UKZN’S DEPARTMENT OF ANAESTHETICS OPENS SMART CENTRE

UKZN’S DEPARTMENT OF ANAESTHETICS OPENS SMART CENTRE

The Department of Anaesthetics in partnership with Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH) has officially opened its Anaesthetics Smart Centre - the first of its kind in Africa - which is valued at R4.5 million.

 

The centre is the brainchild of Department of Anaesthetics’ Head, Dr Dean Gopalan and Mr Naren Bhimsan who is the current manager of the University’s Simulated Modules in Anaesthetics, Resuscitation Training (what defines the ‘Smart’ in Smart Centre). The centre was established to provide clinical skills training to medical and health professionals as well as registrars, and contains high-technology equipment to enhance this.

 

“UKZN’s Smart Centre … Africa’s First Smart Centre, is an exceptional advancement in ensuring that our teaching practices at UKZN are globally integrated,” said Professor Tahir Pillay, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences.

 

Denoting the significance of the work to be done at the centre is Stan, a R1.8m sophisticated human patient simulator named as an acronym for Standard Man. Stan, who can quickly be transformed to Stanette (a female version), is made of plastic, metal wire and circuit board. He spends his days at IALCH succumbing to all manner of medical trauma such as heart attacks, asthma attacks, blocked airways, and collapsed lungs amongst others.

 

Human patient simulators represent the latest in state-of-the-art simulation technology to train medical personnel at all levels of medical education without risk to patients, to cut mistakes by professions and, when errors happen, to find out why.

 

The Smart Centre was running for a while before the official opening and UKZN, IALCH and the province’s Department of Health (DoH) report that it is running in an efficient manner. “It allows you to do very complex and simple procedures,” said Dr Gopalan.

 

 “Aestheticians should have a good understanding when dealing with patients on what could go wrong,” said Dr Gopalan. “The joy of the Centre is that it can channel a broad spectrum of people to anaesthetics,” he added. University students, interns and even high school students have visited and been trained at the Smart Centre.author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN JOINS FORCES WITH ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY TO ADDRESS URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE

UKZN JOINS FORCES WITH ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY TO ADDRESS URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE

The eThekwini Chair in Urban Infrastructure, a collaborative initiative between UKZN and the eThekwini Municipality, was officially launched on October 22 on the Howard College campus.  Based in UKZN’s Civil Engineering programme, the Chair will focus on expanding the knowledge base in the delivery of general civil engineering infrastructural services, and in developing research capacity and expertise in this field.

The eThekwini Municipality has pledged financial support for a period of three years (renewable) at a cost not exceeding R600 000 per annum.  It is envisaged that both parties will derive mutual benefit from the establishment of the Chair.

City Manager for eThekwini, Dr Michael Sutcliffe, expressed his delight at being part of a programme designed to transform the built environment while building the skills capacity in the country.  He said that even though we still have a long way to go, we need to build the base and the establishment of a dedicated Chair in Urban Infrastructure is “a little step in the right direction.”  

Collaboration between eThekwini and UKZN will be co-ordinated through the Municipality’s Engineering Unit and UKZN’s School of Civil Engineering, Surveying and Construction.  The Chair, which will be filled by an employee of the University, will focus on one of the following areas which are aligned with the Municipality’s core requirements and will depend on the skills and expertise of the preferred candidate: Structural, Coastal, Transportation or Water Engineering. 

Speaking at the Launch, Acting Mayor of eThekwini, Councillor Logie Naidoo commented that Durban has become one of the leading cities on the African continent. He explained that this is due in no small part to some of its engineering masterpieces such as: the Moses Mabhida stadium, King Shaka airport and the Mgeni viaduct.  “Today we are on the radar screen and this can be attributed to the kind of work we do,” said Councillor Naidoo.  He said it is important for eThekwini to support the University to ensure it produces sufficient amount of talent which can be absorbed back into the city.   

The eThekwini Chair of Urban Infrastructure will build a national and international reputation for excellence in teaching and research within the specific discipline, as well as contribute to the production of skilled civil engineering graduates.  The Municipality will benefit from the research findings generated by the Chair and will receive exposure through the Chair’s publications.  It will have access to a pool of qualified civil engineers from which to draw for employment purposes and will contribute to the mentorship of postgraduate students and younger staff.  author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN STAFF FEATURE IN BOOK OF SA INDIAN WRITING

UKZN STAFF FEATURE IN BOOK OF SA INDIAN WRITING

Six UKZN staff – Professors Reshma Sookrajh (Education Studies), Goolam Vahed (History), Kriben Pillay (Leadership), Dhevarakshanam Govinden (Honorary Professor in Education), Mr Darryl David (Afrikaans) and Ms Praba Moodley (Admissions Faculty Officer) — feature in The Vintage Book of South African Indian Writing, which was compiled by Professor Rajendra Chetty of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Indian immigration to South Africa, Rajendra Chetty’s The Vintage Book of South African Indian Writing is an anthology of extraordinary range and vigour, as moving and diverse as the people and land that inspired it. It showcases the rich texture and quality of a growing collective oeuvre, a body of literature full of imagination and impassioned lyricism – it is like an unstoppable assault on the senses, the tragi-comedy of the early life of the immigrants, the excitement of new themes, the emotions, the imagination and the spirit of new writers who have emerged on the literary landscape.

