Biomedical Research Ethics at the University and Chair of the Research Ethics Committee (Research and Development) at the Council for Science and Industry Research (CSIR) in South Africa.

‘I plan my daily tasks and schedule my responsibilities well, most importantly I am very passionate about my work. Thus nothing is a chore for me,’ she explained how she manages her demanding portfolios and still makes time for family. Singh also enjoys spending time with her pets and watching TV during her spare time.


author : Lihle Sosibo
author email : sosibo@ukzn.ac.za

Law Professions Day has been Keeping Students Informed for 10 years

Law Professions Day has been Keeping Students Informed for 10 years
Law students engaging with their prospective employers during Law Professions Day.

Law students in Pietermaritzburg and Durban turned up in their numbers to benefit from information supplied by prospective employers at the annual Law Professions Day.

The annual event, hosted by the School of Law in Pietermaritzburg on 8 March and in Durban on 9 March, celebrated its 10th year anniversary this year and was bigger and better than ever before. Among the participants were some of South Africa’s leading law firms including Adams & Adams, Baker McKenzie, ENS and Bowmans as well as non-profit organisations such as Legal Aid and ProBono.

Addressing the gathering at Pietermaritzburg, the Academic Leader, Professor Warren Freedman, highlighted that while the Law School is largely responsible for academic aspects of legal education, it also has a role to play in the practical aspects and one of the ways in which it fulfils this role is by helping students enter the legal profession through events such as Law Professions Day.

In her opening address in Durban, the Acting Dean and Head of School, Professor Lienne Steyn, said that the School is proud of this long standing tradition as merging academic and the practical aspects of legal education is a priority.

Taking full advantage of the information-gathering opportunity, students carefully read the information pamphlets handed out by the law firms while listening to briefings as they stopped at each stand.  Some even used the opportunity to apply for jobs at the legal firms by submitting their CVs to the recruiters.

‘Law Professions Day is very insightful because, instead of us relying on research we do on our own to get information, we have the firms coming to us and we ask these questions face to face to become informed about our options,’ said third-year student Mr Nitai Govender.

Fellow third-year student Ms Zesizwe Biyela added that planning ahead is a priority for her hence getting to be informed of the options available to her is very helpful. ‘Serving articles is crucial for Law graduates hence getting the chance to hear from these top firms and giving them my details is great because it gives me ample time to pick and choose when it comes to my future prospects,’ she said.


author : Thandiwe Jumo
author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

HIV and AIDS Programme Promotes Wise Sexual Practices

HIV and AIDS Programme Promotes Wise Sexual Practices
The HIV and AIDS Programme hosted a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)/Condom week awareness campaign.

The UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme recently hosted a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)/Condom Week Campaign aimed at promoting safe sex, preventing unplanned pregnancy and providing information pertaining to the spread of STIs, including HIV.

The Campaign, spearheaded by health promoters with the assistance of peer educators, also highlights abstinence and delayed sexual debut. This annual event targets University staff and students. Activities during the campaign included health talks, putting up of awareness posters and the distribution of condoms on all University campuses and in student residences.

Ms Noxolo Batembu of the HIV and AIDS Programme said that the campaign encourages students and staff to deeply and carefully reflect when it came to decisions relating to engaging in sexual practices. The use of protection was also heavily emphasised.

‘The campaign served as a platform to raise public awareness about the importance of correct use of female and male condoms to reduce the risk of contracting STIs, unplanned pregnancy and HIV,’ said Batembu.

‘During this campaign, students and staff got a chance to ask questions about issues pertaining to sexual reproductive health and rights,’ said Batembu. ‘There is a need to educate and empower students and staff to reduce the incidence of STIs through prevention, improved treatment options and by taking charge of their health. There is also a need to empower young men and women to live healthy.’

Participants included the Campus Health Clinic, the Department of Health and the Thembalabantu Gay and Lesbian Centre.

‘Students arrived in numbers to do the screenings and also received both female and male condoms to take away with them. A large number of students asked questions about prevention methods available,’ added Batembu.


author : Sithembile Shabangu
author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

Criminology Student Earns Membership of International Golden Key Society

Criminology Student Earns Membership of International Golden Key Society
Mr Samuel Fikiri with his supervisor Professor Shanta Balgobind Singh.

PhD Candidate in Criminology and Forensic Studies Mr Samuel Fikiri has been accepted as a member of the prestigious International Golden Key Society for his outstanding academic performance in 2016.

