UKZN LAUNCHES SA’S FIRST ZULU LITERARY MUSEUM

UKZN LAUNCHES SA’S FIRST ZULU LITERARY MUSEUM

South Africa’s first Zulu literary museum was launched at the Centre for African Literary Studies (CALS) on the Pietermaritzburg campus during the recent Midlands Literary Festival.

Officially opening the facility, Professor Donal McCracken of the Centre for Communication, Media and Society,  paid tribute to Zulu culture quoting a former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli: ‘The Zulus are a remarkable people; they put an end to an empire, they convert bishops and they defeat generals.’

McCracken said: ‘I trust that the isiZulu literary museum, here in an institution, will prosper, grow from strength to strength and comprehensively reflect the literary writings of that truly remarkable people.’

The Zulu literary museum was made possible through generous sponsorship from Pietermaritzburg-based Shuter and Shooter Publishers who handed over a cheque for R125 000 at the launch.

Publishing Director for Indigenous Languages at the company, Mr Ray Wela, said the museum was critical for the preservation of the isiZulu language. ‘Someone had to take this initiative forward and we are grateful to the University and CALS for doing this,’ said Wela.

According to UKZN Lecturer, Dr Darryl Earl David, who is the inspiration behind the Zulu literary museum, no other African language literary museum has been opened in the 18 years since democracy.

However, there is an English Literary Museum in Grahamstown and an Afrikaans Museum in Bloemfontein. ‘A literary museum is truly the holy grail in literary circles,’ said David, who thanked the Acting Director for CALS, Professor Christine Stilwell, ‘for having the belief in my vision and for seeing it through’.

The Centre for African Literary Studies is the ideal home for a Zulu literary museum as it boasts one of the largest repositories of African literature in the world. 

Opened in 2004, the Centre came into being to house the collection of Professor Bernth Lindfors, one of the largest private collections of African literature.  It has been described by renowned bibliographer, Mr Hans Zell, as ‘a rare and quite unique collection, unparalleled in the world’. 

Stilwell described the Centre as an ideal space ‘where people can experience and celebrate African identity and achievement.  It creates a view of the wider Africa for local students and scholars.

‘The launch of the Zulu Literary Museum will provide an opportunity to focus on Zulu literature and begin building a very fine collection that does credit to the literary tradition in our province,’ she said.

Stilwell paid tribute to the National Library of South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial and Public Library and Information Service and UKZN libraries for the donation and loan of material in isiZulu.

The official launch of the museum spearheaded the three-day 2012 Midlands Literary Festival which provided literary enthusiasts with a feast of cultural entertainment, including poetry, music, book launches, and generally all things literary.

Renowned author and story-teller Ms Gcina Mhlophe, who was one of the presenters at the festival, participated in festivities around the launch. She said she was very proud of the facility and would tell everyone she knew to visit it.

‘The museum is the brightest feather in our cap… not just for KwaZulu-Natal, but for the whole country,’ said Mhlophe.


author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za

SPECIAL EDITION OF THE JOURNAL OF EDUCATION

SPECIAL EDITION OF THE JOURNAL OF EDUCATION

A special edition of the Journal of Education was launched recently on the UKZN Edgewood campus.

The edition - edited by UKZN’s education staff members Dr Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan, Professor Claudia Mitchell and Dr Daisy Pillay - draws on a contemporary concern with memory and pedagogy in South Africa.

‘The articles in the issue highlight both the educational significance and challenges of working with memory and self in relation to pedagogy in South Africa. They also illustrate a variety of innovative and creative approaches to educational memory-work,’ said Pithouse-Morgan.

This memory-work was underpinned, according to Pithouse-Morgan, by the premise that memories play a fundamental role in current individual and collective patterns of thought and action and that people can consciously work with memory to become aware of and intervene creatively in these patterns.

‘This issue offers a sense of “future oriented remembering” in relation to how memory can be used productively in diverse educational contexts in South Africa, and, as such, these articles contribute to raising new questions about memory-work and self-reflexive study of pedagogic practice,’ she said.

