Umfundi Weziqu Zobudokotela Uyingxenye Yabangama-200 Abasha Abaphezulu eNingizimu Afrika

Umfundi Weziqu Zobudokotela Uyingxenye Yabangama-200 Abasha Abaphezulu eNingizimu Afrika
UDkt Yoshan Moodley.

Click here for the English version

Umfundi weziqu zobudokotela e-UKZN uDkt Yoshan Moodley ukleliswe ohlwini Lwabasha baseNingizimu Afrika lwephephandaba i-Mail & Guardian oluhlanganisa abangama-200 abaphezulu futhi abaneminyaka engaphansi kwengama-35.

Uhlu lunemikhakha eyi-11,okubalwa nesigaba esibizwa-Rising Stars salabo abasasesikoleni.

UMoodley ukleliswe emkhakheni wezempilo ngenxa yocwaningo lwakhe lohlobo i-perioperative olunesihloko esithi: "HIV and Non-Cardiac Surgery", oluhlose ukuthola umthelela wokutheleleka nge-HIV esigulini esisanda kuhlinzwa.

Lolu hlobo locwaningo lugxile ekunakekelweni kweziguli ezihlinzwayo.

Ucwaningo luka-Moodley luphokophele ekucaciseni ngobungcuphe obubhekana neziguli ezine-HIV uma zihlinzwa, okuzonikeza odokotela imininingo ebalulekile engasetshenziswa ukuze kuthuthukiswe indlela ezinakekelwa ngayo futhi kuncishiswe nezinkinga ezingavela. ‘Imiphumela yocwaningo izokwenza ngcono indlela ekuphethwa ngayo iziguli ezine-HIV ngenkathi zisesesibhedlela,’ kusho u-Moodley.

Waqala ukuba nothando lalolu cwaningo esasebenza njengomsizi wezocwaningo lapho kwakuhlolwa khona izindlela zokwelapha esibhedlela i-Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital eThekwini.

Ucwaningo lwakhe mayelana nomthelela womfutho wegazi ophezulu emiphumeleni yezempilo ezigulini ezihlinzwayo lwamzuzela iziqu ze-PhD kwezezibulalimizwa eSikoleni sase-UKZN i-Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine futhi lwahlinzeka nangolwazi olusha ngemithelela eyingozi uma kuhlinzwa iziguli ezinomfutho wegazi ophezulu uma zithatha imishanguzo engama-beta-blockers ngaphambi kokuhlinzwa.

Ngokubambisana nomeluleki wakhe weziqu ze-PhD, uSolwazi Bruce Biccard, wathuthukisa inkomba i-South African Vascular Surgical-Cardiac Risk Index, esetshenziswa ukuhlonza izinga lobu ngcuphe bokumelwa yinhliziyo ezigulini ezihlizwayo. Uphinde wathuthukisa elinye ithuluzi lokuhlonza ubungcuphe elisanda kushicelelwa kujenali yezokwelapha iAmerican Public Health Association.

Kumanje umatasa wenza umsebenzi weziqu zakhe zobudokotela eMnyangweni Wezezibulalimizwa Nezokwelapha Okubucayi futhi ufisa nokufundisa e-UKZN.

Ebuzwa ukuthi kungani akhetha i-UKZN uphendule wathi: ’Ngikhetha i-UKZN ngoba iyisikhungo esisezingeni lomhlaba kwezocwaningo futhi siyabeseka abacwaningi baso abasebasha.’

U-Moodley neqembu lakhe labafundi beziqu zeMastazi manje bagxile ocwaningweni lwezinkinga ezigulini ezihlinzwayo ezine-HIV. ‘Sibheke ukuthi sihlonze ukusabalala kwenkinga nokuqonda izinto ezinomthelela ebungcupheni ezigulini ezinegciwane i-HIV. Sifisa ukuba nomthelela emihlahlandleleni emisha ezoholela ekuphathweni kweziguli ngendlela engcono futhi kunciphise izinga lezinkinga kulezi ziguli.’