The book was launched at a glittering function at the Coastlands Boutique Hotel, which sponsored the event. Launches will also take place in Cape Town and Johannesburg later in the month.


author email : pillaykri@ukzn.ac.za

INAUGURAL LECTURE REVEALS POTENTIAL OF ADVANCED DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEMS

INAUGURAL LECTURE REVEALS POTENTIAL OF ADVANCED DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEMS

An insightful inaugural lecture delivered by Professor Thirumala Govender of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology exposed those attending to a world of serious research on advanced drug delivery systems (ADDS) on October 21.

 

ADDS are novel formulations that use specialised technologies to enable entry of drugs in the body and improve their safety and efficacy by specifically controlling the rate, time and place of release. Research in this area will ultimately lead to the design and manufacturing of cost effective, superior medicines for various disease conditions significantly affecting the South African and global populations.

 

These were compared to conventional dosage forms – pharmaceutical formulations of a drug where no specific new technology needs to be used in their preparation or use – and it was illustrated why Professor Govender’s research area is receiving increasing interest locally and internationally due to its significant benefits to both the patient as well as the pharmaceutical industry.

 

Underlining that Africa’s population lacks access to medicines which is due amongst other factors, the high price of medicines as a result of the high cost of importing medicine, the domination of the pharmaceutical industry by multinational companies and a lack of skills and knowledge in the design and manufacturing of cost effective, superior medicines; the lecture highlighted the need for pharmaceutical innovation at the local level and manufacturing of cost effective, superior medicines to address these limitations.

 

“Various dosage forms such as conventional tablets have several disadvantages that impair the therapeutic safety and efficacy of the drug and/or also present manufacturing problems,” said Professor Govenderauthor email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN HOSTS SUCCESSFUL 7TH GOLF DAY

UKZN HOSTS SUCCESSFUL 7TH GOLF DAY

The annual UKZN Golf Day is one of the University’s fundraising flagships. This year, the 7th anniversary of the event, a sum of R130 900 was raised by the University’s Corporate Relations Division (CRD) in support of disadvantaged students enrolled in different Faculties.

 

Held on October 27, a host of stakeholders and donors teed off at the Mount Edgecombe Country Club and later enjoyed a Gala Dinner where the winners of the competition received trophies and awards. Eight students received bursaries valued at a total of R80 000 towards their studies at the University. 

In her welcome address at the Gala Dinner, Ms Nomonde Mbadi, Executive Director: CRD said, “This event symbolises the partnership that the University enjoys with its alumni, the business community, our service providers and so many friends who share the vision and mission of our Institution. 

 

“At the heart of this event lies the commitment of all participants here today, to make a difference to communities and to empower those who are less fortunate… I strongly believe that in a young democracy like ours it is critical that we engage in developing communities,” she said.

 

Mr Stuart Alston, a representative from Standard Bank, the main sponsor of the event, also expressed his gratitude and best wishes for the Golf Day initiative. Continued support from other donors and the University’s Convocation office was also acknowledged.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN COMMUNITY LENDS THEIR SUPPORT TO THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER

UKZN COMMUNITY LENDS THEIR SUPPORT TO THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER

UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division raised R28 235 through two campus-wide cake sales and generous donations by the University community in their campaign: UKZN-Fighting Breast Cancer. This was in the spirit of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).

 

Executive Director: Physical Planning and Operations, Mr Charles Poole and Ms Nomonde Mbadi, Executive Director: Corporate Relations Division presented a cheque to the Regional Manager of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) Durban, Mrs Mariaan Hendriks on November 1.

 

Ms Mbadi thanked the UKZN community for their support of this worthy cause. 


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

ARCHITECTURE LECTURER TAKES LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE TO NEW HEIGHTS

ARCHITECTURE LECTURER TAKES LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE TO NEW HEIGHTS

A new field of research exploring ‘exterior spaces’ instead of interior learning spaces at university settings has been initiated by Dr Mohammed Zami, a lecturer in Architecture at UKZN.

 

Dr Zami’s book, Influence of landscape design on the function of university campus: A case study of Zimbabwe has drawn international interest in the influences of landscape design at universities across Africa. The book is based on research undertaken for his Master of Philosophy degree in Zimbabwe.