Among works featured in this edition are Rob Pattman’s article which investigates student memories of cross racial mixing in a postgraduate sociology class in a South African university and Crossing from violence to nonviolence: pedagogy and memory by Crispin Hemson.


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

ACADEMICS CALL FOR INTRODUCTION OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES IN HIGHER EDUCATION

ACADEMICS CALL FOR INTRODUCTION OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES IN HIGHER EDUCATION

The College of Health Sciences (CHS) is progressing towards the development and implementation of policies to ensure UKZN produces a new generation of multilingual and culturally sensitive graduates skilled and competent to address South Africa’s health needs.

In line with this, the College recently held a National African Languages Colloquium. Over two days, higher education institutions and various disciplines at UKZN discussed curriculum transformation comprising effective discipline-specific communication skills, and the teaching and learning of indigenous languages along with cultural sensitivity, thereby producing sought after graduates.

The colloquium promoted African languages as effective communication mediums in tertiary institutions, shared experiences on the promotion and implementation of policies and strategically planned for the development and implementation of African language policies.

Representing the UKZN Teaching and Learning Office (UTLO), Dr Rubby Dhunpath informed delegates that 44 percent of the student body at UKZN used English as a home-language while 46 percent used isiZulu and 10 percent other languages.

Dhunpath said there was a perceived dominance of English as an international language, forgetting that South Africa boasted 11 official languages.

Dhunpath highlighted that 81 percent of KwaZulu-Natal’s population were isiZulu speaking. This presented various challenges for Western-trained health professionals in the province as doctor / patient consultation needed to rise above the cultural communication barrier.

Dhunpath said UKZN’s multilingual language policy and implementation plan was approved by Senate in 2006, and the responsibility for implementation was entrusted to the Teaching and Learning Portfolio, headed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Renuka Vithal.

Dhunpath assured participants of the Institution’s support for the Bilingual Language Policy and Plan – intended to shift the focus from research of Language Policy to support for the implementation of the Language Plan.

Critical issues for consideration in the intellectualisation of African languages in South African Higher Education were discussed after an opening address delivered by Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, College Dean: Teaching and Learning, Humanities.

Hlongwa touched on legislative and policy context; language policy and planning in South African institutions of Higher Education (HE), and ways of linking the implementation of language plans to throughput in HE.

Hlongwa also spoke about the African language requirements for all South African graduates, the use of ICT in strengthening African languages in HE and normalising the use of African languages.

The colloquium was an invaluable platform for renowned medical journalist and author of Communicating with the African Patient, Dr Chris Ellis.

Ellis chuckled when debating cultural euphemisms and metonyms for sex, death, the toilet and urine which often cause much confusion for the medical doctor during consultations with African patients. 

Ellis said, once trained, it would be a long term investment for the new generation of graduates to be able to teach indigenous languages and clinical skills to new students.

He said KwaZulu-Natal was fortunate to be predominantly isiZulu-speaking with English as the alternative language. Other provinces had a wider mix of indigenous languages being used daily.

‘IsiZulu is not a nice-to-know anymore,’ said UKZN’s Professor Noleen Turner who spoke about the implementation of African languages in health sciences professional training.

Turner said UKZN currently had 400 students studying isiZulu as a second language and should the language policy be implemented; the numbers would shoot up to 4 000 students competent at least on the basic level.

‘Our task is to challenge basic education and ask why they aren’t coming to the party; at the same time we have to do something on our side,’ said Hlongwa.

Professor Fanie Botha, Director for CHS Professional Services, said: ‘It is hoped that African languages will soon be recognised on the same platform as the English language. This will then ensure greater emphasis is placed on not just learning the language but also the culture, thereby improving relationships between health sciences professionals and their clients’.

The colloquium ended on a high note with delegates paving the way for institutions to share ideas and best practises across the provinces.
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

AIDS ONLINE INTERNATIONAL PILOT STUDY

AIDS ONLINE INTERNATIONAL PILOT STUDY

The results of an AIDS Online International (AOI) pilot study were presented to a diverse audience at the College of Health Sciences by Distinguished Teacher and Associate Professor in the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Fatima Suleman.

The presentation was hosted by the Women in Leadership and Leverage Committee (WILL).