Ngesikhathi esasebenza elebhu, u-Moodley-waphothula iziqu zakhe zeMastazi emkhakheni wezokweLapha iMayikhrobhayoloji e-UKZN ngonyaka wezi-2008 – waba nomdlandla omkhulu wokuthola isithombe esigcwele ngokucashe ngaphansi kwesipopolo imayikhroskophu. ‘Bengiyaye ngibone izinto ezizopopolwa elebhu ngizibuze ukuthi ziphumaphi, izifo eziphathelelne nazo nabantu abathintwe yileso sifo. Emkhakheni wocwaningo lwezokelapha awukwazi ukuqonda ngesimo uma usibuka sisodwa- kumele uqonde ngokuxhumana phakathi kwegxenye eziningi.’


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

Alumnus Launches Online Learning Academy

Alumnus Launches Online Learning Academy
Mr Samkelo Magoqo.

A UKZN alumnus has launched an online learning academy known as Lokshin Online Learning Academy (LOLA).

The motivation for it came from study challenges Mr Samkelo Magoqo encountered during his BCom degree which he completed in 2014 with majors in Supply Chain Management and Economics.

‘Lacking self-confidence contributes to failure even if you have adequately covered the prescribed content for your exams - confidence is key and I had to learn this the hard way. If students don’t address and correct this lack of confidence early, it can be their downfall as young professionals when they enter the “real world”,’ said Magoqo. 

‘The love for online learning began in my first year at UKZN when I started using the computer LAN facilities. When I came into contact with the internet I didn’t have a good understanding of the power this tool actually has.

‘I started using YouTube for my maths tutorials and later used it for economics and finance supplementary tutorials.  I was fascinated by the amount of information available online.

‘At the forefront of my motivation to start an online learning academy was also the realisation of how much valuable information I was gaining at UKZN as a student in the College of Law and Management Studies. I was learning about different aspects of commerce and trade and I wanted to share this knowledge with people back home who weren’t lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to university but never the less wanted to better their lives economically and socially. as well improve personal finances and be more aware of their consumer rights in the context of everyday life.  

‘I then started researching about online education and the best ways to share this knowledge, investigating what platforms, tools and channels I could use to distribute this content. I also examined various business models that could be viable for this project.

I started by creating a free course on how to register a private company in South Africa.

I also created a video on YouTube which showed people how to buy shares using an online share trading account. This video proved to be popular and has more than 6 000 views on YouTube.

 ‘I currently rank on the first page of YouTube for keyword searches such as:

·         How to register a company

·         How to buy shares

·         Company registrations

With this online learning academy, I aim to inspire the youth of South Africa, especially those who come from the townships and rural areas of South Africa. It is not by mistake that I named it Lokshin Online Learning Academy (LOLA for short), I deliberately wanted people to be proud of themselves and where they come from. I was born and bred in the township and occasionally visited my grandparents and siblings in rural areas and I know how tough life can be for young Black people growing up in these areas. So I took it upon myself to be the change I want to see in the township economy and be a positive example.

If you are interested in engaging with his work and accessing the free content, you can sign up for the free introduction to an online share trading course. ‘Once you sign up you will gain access to five video tutorials that will show you how to invest in shares. This will also enable you to get email notifications when I publish new content on the different content sharing channels I use’, said Magoqo.


author : NdabaOnline
author email : Magoqos@lokshinlearning.com

Achieving Success in Business during Challenging Times Analysed at GSB&L Breakfast Forum

Achieving Success in Business during Challenging Times Analysed at GSB&L Breakfast Forum
From left: Professor Theuns Pelser, Dr David Schwegmann, Mr Siphamandla Ndlovu, Ms Nicky Weimar, Dr Abdulla Kader and Dr Fayzel Omar.

The Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L), in partnership with Nedbank, hosted a business breakfast themed: “Running a successful business in a world of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) requires agility, speed and sound leadership as part of their ongoing strategy of shaping visionary future leaders”.

The meeting saw UKZN alumnus and Managing Executive of Nedbank’s retail branch network in South Africa, Dr David Schwegmann and Nedbank’s Senior Economist Ms Nicky Weimar deliver the keynote presentations to business professionals, MBA students and GSB&L academics.