Fikiri was officially welcomed into the society during a ceremony held on UKZN’s Westville campus.

‘It’s a great honour being part of the Society,’ said Fikiri. ‘This means that I haven’t sacrificed my time in vain. Being recognised by such an organisation is a privilege and an encouraging component, pushing me to do better.’

Fikiri will now serve on the chapter executive committee, participating in its service, academic and social activities and will also attend Golden Key national and international summits.

Fikiri’s PhD research focus is on: “A Criminological Analysis on Safety and Security of African Foreign Nationals in Durban, South Africa”. He believes his research will assist in improving human security by creating an environment of human well-being in communities through policy making for the betterment of life conditions of African foreign nationals living in Durban.

His advice to other students is to work hard and remain steadfast.


author : Melissa Mungroo
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

Life-Long Learning a Key Factor for Success

Life-Long Learning a Key Factor for Success
New Master of Medicine students with SCM Academics.

‘Dedicate yourselves to life-long learning,’ School of Clinical Medicine, Senior Academic, Professor Richard Hift, told participants at an orientation gathering for KZN’s 2017 Master of Medicine class.

Hift reminded the students they needed to divide their time between clinical service, studying and research. ‘The next four years are all about becoming well-rounded professionals,’ he said, stressing that students had to conduct themselves professionally at all times. Professional conduct and good communication were vital in helping prevent the death of patients.

He encouraged students to set a high standard for themselves in order to make the most of their ‘research journey experience’.

Academic Leader: Research at the School, Dr Colleen Aldous, outlined the research process saying the students’ progress would be monitored through modules, some of which were available online.

Aldous encouraged students to register every year until they had completed the following components:

  1. Research Methodology, co-ordinated by Academic Leader of Teaching and Learning, Dr Serela Ramklass.
  2. Clinical and professional Prac1 and Prac 2.
  3. A research project and a completion of training time.

Lecturer and Head of the Psychiatry Unit at King Dinizulu Hospital, Dr Suvira Ramlal, spoke to the students on available resources to assist them through the programme.

‘You have to be socially and spiritually intelligent. Always work smart and not hard,’ Ramlal advised.

‘Never allow negative people to influence you. Research is fun, you will enjoy it,’ said Aldous.


author : Nombuso Dlamini
author email : dlaminin10@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Rower in line for International Award

UKZN Rower in line for International Award
UKZN rower Ms Robyn Horan with Ms Shane Nxumalo at the recent Buffalo Regatta in East London.

BSc Honours in Hydrology student Ms Robyn Horan is among six finalists for a world rowing award, the 2016 Filippi Spirit Award.

This year’s award has attracted an unprecedented 47 nominations from 20 different countries.  ‘We are blown away by the number and calibre of the nominations received this year,’ said FISA President, Mr Jean-Christophe Rolland. ‘We are extremely impressed by the young rowers of today and the work they are accomplishing. These future leaders help ensure a bright future for our sport.’

Horan started rowing in 2014 and soon received several awards for leadership and service to sport. After joining the UKZN rowing team, she became active in helping lead the team, organise events and promote the sport throughout the country.

She has been Chairperson of the UKZN rowing club for the past two years as well as the secretary of the Pietermaritzburg Sports Executive.

Horan is an all-around athlete, participating in hockey, tennis and touch rugby at the University.

The award winner’s university rowing club will receive a custom built, top-of-the-range Filippi eight rowing racing boat shell. The boat recognises the winner’s involvement in the club and helps it to develop young rowers for the future.

Other finalists are Gordon Dodge of South Africa, Renaud Berger of France, Iulia Bodnariuc of Canada, Jose Gomez-Feria of Spain and Nils Jakob Hoff of Norway.

Organisers said: ‘Each of the six finalists has unique and individual attributes and all have demonstrated the core values of the sport of rowing. Through these values they have been able to inspire exceptional success in their own as well as other people’s lives.’

 

* Filippi Lido S.R.L. (also known as Filippi Boats) is a rowing racing boat manufacturer based in Donorotico, Italy.


author : Robyn Horan
author email : ukzn.rc.chairman@hotmail.com

The Internet of Things is Changing the World - Canadian Researcher

The Internet of Things is Changing the World - Canadian Researcher
Professor Virendra Bhavsar (front) of the University of New Brunswick in Canada presented a guest lecture to staff and postgraduate students.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been described as a giant network of connected things – including people!

