UKZN MATHEMATICS IS No 1!

UKZN MATHEMATICS IS No 1!

A recent analysis by Thomson Reuters using their “InCites” research analysis tool has affirmed the leading role Mathematics at UKZN continues to play in the tertiary education environment locally and internationally.

Mathematics at UKZN was rated number one in the country - followed by UCT, Wits, Pretoria and Stellenbosch - among all Mathematics disciplines over the past 10 years. It also compares favourably to such disciplines at other international universities and exceeded that of the University of Sao Paulo, Makerere University, Cairo University and Tel Aviv University among others.

The study used the relative discipline impact in ranking the universities. Thus the total number of publications was not utilised, but rather the impact of those publications against the impact of all publications in the disciplines.

This is also a useful qualitative way of ranking different disciplines. Instead of directly comparing the disciplines against each other, the method takes into account the impact of research in a discipline against the expected impact of the discipline itself.  This relative impact is then compared to other disciplines.  In that analysis, in addition to being the top Mathematics Discipline in the country, Mathematics was the top Discipline at UKZN as well.

Professor Kesh Govinder, Dean and Head of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, said he was proud to see the results which represented a significant achievement for the Discipline.  What made these results all the more important, he said, was that they measured the relative impact over a significant period and did not focus on a single “good” year.

* Thomson Reuters Corporation is an internationally recognised and acclaimed business data provider that operates in more than 100 countries. Their “InCites” research analysis tool is utlised internationally to determine the impact of research production.
author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN BOASTS FOUR BESTSELLER BOOKS

UKZN BOASTS FOUR BESTSELLER BOOKS

Ten thousand copies of a book sold in South Africa makes it a best seller - and UKZN has published four of them!

This is according to Ms Sonya Keyser of New Readers Publishers (NRP), a non-profit publishing project of the Centre for Adult Education.

Keyser said bestsellers were rare, particularly in South Africa, where the South African Book Development Council’s recent survey revealed that 1 percent of the population are book buyers, 14 percent are regular readers and about 5 percent read to their children.

She said the Guide to Publishing in South Africa (2012 edition) published by the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) stated that 10 000 copies of a book sold in South Africa made it a bestseller.

The aim of the NRP project, which has been in operation since 1991, is to make a contribution to an increase in adult literacy and the promotion of a reading culture.

NRP has four bestsellers and they were all written, edited, published, marketed, promoted and distributed by UKZN staff. ‘It was UKZN staff that made it happen – from the first idea and rough draft of a story in a writers’ workshop to beautiful books finally ending up in the hands of hundreds of thousands of people all over South Africa and beyond,’ said Keyser.

What made the bestseller status even more incredible was that the stories were written using only between 40 and 80 sentences. Yet all had the fundamental elements of all good full-length stories.

‘Readership surveys have indicated that each of the books has been read by about 10 people – if you do the maths you will realise how many people have read these stories! And the cherry on top is that one of the stories was written and published in isiZulu! It is unlikely that there has ever been any other isiZulu book ever published that has reached bestseller status.’

Keyser said the NRP bestsellers were the result of the creativity of the author, the experience and judgement of the publisher and the content editor, the eagle eye of the copy editor and myriad decisions made in conjunction with language advisor/s, the careful construction of the illustrator’s brief, the skill of the South African illustrators, the careful supervision of the execution of the illustrations and the sensitive inclusion of feedback from the target audience prior to publication.

‘Their success is also to do with many other technical and production decisions correctly made, such as the design and layout, the choice of the cover, the use of quality paper and the vigilant supervision of the printing process.'

In solidarity with other non-profit organisations, NRP offers and administers a tiered pricing system to ensure that the cost of the books is not prohibitive for non-profit organisations,’ explained Keyser.

New Readers Publishers is proud of the following bestsellers:

The Nkosi Family by Elda Lyster- sold 14 615 copies in English.  Going home with chickens by Pauline Stanford- sold 13 970 copies in English. UMahlase uvakashela edolobheni by Cedric Xulu- sold 12 803 copies in isiZulu. Woza Friday by Wendy Annecke- sold 11 831 copies in English.