Titled: “HIV/AIDS Education, Prevention, and Behavioural Research - a Pilot Study for Combining Innovation in Teaching, International Collaboration and Research”, the study was developed in the face of the serious AIDS epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal.

Suleman said the HIV infection rate in KwaZulu-Natal was 40 percent with a high prevalence among people aged between 15 and 24.

Students in the College of Health Sciences at UKZN along with peers from Purdue University North Central, northwestern Indiana, United States, benefited from the pilot study conducted at both institutions.

The goal of the pilot project was to design and implement a sustainable and effective online model for HIV/AIDS education and prevention; assess its impact on student attitudes, beliefs, and ‘risky” behaviours’; and expand the course internationally.

The study indicated that university students were in the high risk group of becoming infected with HIV because they were out of their parents’ sight, engaging in risky behaviour and subject to other influences such as peer pressure.

Suleman met Dr Sharron Jenkins, collaborating author from Purdue University North Central, between 2006 and 2007 and decided to collaborate on an International HIV/AIDS module.

The general introductory module dealt with epidemiology, biology, pharmacology, sociology and treatment to name just a few of the issues, and was targeted at first-year students where it set a foundation.

Suleman said timetabling and large classes proved to be a problem when envisioning ways to introduce students to horizons beyond their immediate environment.

‘We wanted to look at an online option to see if it could work. The module was introduced in the second semester of 2009 as an eight-credit bearing module.’

The pilot study included a pre-course assessment survey and students were “hands-on” with various weekly activities and exercises leading to a final examination and post-course assessment survey.

‘It was an online course. The students never met me. They e-mailed if they had a problem.’

Suleman said the institutions had varied student demographics. ‘Their knowledge about HIV transmission and prevention, and their attitudes, beliefs and scientific knowledge varied.’

One of the students commented: ‘The module changed what I thought and believed about HIV. It helped me to know the facts about HIV. I had questions like: Why can’t HIV be cured? How does this HI virus differ from other viruses and why is it difficult to destroy it in the human body?

The students were often traced on online discussion boards and also communicated on social networks such as Twitter.

Suleman said approximately 300 students in the Health Sciences at UKZN had enrolled since its inception.

‘The workbook becomes a source they can keep for the rest of their degree.’

Course expansion is in progress at various institutions in Nigeria and the United states.
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN RESEARCHER CO-AUTHORS ARTICLE ON FIRST HIV SURROGATE TRANSMISSION CASE IN SA

UKZN RESEARCHER CO-AUTHORS ARTICLE ON FIRST HIV SURROGATE TRANSMISSION CASE IN SA

Details about the first proven HIV-1 surrogate transmission case in South Africa were recently published in an article - co-authored by a UKZN scientist - in the world's leading medical journal, The Lancet.

The case study highlights the need for safe and appropriate infant feeding practices in Africa, including HIV testing of all breastfeeding surrogates and mothers.

Dr Tulio de Oliveira, a senior researcher at UKZN’s Wellcome Trust-Africa Centre, was the senior author of The Lancet article which provides details about a 10-week-old girl who was taken to hospital by her HIV-negative mother and diagnosed with the virus. Transmission was initially thought to have taken place in hospital but later the mother confirmed her sister had been breastfeeding the baby intermittently over a period of four weeks.

The sister and her own five-month-old child were subsequently found to be HIV positive.

The case is of special importance in view of the decision to halt the provision of formula feeds at public health facilities in South Africa.

The South African Ministry of Health says the country has one of the highest HIV and AIDS epidemics and one of the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rates in the world, where fewer than 10 percent of infants are exclusively breastfed.

In order to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding, the Ministry recently announced that formula feeding should be removed from all public health facilities in the country. This controversial policy is backed by the expanded used of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and a recent decrease of mother-to-child HIV transmission in South Africa. 

‘This was a devastating case for a family in South Africa. I cannot imagine the pain suffered by them,’ said de Oliveira.

‘The aunt breastfed the infant out of great kindness so the mother could go back to work. However, this ended up as a tragedy.