Forbes, the United States business magazine, says – simply put – IoT is the concept of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet and/or each other. Devices include items such as cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps and also components of machines including a jet engine of an aircraft or the drill of an oil rig.

The concept was further unpacked at UKZN’s School of Management, IT and Governance recently  by Professor Virendra Bhavsar of the University of New Brunswick in Canada during a guest lecture to staff and postgraduate students.

Bhavsar, an Honorary Research Professor and founding Director of the Advanced Computational Research Laboratory (ACRL), spoke on: “The Convergence of the Internet of Things, Big Data and High Performance Computing: Challenges and Opportunities”.

His talk focused on the challenges and opportunities in selected applications and how IoT, in many applications, would result in the generation of large amounts of data.

According to Bhavsar, in some applications, the data is continuously generated as a stream, wherein the data could be volatile. ‘Such big data needs to be curated, aggregated, and analysed at different levels, often using artificial intelligence algorithms for knowledge extraction and learning. In autonomic big data computing applications, the extracted knowledge is used for planning and executing the sequence of actions necessary for the application.’

He said IoTs could be used in a wide range of fields including agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, social media, transportation and forestry. In forestry it could be used to predict weather conditions.

Bhavsar said high performance computing (HPC) was crucial in satisfying computing requirements in many high end IoT applications, and to process large data.

He added that the challenges included complex optimisation problems, security risks (eg hacking), and programming languages, software and deployment.

However, Bhavsar said there were a number of opportunities being created in the process, including advances in medical supervision, creating smart cities, competitive and strategic advantages and revolutionary breakthroughs.

Other benefits included being able to get a two-week weather forecast, opportunities for new businesses and start-ups, and high-speed low-cost networks.


author : Sithembile Shabangu
author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

In a State of Readiness for the Decentralised Clinical Training Platform 2017

In a State of Readiness for the Decentralised Clinical Training Platform 2017
UKZN SHS academic staff met and strategised with DoH Clinicians at a DCTP strategic meeting held on the Westville campus.

The School of Health Sciences (SHS) hosted a successful Decentralised Clinical Training Platform (DCTP) strategy meeting on the Westville campus for representatives of disciplines within the School of Health Sciences.

The meeting was also attended by clinicians and officials from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health (KZN DoH).

This strategic meeting allowed academics and site-based clinicians to communicate and share their annual plans of placing students in identified clinical training sites, ie hospitals which have been assessed and found to be sufficiently equipped and resourced to handle the training needs of clinical students. Successes and challenges of the programme were also discussed at length during this meeting.

The training platform is a collaborative initiative of UKZN’s College of Health Sciences and the KZN DoH aimed at ensuring South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal produce an adequate number of healthcare professionals who are “fit for purpose in a primary health care model”. The vision is for the platform to be the driving force behind the re-engineering of the College of Health Science’s curriculum to ensure UKZN produces competent health care professionals who are prepared for the changing dynamics of healthcare in a developing world.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal and the KZN DoH have signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which helps provide opportunities for everyone in the College to be a part of the process to produce competent graduates who will extend quality healthcare to all parts of the population.

‘This Programme is not only about practical knowledge meeting experience, but also involves exposing students to great role models in hospitals,’ said the Academic Leader at UKZN’s Discipline of Occupational Therapy, Professor Kitty Uys.

Academic Service’s Director and co-developer of the UKZN DCTP model, Professor Fani Botha, emphasised the need for a state of readiness because the platform would be expected to plan and provide clinical training for about 320 medical students who return from Cuba in 2018. ‘This will not be easy but the platform should be ready to accommodate such a large number, with further clinical training sites in other KZN provincial hospitals and community healthcare centres being explored.’

Chief Director in the Unit of Public Health and Non-Communicable Disease, Dr Jimmy Mthethwa of the KZN DoH, emphasised the need to strengthen communication channels between implementers of the DCPT and also advocated support and ownership for the programme in hospitals.

The Department of Health is currently conducting DCTP roadshows and informing hospital communities about the programme while also tabling expected outcomes of the programme.

DCTP will from this month place students in the fields of dental therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, audiology, and pharmacy usually on a four-week rotation basis at Ngwelezane, Mfolozi, Port Shepstone, GJ Crooks Hospital, and Stanger Hospital.

Some disciplines will place students on this training platform for the first time while others have been continuously and successfully providing clinical training through the programme for students over the past few years.


author : Lihle Sosibo
author email : sosibo@ukzn.ac.za