 

The book highlights that the university is a place of life fulfilment and considers that this does not take place in isolation in interior places but also in exterior spaces. “Interaction between different ideologies, cultures, traditions, religions and ethnicity takes place in open spaces,” said Dr Zami. 

 

Dr Zami’s study interprets the importance of open air student activities and the influence of landscape architecture on the effectiveness of campus life at several universities in Zimbabwe. This led to analysis of other African universities’ landscape architecture. Landscape architecture was not considered as a separate design task in the development of university campuses during the colonial period in Africa and remains unexplored until today. 

 

Dr Zami, who joined UKZN in April this year, was approached by Lambert Academic Publishing in Europe to publish his research and he took just under six months to complete the book. The book summarises the results of his investigations and makes recommendations on campus landscape design for architects, planners and researchers.

 

“It feels really great publishing research for the people of Africa and an international audience,” said Dr Zami. Dr Zami has travelled extensively around the world but finds his heart at rest in the African continent. “The book is intended to give something to our African students,” he said. He also said he felt it was important for African scholars to produce their own curricula.

 

The book contains six rich chapters accompanied by lists of visual planes and figures in the world of architecture.  Due to unprece
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN STUDENTS GIVE AUSTERVILLE YOUTH A WAKE-UP CALL ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE

UKZN STUDENTS GIVE AUSTERVILLE YOUTH A WAKE-UP CALL ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE

With the aim of curbing substance abuse among the youth, which often leads to teenage pregnancy and school drop outs, second-year students from UKZN’s School of Nursing held an intervention targeted at the youth in Austerville, south of Durban. The intervention was held at the local Fairvale High School Hall.

The group of 14 students engaged with the young people to alert them to the possible consequences of substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. The youth were made aware that substance abuse and its consequences destroy not only their careers, but hurt their families as well. During their research, the students found that other factors leading to the youth getting involved in substance abuse are peer pressure and poverty. The intervention is part of the UKZN Nursing curriculum and a group project that the students need to complete.

Guest speaker and founder of a rehabilitation programme called Jullo which deals with addiction, depression and stress, Dr Lochan Naidoo, encouraged the youth to be involved in sport so that they stay away from drugs.  Dr Naidoo is the first South African to be appointed to the International Narcotics Board and an internationally recognised addiction medicine professional. He added that drugs and substance abuse cause unnecessary delays in young peoples’ lives, disrupt their education, and cause anxiety, stress and social withdrawal.

Dr Naidoo said that in order for the brain to function perfectly, one needs to exercise, have proper nutrition which includes a good breakfast, learn something new everyday, have a good sleep of at least eight hours and to meditate. He shared with the audience an exercise that they can use to meditate. Among the guests were lecturers from the University and external moderators.

According to the group leader Mr Sanveer Ramnund, the group decided on this topic after a survey was conducted among 40 young people at a particular high school. It was discovered that a lot of the youth within this school and amongst the community were affected by substance abuse. The UKZN students encouraged the youth to remember that they can have fun without alcohol. A number of programmes were lined up for students on the day. These included games, talks on substance abuse, and a talk on teenage pregnancy. A play was performed by the UKZN students which showcased the possible activities that the youth can find themselves involved in when they abuse alcohol. These included unprotected sex, unwanted pregnancies, and rape, with the long term consequences including unemployment and overcrowding in the home.


author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

PSYCHOLOGY POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH CONFERENCE

PSYCHOLOGY POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH CONFERENCE

The UKZN School of Psychology hosted its annual Postgraduate Research Conference on the Pietermaritzburg campus on October 15. The School is spread across the Pietermaritzburg and Howard College campuses, which alternate in hosting the Conference.

The Conference provides an excellent opportunity for postgraduate students to present their research, and meet fellow members of the School and representatives from various research organisations. This year, not even pouring rain could put a damper on the day, as delegates enjoyed scintillating presentations and delicious food. The atmosphere was lively and there was a great sense of excitement about student research being foregrounded at a student-run event.

The keynote address was given by Dr Janet Frohlich, Project Head at CAPRISA’s Vulindlela research site. She spoke about the recent successful tenofovir microbicide trial and some of the psychological, social and ethical issues surrounding the trial. The School of Psychology has a particular interest in this study because some of our former Research Masters students have worked at CAPRISA and were involved in the trial. The day followed with presentations from Honours, Masters and PhD students, as well as from researchers at the HSRC and the Africa Centre. Presentations covered issues from AIDS to xenophobia, and represented several different fields of research within Psychology. Feedback received  from staff and the organising committee was that the standard of research was high, and the Conference was hailed as an exceptional advert for the School.