‘I got involved in this case due to my previous work on the DNA analysis of HIV and the HCV nosocomial (hospital-based) infection case in Libya, which infected 418 infants in the Al-Fateh hospital. In that case, we used similar DNA analysis techniques to support the scenario of nosocomial HIV transmission,’ said de Oliveira.

‘It was also used to prove the innocence of medical personnel who were accused of deliberately infecting children with HIV in the hospital where they worked. In the current case in South Africa, we could clearly show that the virus infecting the aunt, cousin and infant was linked. This and other evidence ruled out the nosocomial transmission scenario.

‘The resolution of the surrogate transmission case in South Africa was only possible due to the work of a team of medical doctors and social workers. The identities of all the individuals involved were protected and they received the best treatment and care available. Ethics permission was granted by the University of the Free State School of Medicine, where the case was identified, so it could be used to highlight the potential role of surrogate breastfeeding in the transmission of HIV.’

De Oliveira said South Africa had the world’s highest number of children infected with HIV. However, even in the light of the AIDS epidemic, supporting evidence had shown that mixed feeding and formula feeding had a higher impact mortality and morbidity in infants.

‘The World Health Organization (WHO) supports six months of exclusive breast feeding for all infants, including HIV-exposed infants, who should receive antiretrovirals (ARVs) to prevent mother-to-child transmission.

‘The country will have to work hard to ensure that public health facilities can identify the HIV status of all mothers and surrogate feeders and make sure that the HIV-exposed infant starts ARVs as soon as possible, as otherwise this new decision and policy could backfire,’


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

SAAHE CONFERENCE AT UKZN

SAAHE CONFERENCE AT UKZN

UKZN is the official host for next year’s South African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE) Conference.

This was announced by Dr Veena Singaram, SAAHE KwaZulu-Natal Regional Chair, at a Health Professions Education Research journal club meeting held on the Howard College campus by the Teaching and Learning Office, College of Health Sciences.

SAAHE is an association of health sciences educators from universities, NGOs and institutions in the government and private sectors driven by a common goal to improve the quality of teaching and learning in health sciences education to enhance the delivery of high quality, affordable and sustainable health care to all South Africans.

A website specific to the conference will be set up containing all the conference information. The link is on the official SAAHE website: http://www.saahe.org.za

‘In terms of health professions educational development, this is great opportunity! We’re expecting the conference to be of a very high calibre,’ said Singaram.

‘We also want to showcase African talent and expertise in health sciences education.

The Conference will be held from 27 to 29 June under the theme: “Information to Transformation”.

Singaram said the College Teaching and Learning Office had already set up a steering committee for the Conference.

Fellows of the Southern Africa FAIMER Regional Institute - a voluntary, non-profit organisation in South Africa which forms part of the Foundation for Advancement of Medical Education Research – will deliver a presentation at the Conference.

Singaram also announced that UKZN will host an in-house Health Professions Educational Symposium in October this year.

The journal club meeting heard a stimulating presentation by Professor Neil Prose, Director of Pediatric Dermatology at the University of Duke, South Carolina in the United States. Prose spoke about his experiential learning during a six-week Fulbright Scholarship which he spent at UKZN.
author email : memelal@kzn.ac.za

KUJATSHULISWE OMAMA KANYE NABANAKEKELA IZINGANE EZINE-AUTISM

KUJATSHULISWE OMAMA KANYE NABANAKEKELA  IZINGANE EZINE-AUTISM

Kuthatheke izihlwele lapho uSolwazi Kriben Pillay, iDean yeTeaching and Learning kwiKolishi leLaw and Management Studies, enza umlingo osukweni lokutengeza omama kanye nalabo abanakekela izingane ezine-Autism nge-Action in Autism Supermum’s Pamper Day enyangeni kaNcwaba.

Lomcimbi okhula minyaka yonke ubungaza uphinde uxhumanise labo abachitha izimpilo zabo benakekela izingane ezine-Autism.

I-Action in Autism yinhlangano yomphakathi engenzi nzuzo eyasungulwa ngabazali bezingane eziphila ne-Autism.