How do leaders navigate through this world of VUCA? This is the question Schwegmann responded to during his talk. He highlighted that current leaders were different in many ways to those of yesteryear hence new leadership strategies prioritising a clear vision, authentic and inspiring leadership were needed to manage and succeed in the world of VUCA.

‘As leaders we need to be clear of our vision and how we present it to our teams and the people we need. There is a need to create forums for dialogue where people can be heard and where they can challenge the status quo.

‘The time of leaders ordering and commanding is over, we need to train and coach the future generation so we have clarity and inspiring leadership and a collaborative culture in this time of VUCA,’ said Schwegmann.

Nicky Weimar delivered a presentation giving an assessment of South Africa’s economic performance and also looked at prospects for next year.

The breakfast was preceded by a public lecture that saw Schwegmann deliver a presentation titled: “Turning Turmoil into triumph-case study in change management”.

The talk focused on the need for organisations to create a climate for change through principle centered and accountable leadership. He highlighted that it is vital for organisations to not only focus on implementing change but they also need to be good at sustaining change and leading with humility and transparency during these tumultuous business environments.

GSBL’s Dean and Head of School Professor Pelser said that the School is working towards transformation and collaboration with business industry and the community is key in achieving this goal.

‘UKZN has a broad footprint in the province where teaching and learning are concerned. Events such as this breakfast forum are one of the ways we can ensure that collaboration contributes towards the School engaging with the business community and contributing towards transformation,’ he said.


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

UKZN Students Among Top 100 Young Leaders in South Africa

UKZN Students Among Top 100 Young Leaders in South Africa
Three UKZN students honored as part of the Top 100 Future leaders in South Africa.

Three UKZN students were among the Top 100 young South African leaders chosen in a programme organised by Blackbark Productions and GradConnection and sponsored by First National Bank and Fasken Martineau.

Known as the Gradstar Awards, the programme matches the country’s finest young minds with potential employers and business mentors, basing its selection process on leadership ability, readiness for the workplace and academic performance.

The UKZN undergraduate students are Ms Priyanca Pillay (4th year Business Science- ISTN), Mr Sivashen Reddy (Bachelor of Science-Computer Science) and Mr Tureyan Cooppan (Bachelor of Science-Chemical Engineering).

More than 3 500 students across South Africa were put to the test in the four-phase judging process to discover students who displayed the most potential as the country’s future leaders.

Each student was paired with a business mentor - recognised through the Rising Star Programme - who provided valuable expertise and knowledge to give the students a solid foundation.

‘I was truly honoured and blessed to have been selected,’ said Pillay. ‘This experience has taught me that doing my best in everything and surrounding myself with positive individuals are the keys to success. I feel a sense of responsibility to work even harder now, to be a leader who can make a positive impact in the company I will work at in the future and in our country.’

The top 100 feature on the GradStar website: http://top100grademployers.co.za/future-leaders/2016/


author : Priyanca Pillay
author email : 213504259@stu.ukzn.ac.za

Music Students Shine at Pre-Recitals Preview Concert

Music Students Shine at Pre-Recitals Preview Concert
Music students, Mr Lucky Swele and Mr Siyanda Zulu performed at a pre-recitals concert at the Jazz Centre.

The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music (CJPM) hosted an exciting pre-recitals preview concert featuring Bachelor of Practical Music recital students.

Musicians featured were Mr Siyanda Zulu (trumpet), Ms Xolisa Dlamini (vocals), Mr Lucky Swele (guitar) and Bachelor of Music student Mr Zibusiso Makhathini (piano).

Speaking about the concert performances, Swele said: ‘The concert was a taste of what we will present at the main recital - a wide variety of jazz styles. Each performer has a distinctive identity and style that defines them individually. Personally, my passion is African traditional jazz.

‘Our goal for the night was to entertain by playing great music, while showing how much we have learned during our studying period.’

Swele, who grew up in Limpopo, loves Mbaqanga Music and is part of a trio, Ubuciko the Art,that fuses the spoken word/poetry and music.