The Conference was followed by a cocktail party at the Staff Club, where prizes were awarded to the best research presentations of the day. These awards were voted on by the audience. Ms Nqobile Dlamini, Ms Siphokazi Ntetha and Ms Gamuchirai Chikoko together won the Siyanda Ndlovu Best Research Award, for their presentation on Access to resources of Durban home-based care organisations. Ms Kristy Greener won the Best Presentation Award for her presentation on Visually impaired adolescents’ experiences of ‘disability’.

The conference was organised and hosted by the Pietermaritzburg Research Psychology Masters students, with assistance from Dr Mary van der Riet and Professor Kevin Durrheim. It was made possible by generous donations from the Schools of Psychology and the Post-graduate Office. Grateful thanks also go to Ms Gail Randelhoff and Ms Sharon Hattingh for their administrative support and assistance in preparing for the conference. A conference website was also launched, containing the abstracts and conference details: http://psychpgc.wordpress.com. It is hoped that this site will be used by future masters student organisers. 


author email : 203511933@ukzn.ac.za

CENTENARY SCIENCE QUIZ A HIT WITH HIGH SCHOOL LEARNERS!

CENTENARY SCIENCE QUIZ A HIT WITH HIGH SCHOOL LEARNERS!

As part of the celebration of 100 years of academia in KwaZulu-Natal, the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science hosted Grade 10 and 11 learners for a Science Quiz on October 23 on the Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses. The event was an opportunity for learners to experience firsthand the facilities available at the University and to interact with lecturers.

Twenty-one learners from schools in Durban and Pietermaritzburg took part in the quiz, with one team, the Wackers, comprising teachers who attended the event with their learners at the Howard College campus. The quiz consisted of two rounds, a first round of 30 questions for 30 minutes based on the Encyclopedia Britannica. The questions were compiled by Dr Naven Chetty from the Faculty of Science and Agriculture. The second round was 20 questions for 40 minutes.

There were great prizes to be won, including lucky draw prizes of UKZN goodie bags. The Nerdy Tree Hangers from Al-falaah College and the Cordata-nators from Pietermaritzburg Girls High walked off with the prize for the best name. At Howard College, the winners were the teachers who joined the team by default and the first prize went to Chick Norris Apprentices from Westville Boys High School who took home a trophy, a certificate and a shopping voucher for R1 500 each from the Pavilion Shopping Centre. The second prize of a R500 shopping voucher each went to the Perpetual Motion Squad from Westville Boys High and the third prize was won by the Castra Nostra Team from Westville Girls High. In Pietermaritzburg, ’Maritzburg College earned first prize, followed by Girls High, who were a close second. 

Ms Vicky Crookes, Corporate Relations Strategic Practitioner in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science said she hopes the quiz will become an annual event.


author email : mtshalitl@ukzn.ac.za

UKSU ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

UKSU ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The University of KwaZulu-Natal Staff Union (UKSU) Annual General Meeting, held at the Main Hall on the Westville campus, on October 27, was attended by members from all five campuses.

Members were welcomed by the Programme Director, Mr Nazim Gani, who is a member of the UKSU Executive, from the Pietermaritzburg campus. He introduced the UKSU office-bearers. UKSU Finance Officer, Mr Clive Wilson, assured members that the Union is in a healthy financial state, and that external auditors had approved the financial statements.

UKSU Chairperson, Mr Raymond Parkies, opened his address with a rousing worker song. He described UKSU as “the Premier Union at the Premier University of African Scholarship”, noting that UKSU is the largest union at the University, being 23.5 percent larger than the 2nd largest, 28.5 percent larger than the 3rd largest, and 67.25 percent larger than the 4th largest union. This was appreciated by a big round of applause from members.

Turning to bread and butter matters, Mr Parkies dealt with three issues: conditions of service (Cos), the total remuneration package, and the wage negotiations for 2011. He noted that UKSU members had signed a petition against the Proposed Amendments to the Conditions of Service. “UKSU is opposed to these amendments because these are the conditions staff signed when they started at the University,” said Mr Parkies. He added that many staff had had other external job offers, but turned them down because of the benefits offered by the University. They were now at a disadvantage.

Turning to the total remuneration package, Mr Parkies said that this makes “the rich richer, and the poor poorer”. UKSU will oppose the Proposed Report on the Implementation of Total Remuneration Package (TRP), at the Joint Bargaining Forum (JBF).

A special Joint JBF meeting will be set to discuss the Proposed Amendments on CoS, and the Proposed Report on the Implementation of TRP.

On the issue of the 2011 Salary Negotiations, all four UKZN unions have declared a dispute after rejecting the University Management’s final offer of 8 percent for three years. The unions have reverted to their original demand of 12 percent increase and an increase of R250 in the housing allowance.

author email : collins@ukzn.ac.za