Olunye lwezinhlelo zalenhlangano lungelokuqala eNingizimu Afrika: i-Early Learning Intervention Centre and Resource Centre esiza abafundi abasukela eminyakeni emibili kuya kweyisithupha. I-Action in Autism isebenza ngezimali ezixhaswe umphakathi kanye nezinhlangano ezizimele

UPillay wenza umlingo athi lapho ethola imali axhase izinhlangano ezifana ne-Action in Autism.

‘Umlingo ngubuciko obusebenza emazingeni ahlukahlukene – uyanandisa uphinde uhehe ngendlela esinqabile kulezi zimpilo esiziphila namhlanje. Sihlaze simatasa sixoshisa amaphupho ongaze uwaqaphelisise. Kwezinye izikhathi ngimane ngitshengise ukuthi lamaphupho ayinto engekho ngaphezulu kwalomlingo engiwenzayo,’ kusho u Pillay. ‘Okusemqoka wukuthi umlingo wenza ngikwazi ukunikela kulabo abadinga usizo emphakathini eyahlukahlukene.’

I-Action in Autism isanda kuthola lemikhlomelo:

Eminiye imininingwane nge-Action in Autism itholakala ku www.actioninautism.org.za

Click here for English version


author email : pillaykri@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN LAW GRADUATE APPOINTED SENIOR ASSOCIATE AT PRESTIGIOUS LAW FIRM

UKZN LAW GRADUATE APPOINTED SENIOR ASSOCIATE AT PRESTIGIOUS LAW FIRM

UKZN graduate Mr Graeme Palmer has been appointed a Senior Associate, specialising in tax law in the Commercial Department at Garlicke & Bousfield.

Palmer used his B Soc Sci and LLB degrees combined with a Certificate in Advanced Taxation and an LLM from the University of South Africa as solid grounding to branch out into various spheres of law.

He said the first step towards the right career path began with choosing UKZN whose Law School is one of the largest in South Africa.

‘When I studied at UKZN it was compulsory to do an undergraduate degree before an LLB. The B Soc Sci was helpful in that it gave me an opportunity to try different subjects and gave me direction. Once I decided on a career in law the LLB was a prerequisite to getting admitted as an attorney.‘The diploma in tax and the LLM (in Corporate Law) were useful insofar as they assisted me in specialising in an area of law which interested me,’ said Palmer.

That interest saw Palmer spend two years with a Durban firm before working for five years at the Official Receiver’s Insolvency Services and at the Companies Investigation Branch of the Department of Trade and Industry in London - an educational experience he would recommend to any law student.

‘Living and working in a foreign country was a great experience. It is not so much about learning foreign law - albeit that South African company law before the new Companies Act was very similar to English company law - but more about having an opportunity to see how business is conducted in a foreign country. You learn from this experience and apply it to your work back home,’ he said.

Palmer’s new position entails assisting clients with tax related matters as tax is the area he enjoys the most. Hence, when he had to make a choice between doing his honours degree in Political Science or an LLB the decision was easy.

‘I can trace my interest in tax law back to my LLB; although at university I did not appreciate its importance. If you do not make the right decisions during a transaction it can have an adverse tax result for your client.

‘Tax law also changes more often than any other area of law and it is important to keep up to date with new developments,’ said Palmer.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

BOLD CONVERSATIONS LAUNCHES AT UKZN

BOLD CONVERSATIONS LAUNCHES AT UKZN

Create your Own Opportunities in Life was the theme of the inaugural BOLD Conversations forum at the UNITE/School of Engineering building at the Howard College campus.

More than 100 students listened attentively as popular newspaper columnist, film director and stand-up comic, Masood Boomgaard, urged students to take charge of their destinies. ‘Manage your time, don’t be afraid to fail and learn from your failure,’ Boomgaard told the multi-disciplinary group of students.

BOLD Conversations aims to encourage self-reflection and critical dialogue within the student body and is part of the holistically focused Business Organisational and Leadership Development (BOLD) initiative which promotes personal development through constructive action.


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN INVOLVED IN COASTAL GOVERNANCE RESEARCH

UKZN INVOLVED IN COASTAL GOVERNANCE RESEARCH

UKZN’s School of Built Environment and Development Studies (SBEDS) in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has embarked on a research venture involving coastal governance.