Siyanda ‘SLASH’ Zulu is a trumpeter from KwaDukuza and a member of Tutti, a band doing a regular Sunday afternoon gig at Mamas Just Jazzin in Durban North. He is known for being a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger.

Dlamini, a talented vocalist and recording artist, is a SAMA award nominee for her first album Times and has recorded with various artists in South Africa - including Selaelo Selota - while Makhathini is an arranger, composer and pianist.

Audiences were treated to a performance by Makhathini and compositions as well as arrangements by other participants.

The students also played some of the material they intend performing for their final recitals.  


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

International Scholar Visits School of Education

International Scholar Visits School of Education
Professor Philip Hallinger (third left) with staff members from the Discipline of Education, Leadership and Management at UKZN.

The School of Education and the Discipline of Education, Leadership and Management recently hosted international education scholar, Professor Philip Hallinger of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

Hallinger was invited to mentor PhD students in Education Leadership and Management, conduct workshops for staff and students and deliver a lecture on scholarship in leadership and learning.

In his lecture, Hallinger provided an overview of 60 years of progress in studying the role of leaders and how they impact on learning in schools.

‘Leadership for Learning integrates educational features grounded in conceptions of instructional leadership with selected features of transformational models such as modeling, individual focus, and capacity development,’ said Hallinger. ‘It can be viewed as a process of mutual influence in which leadership is but one key factor in a process of systemic change.’

Hallinger examined the evolution of conceptual models and research methods used by scholars globally in studying the effects of school leadership. He linked the progress in using more powerful models and methods to accumulate validated knowledge about how school leaders shape the school environment and influence the learning of teachers and students.

‘Both education and school improvement are about the development of human capacity and leadership for learning should be as well. Leaders who possess a single set of tools will find themselves bouncing around from success to failure without understanding why.

‘The capacity to read your context correctly and adapt your leadership to the needs largely determines your success. There is no one best leadership style for fostering learning in schools,’ said Hallinger.

Commenting on the presentation, Dr Inba Naicker of the Discipline of Education Leadership and Management, said: ‘Professor Hallinger left us with sufficient food for thought with regard to how we conceptualise and enact leadership in schools. Moreover, he challenged staff and students to re-think how we research school leadership.’


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

Housing Students attend Human Settlements Conference

Housing Students attend Human Settlements Conference
UKZN Housing students at the 2016 Human Settlements Conference.

Twenty-six Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) bursary recipients attended the inaugural Human Settlements Conference hosted by the National Department of Human Settlements in Port Elizabeth.

The students - from the Housing Masters course and the third year undergraduate class in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies - were accompanied by their lecturer, Mrs Judith Ojo-Aromokudu, Academic Development Officer, Mr Sibonelo Gumede, and Technical Assistant, Mr Nkanyiso Shange.

Speaking about the importance of the Conference, Ojo-Aromokudu said: ‘As a Discipline we believe attending the Conference gave the students immense networking and exposure benefits in their field of study.’

Shange, who is doing his masters degree, said: ‘We were able to informally network with representatives from various organisations, the private sector, civil society and the general public. For us as students though, a picture was painted in our minds of where we are headed as a nation. This was an eye opener. There is still a lot to be done and as students we need to go back and look into it, especially in our academic spaces.’

Said another student, Mr Ntando Cedrick Ngcobo: ‘The Conference helped me to understand the relevant technologies and best practices being used to improve housing delivery to redress mistakes of the past in South Africa.’

Some of the sessions the students participated in were on multi-innovative low cost building technologies and engaging with representatives of provincial government departments, municipalities and other agencies such as the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC).

Students were also given the opportunity to engage with the Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, on issues related to housing and human settlements.

‘To talk about these issues was not easy,’ said student, Mr Sandile Hlatshwayo. ‘Implementing these ideas and plans for sustainable neighbourhoods can only be executed by approaching people directly involved with these problems because no-one understands the issues better than them.’

The trip was made possible through funding and assistance from the Department of Human Settlements’ Mr Monwabisi Maclean, BEDS School Management and LGSETA.