The main research question being posed is: How applicable is the “knowledge negotiation” model for producing appropriate knowledge for coastal governance in the context of a neo-liberal, developing society in the process of transformation?

According to one of the Principal Investigators at the CSIR, Dr Louis Celliers, the main object of the research is the development and testing of an innovative and radical model for (scientific) knowledge production at local (or municipal) levels.

‘The theoretical problem posed in this project, is that in order to create a “democratic knowledge-society” an alternative model of knowledge production needs to be developed that is appropriate for coastal zone governance in a developing society.

‘The purpose of this model is to inform evidence-based decision-making and management of South Africa’s coastal resources, to build competence and to contribute to the theoretical debate around the development of a democratic knowledge-society,’ said Celliers.

The Primary Investigators are Celliers; Dr Susan Taljaard; Dr Michelle Ardouin from the CSIR; UKZN’s Professor Dianne Scott, Dr Mvuseselo Ngcoya and Ms Catherine Sutherland and two postgraduate students from SBEDS, Ms Andisiwe Jukuda and Mr Tazkiyyah Amra.

The project team is using the Durban Golden Mile as a case study since this area represents a typical relationship at the city-port-environment interface. 

‘In Durban, climate change challenges have received much attention and are being actively addressed by the local municipality.  Traditionally, such information is generated by an appointed consultant, focusing on biophysical and management aspects but to date the inclusion of local knowledge has been neglected,’ said Celliers.  He pointed out that such information was a critical starting point in the development of integrated coastal management programmes.

Scott said the project aimed to set up a ‘competency group’ consisting of knowledge holders who would share and negotiate an understanding of the conflicts and issues in the Golden Mile coast and sea zone.

‘This provides an inkling of the diversity of the expression of knowledge, and the need to explore ways in which to learn from each other in order to understand the problem and find mutually agreeable solutions for coastal issues,’ she said.

The project runs over the next three years and will form the basis for active collaboration between the project team and eThekwini Municipality, the Provincial and National Government.


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

KENYAN LEGAL AID DELEGATION VISITS SCHOOL OF LAW

KENYAN LEGAL AID DELEGATION VISITS SCHOOL OF LAW

The School of Law recently debated the development of a Legal Aid Policy and a Legal Aid Bill in Kenya with a delegation from the Kenyan Legal Aid organisation.

The Law School has a tradition of justice and clinical legal education and the Kenyan group was the second to visit the school this year with the aim of increasing their level of knowledge of comparative systems of legal aid and legal services. 

Legal representatives from Kenya had asked Professor David McQuoid-Mason of UKZN’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS) to develop the Kenyan Legal Aid Bill in partnership with a local consultant.

A draft bill was drawn up but prior to its finalisation, the Kenyan committee wanted to visit South Africa to observe the operations of Legal Aid SA and other role players including law clinics and paralegal practices currently involved in offering legal aid services.

‘South Africa has probably the most developed and comprehensive legal aid programme in the developing world,’ said McQuiod-Mason.

During their visit, the Kenyan delegation met officials from Legal Aid SA’s Head office in Johannesburg and its regional KZN office.

The Kenyans also visited Justice Centres in Durban and Verulam, the Verulam Magistrate’s Court, the Durban-based UKZN Law Clinic, UKZN’s Centre for Criminal Justice in Pietermaritzburg, the Black Sash Advice Office, the Legal Resource Centre and UKZN’s Institute for Professional Legal Training.

The delegation will use their South African experience to assist in finalising and passing their Legal Aid Bill along with the implementation of their legal aid programme.

UKZN’s Law Clinic benefited by hearing about Kenya’s experiences in the provision of legal aid in a developing African country.


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

FERTILITY OPTIONS FOR HIV INFECTED PEOPLE EXAMINED

FERTILITY OPTIONS FOR HIV INFECTED PEOPLE EXAMINED

Fertility intentions and services for HIV infected people were outlined by a United States researcher at a recent UKZN forum.

Dr Deborah Mindry of the University of California (UCLA) was hosted by UKZN’s Collaborative for HIV and AIDS, Religion and Theology (CHART) at a Theological Café in August.