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

Housing Students Introduced to Durban Inner City Local Area Vision

Housing Students Introduced to Durban Inner City Local Area Vision
Housing students with Ms Kieran Stepan (front row, third left) during a seminar on eThekwini Municipality’s inner city urban regeneration strategy.

Housing students at the School of Built Environment and Development Studies were recently introduced to Durban’s Inner City Local Area Vision at a seminar addressed by Strategy Co-ordinator at eThekwini Municipality, Ms Kieran Stepan.

The seminar focused on eThekwini Municipality’s inner city urban regeneration strategy.

The city has proposed that the amount of residential accommodation in the inner City be radically increased, projecting a future population of 450 000 people compared to the current estimate of 65 000. This is seen as a key driver of Inner City regeneration which Stepan spoke on.

‘The purpose of the regeneration programme is to reclaim abandoned buildings and urban spaces, attract new innovative investment and ideas, create social housing and develop connectivity and the integration of different modes of transport,’ said Stepan.

The nine districts covered by this plan include the Point, Albert Park, Warwick Junction, Greyville, Victoria Embankment, the beachfront, Greater Kings Park, the Umgeni Corridor and the Central Business District (CBD).

Stepan explained that the Inner City Local Area Plan (LAP) and the Inner City Master Plan exercise were currently underway with Warwick and Rivertown Precincts together with the iTrump list of buildings identified for possible conversion to social housing and affordable housing projects. The private sector interest in Rivertown will culminate in development proposals.

‘By 2030, eThekwini will be Africa’s most caring and liveable city,’ said Stepan.

Housing student Mr Njabulo Phewa added, ‘The talk was educational as we got to learn about the realities of integrated human settlements.  Housing evolves the people and the environment they inhabit. It was informative to learn how eThekwini will address how people live in other places, the types of housing they occupy with a different way of making a living from urban to rural and geographical landscape.’


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

Grade 9 Career Expo on Edgewood Campus Inspires Learners

Grade 9 Career Expo on Edgewood Campus Inspires Learners
Grade 9 learners from previously disadvantaged schools were assisted with subject choices and related career information during an expo on the Edgewood campus.

Learners from 37 previously disadvantaged schools in the Umlazi and Pinetown districts attended a Grade 9 Expo hosted on UKZN’s Edgewood campus by the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality and the Department of Education.

The Expo offered career guidance and encouraged learners to choose subjects in the fields of Science and Mathematics.

Special guests, eThekwini’s Deputy City Manager, Mr P Mashoko and Deputy Head, Human Resources, Mr G Vundla, addressed the learners, followed by speakers from UKZN, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, Mahle Bher, and Women in Engineering.

Exhibitors included UKZN, Metrorail, the Department of Education, eThekwini Municipality, Women in Engineering and MUT.

Delivering the opening address, Vundla encouraged learners to not only participate in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), but to ‘follow their dreams, never give up and transform the world one day’.

Mashoko spoke about his journey in becoming an engineer, his passion for mathematics and his drive to achieve good results.

UKZN speakers included the Public Relations Manager for the College of Law and Management Studies, Ms Hazel Langa, UKZN’s Schools Liaison Officer, Mr Sbusiso Kheswa, and postgraduate students, Ms Sne Skhosane and Ms Phindile Dladla.

Speakers emphasised the importance of the points system and gave valuable information about career options at UKZN, while Chemistry and Physics Lecturer Dr Mathew Moodley wowed the learners with his science experiments.

Ayanda Njubane, a learner from the Buhlebemfundo Secondary School, said: ‘The expo helped me to decide which subjects to choose for Grades 10 to 12. My future goal is to become a doctor or to study animal and poultry science.’ 

Nokwanda Sibisi, a learner from Dr Nembula High, said: ‘The Expo has now motivated me to become a maths teacher.’

Miss A Ngcobo, a Teacher from Dr Nembula High School, said: ‘The Expo was very educational and I am certain learners who attended are far better informed about choosing a line of study and a future career.’


author : Leena Rajpal and Alleyne Coleman
author email : Rajpall@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Reaches out to Schools in Rural KZN

UKZN Reaches out to Schools in Rural KZN
UKZN representatives inspiring learners from schools in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

UKZN’s College of Health Sciences (CHS) held a schools cluster information event in kwaMhlabuyalingana in northern KwaZulu-Natal, targeting top Mathematics and Science pupils.

The CHS collaborated with the College of Humanities; the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science; and the College of Law and Management Studies for the occasion.

The event aimed to equip learners with information to help them make informed choices about studies and career options after matric.

The Grade 11 and Grade 12 youngsters heard all about undergraduate programmes offered by UKZN.

‘South Africa’s Chief Justice, Mr Mogoeng Mogoeng, studied at UKZN,’ said Ms Thandiwe Jumo, a journalist at the College of Law and Management Studies.

‘So anything is possible if you work hard - maybe you could be the next Advocate Thuli Madonsela!’

‘UKZN is the only university in the country that offers a degree in Agricultural Engineering - just imagine the advantages of having this unique qualification,’ said UKZN’s Mr Mmangaliso Mnguni, who spoke on programmes offered by the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.

Learners also heard about what is on offer at the College of Humanities with Public Relations Manager, Ms Xoliswa Zulu, explaining that enrolment provided students with the opportunity of contributing positively to the country’s socio-economic and health promotion programmes after majoring in disciplines such as Development Studies, Psychology and Sociology or the possibility of going on to feature in theatre and on music stages through undertaking focused degree programmes.

Mr Mlungisi Chili and Ms Vanessa Chetty of the CHS Academic Services Unit spoke on the processes the Unit implements when handling applications and admissions.

‘The Schools Cluster Information event is a strategic drive by the CHS aimed at encouraging learners, especially those in rural areas who have an interest in the field of health sciences, to enrol at UKZN,’ said Ms Nombuso Dlamini, Public Relations Officer at the College and Co-ordinator of the event.


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

Outstanding Weston Agricultural College Pupil Wins UKZN Science Prize

Outstanding Weston Agricultural College Pupil Wins UKZN Science Prize
Top Grade 11 science student at Weston Agricultural College, Mr Siyamthando Nxumalo, with the School’s Principal, Mr Douglas Robertson.

Mr Siyamthando Nxumalo of the Weston Agricultural College in Mooi River, KwaZulu-Natal, has been awarded the UKZN prize for outstanding performance in Mathematics and Science for the 2016 academic year.

The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science makes the awards annually to promote Agriculture, Engineering and Science as possible career choices, offering awards to high achieving Grade 11 pupils in strategic feeder schools.

Excellence in the fields of core mathematics and science is essential at school level to ensure a good supply of quality students for tertiary education institutions.

Nxumalo, who achieved a 92% aggregate for mathematics, thanked UKZN for the recognition. He aims to complete a degree in mathematics and physics.

Nxumalo says his greatest inspiration is Einstein, who he believes was ‘a most misunderstood genius’.


author : Karuna Mahadave
author email : mahadave@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Law Student Makes History

UKZN Law Student Makes History
Ms Pearl Biyela.

Fourth-year Law student Ms Pearl Biyela has become the first woman to be appointed National President of the Black Lawyers Association Student Chapter (BLAsc).

The Chapter’s vision is to contribute to the improvement of the legal profession through strategically aligning itself with the association’s goals of upholding and protecting the rights and interests of Law students.

‘I feel very honoured to be entrusted with the role of President and to lead intellectuals such as the members of the BLAsc,’ said Biyela. ‘My mission is to continue on the path of the founding president of BLAsc which is to ensure the continual growth of the Chapter.’

In 2014, Biyela became the first Chairperson of BLAsc UKZN and was later elected National Deputy Secretary General and then served as National Secretary General in 2015.

Biyela encouraged women to not shy away from leadership, encouraging them rather to embrace such positions to drive the change they want to see.

‘One thing we must never do as women is to think that we can’t lead and be great at it. Women have the strength, the mental capacity and the willpower to lead, to succeed and to be whoever they want to be. We just have to get out there and do it,’ she said.


author : Thandiwe Jumo and Andile Mcineka
author email : Jumo@ukzn.ac.za

Increases in Life Expectancy Offset by Lifestyle Diseases – Study Reveals

Increases in Life Expectancy Offset by Lifestyle Diseases – Study Reveals
Professor Benn Sartorius.