Mindry examined fertility intentions and services for HIV infected men and women in Durban as well as in Lilongwe and Nkhoma in Malawi, Kampala in Uganda and Los Angeles in the United States.

She emphasised that fertility options for people living with HIV (PLHIV) represented an urgent human rights and public health issue globally.  For the most part PLHIV had been discouraged from having children, however in an era where antiretroviral treatment was leading to increased health and prolonged life, women and men living with HIV had an increasing desire to have children.

‘Having children represents “normality” for PLHIV in South Africa, giving them hope and a “reason to live”. It is clear that assisted reproductive services are strongly desired and much needed and that providers often do not have the training and knowledge to assist PLHIV in safely conceiving a child.’

Mindry stressed that providers faced the challenge of how to reach out not only to women in need of such services but also to men. 

Her research highlights how gender norms shape reproductive health and service delivery and also reveals the disconnect between providers and clients in understanding factors shaping childbearing and how to adequately reach out to men and women living with HIV. 

It also uncovers a need to examine more closely the wider social and cultural context shaping reproductive decisions and outcomes in communities, especially with regard to PLHIV, and the structural and moral constraints shaping the delivery of assisted reproductive services to men and women living with HIV.


author email : Stuartk@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN WORKSHOP FOR DISTRICT CLINICAL SPECIALIST TEAMS

UKZN WORKSHOP FOR DISTRICT CLINICAL SPECIALIST TEAMS

A week-long training workshop organised by UKZN’s Discipline of Public Health Medicine was held on the Westville campus as part of a leadership mentoring programme for district clinical specialist teams (DCSTs) in KwaZulu-Natal.

The workshop, the first in a series, was sponsored by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and requested by the Department of Health (DoH) as part of the Government’s drive to re-engineer primary health care policy.

The mandate of the DCSTs is to improve the quality of life for mothers, new-born babies and children.

This is in line with the DoH goal to reduce the high maternal and child mortality rates in the country and UNICEF’s drive to ensure the rights of children everywhere are realised.

Dr Victoria Mubaiwa, DoH Manager for Maternal and Child Health, said the year-long Leadership Mentorship programme was a priority for Government.

Mr Jabu Tobo, Ms Lorna Reddy and Dr Gustav Thom are members of the clinical specialist team in the Ugu District on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast.

The team outlined several challenges impacting their local health system. ‘You really need to know your district. Mothers start attending antenatal clinics very late - some after five months - and then saving the baby is not 100 percent guaranteed.’

They reported an increase in incidents of severe malnutrition and diarrhoea ‘especially in informal settlements’.

The team has found that most mothers in rural areas still breastfeed their children while those in informal settlements go out to work leaving their babies on formula milk.

The team said a huge job lies ahead of them in improving the health delivery system, and receiving orientation was essential. They said Community Health Centres in their district were proving to be more effective than clinics.

‘The workshop emphasised leadership skills, the importance of communication and the empathy of staff.’

Others said the workshop had been a good memory refresher and had inspired them to become good leaders in their districts.
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

ORCHESTRA PERFORMS FOR ARTS AND CULTURE STAFF AND STUDENTS

ORCHESTRA PERFORMS FOR ARTS AND CULTURE STAFF AND STUDENTS

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Symphony orchestra recently entertained – and educated - students and staff from the Discipline of Arts and Culture Education.The two-hour performance formed part of the arts and culture modules in which students observed and studied the orchestra in action.

According to the Head of the Arts and Culture Discipline, Dr Yolisa Nompula, the performance was a success with about 300 students attending.

‘We chose to have the orchestra come in and perform as it equips the students with first-hand knowledge on how to identify the various instruments used and how they sound when they are played. This will assist them when they are in the classroom as educators,’ said Nompula.

Bachelor of Education student Ms Pooja Ramnath said the performance was an experience of a lifetime. ‘The performance was amazing and you could see that students really enjoyed it. By viewing the different sections of the orchestra, students can take what they’ve seen and heard into their classroom as future educators.’

The Arts and Culture Discipline plans to host another performance by the orchestra in the first semester next year.


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za