An international study has revealed that between 1980 and last year, global life expectancy increased from about 62 years to 72 years but the improvement was negated to some extent by increasing numbers of people suffering serious health threats related to obesity, high blood sugar, and alcohol and drug abuse.

This was among the findings in a range of papers co-authored by Epidemiologist at UKZN, Professor Benn Sartorius, and published in a dedicated issue of The Lancet as part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD).

The study draws on the work of more than 1 800 collaborators in nearly 130 countries and territories.

Many countries have shown improvements in life expectancy from fewer suicides in France to lower death rates on Nigerian roadways to a reduction in asthma-related deaths in Indonesia.

In South Africa, male life expectancy improved from 66.5 years in 1990 to 70.8 years in 2015, while for women it increased from 71.7 years in 1990 to 76.6 years in 2015.

Although the majority of deaths in the country are still caused by HIV and AIDS, the increase in life expectancy is due to the significant scale up of antiretroviral therapy preventative measures such as male circumcision, expansion of HIV testing as well as reduced HIV transmission from mother to child.

Globally, 5.8 million children under the age of five died in 2015, representing a 52% decline in the number of deaths in the age category since 1990. The rate also decreased considerably in South Africa from 1 693 deaths per 100 000 in 1990 to 772 in 2015.

The study also indicated that to a large extent, human health is determined by risk factors, some of which are within a person’s control.

Between 1990 and 2015, global exposure to unsafe sanitation, household air pollution, being underweight during childhood, childhood stunting, and smoking each fell more than 25%. However, exposure to several occupational risks, high body mass index, and drug use increased more than 25% in the same period.

In South Africa, the top 10 causes of premature deaths were HIV/AIDS, interpersonal violence, lower respiratory tract infection, road injuries, tuberculosis, ischemic heart disease, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, diarrheal diseases and neonatal preterm births. The study found that factors driving the highest amount of death and disability in the country include: unsafe sex, high body mass-index, high fasting plasma glucose, dietary risks, alcohol and drug use, high systolic blood pressure, tobacco smoke, child and maternal malnutrition, air pollution and unsafe water, sanitation and hand washing.

Apart from HIV and AIDS, this is in line with the global findings where risk factors are exacerbated by poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking, and lead to a significant health burden.

High systolic blood pressure was the top risk factor in 2015, contributing to over 9% of global health loss, followed by smoking (6.3%), high blood sugar (6.1%), and high body mass index (BMI) (5%).

According to the World Health Organization, diet has for many years played a key role as a risk factor for chronic lifestyle diseases.

Significant changes at global level have been observed since the 1950s, inducing major population level shifts in diet, first in industrial regions and more recently in developing countries. Traditional, largely plant-based diets have been swiftly replaced by high-fat, energy-dense diets with a substantial content of animal-based protein. However, diet, while critical to prevention, is just one risk factor. Physical inactivity, now recognised as an increasingly important determinant of health, is the result of a progressive shift of lifestyle towards more sedentary patterns, in developing countries as much as in industrialised ones.

Recent data from São Paulo in Brazil, for example, indicate that 70%-80% of the population are remarkably inactive. The combination of these and other risk factors, such as tobacco use, is likely to have an additive or even a multiplier effect, capable of accelerating the pace at which the chronic disease epidemic is emerging in the developing countries.

Commenting on the findings, Sartorius said: ‘Major gains have been made both globally and in South Africa. However, this progress is threatened by an increasing burden of obesity, high blood sugar (diabetes), high blood pressure (hypertension) and alcohol abuse.

‘Local policy makers need to tackle these important issues as South Africa further undergoes the epidemiology transition to increased non-communicable disease burden and particularly the potentially growing high risk population of HIV+ve individuals (with now increased longevity due to ART) who are more susceptible to certain non-communicable disease conditions. This will place an additional burden on our already taxed health care system.’


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