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN AND NEW PAEDIATRIC CENTRE CLOSELY ALIGNED

UKZN AND NEW PAEDIATRIC CENTRE CLOSELY ALIGNED

The new BHP Billiton Paediatric Centre of Excellence at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban is closely aligned to the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine.

The partnership allows for the teaching and training of undergraduate and postgraduate students in paediatrics as well as training for nurses, paramedics and other staff. Most of this teaching is done by honorary lecturers aligned to the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. 

The Paediatric Centre is home to state-of-the-art facilities providing quality care for acute paediatrics and ambulatory paediatrics (outpatient care).

Dr Olaf Baloyi, acting CEO for King Edward VIII Hospital, worked with the hospital’s Paediatric Department to ensure the success of the project while the Department of Health gave its full co-operation.

The spacious building houses a high care unit, resuscitation room, emergency room, outpatient department, consulting rooms, specialist clinic, day ward, procedure room, isolation ward and two ICU units.

Dr Shashi Ramji, Clinical Manager for Paediatrics at King Edward VIII Hospital, said: ‘Ambulances now have easy access to the building. Staff morale has improved and the building itself is conducive to the wellbeing of patients and parents.’

Collaborative efforts by the hospital’s Paediatric Unit contribute to the large-scale reduction of mortality of young children as stipulated in the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goal 4. The UN states that pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, HIV and AIDS, and malnutrition are major causes for childhood deaths globally.

Professor Miriam Adhikari, Research Co-ordinator and former Head of Paediatrics and Child Health at UKZN, said: ‘Children are the future we depend on… in order to have the child at optimal level you also need to have the mother and the guardian/family members at optimal level.’

This is taught to registrars specialising in the field by dedicated professionals such as Dr Kimesh Naidoo, who is Clinical Head of the Paediatrics unit at King Edward VIII Hospital. The registrar training programme is the largest in South Africa and is now producing much sought after specialist paediatricians for all sectors in Southern Africa. Malawian, Mauritian and other African postgraduate doctors also train in acute paediatrics at the centre.

Dr Vanessa Comley, a young Registrar who is currently pursuing a Master of Medicine qualification at UKZN, said the new building was ‘fantastic’ and it allowed for training and patient care to happen harmoniously.

‘It’s very important to have a special relationship with the parents in order for them to be part of the management of the child’s illness,’ remarked, Dr Noxolo Mbadi, a Paediatric Specialist in the hospital who completed her postgraduate studies at UKZN.

 

‘I love my job! Paediatrics is a fulfilling career because you get to work with innocent human beings… A good paediatrician has to be passionate about kids.’

 

Mbadi expressed that the success of preventing mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV has had a good impact in a province which has high rates of HIV infection.

Dr Rajendra Thejpal, Acting Head of UKZN’s Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the Department was committed to improving child health in the province and welcomed the commissioning of the new facility.

‘We will work hard to maximise child health services, training of all levels of staff and conducting relevant research at the site. We also envisage that this new building and services will complement the new academic hospital (to replace King Edward VIII hospital) which is currently in the planning stages.’


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH MEDICINE HOSTS NRF PARTNERS FROM INDIA

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH MEDICINE HOSTS NRF PARTNERS FROM INDIA

The Department of Public Health Medicine in the College of Health Sciences recently hosted Professor Kasturi Sen Ray and Dr Mahuja Banerjee, nutrition experts from India.

 

Their visit was as part of an India-South Africa collaboration funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) which aims to reduce malnutrition in the countries.

 

Ray is from the Tata Institute of Nutrition in Mumbai where her interest is in community nutrition, while Banerjee works with rural communities in India towards improving their nutrition.

 

Professor Myra Taylor, Senior Researcher at UKZN’s Department of Public Health Medicine, interacted with the visitors over two weeks to share ideas and speak about the similarities and differences in the challenges faced by the countries regarding malnutrition, especially at grassroots level in rural communities.

 

The World Health Organisation identifies good nutrition – an adequate, well balanced diet combined with regular physical activity – as a cornerstone of good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity. It is also a major contributor to disease and early deaths for mothers and children.

 

Taylor spoke about one of the projects run by the Department of Public Health Medicine in Vulamehlo, Ugu District, which aims to improve nutrition locally. The project reaches out to households in the community, promoting food gardens and the planting of food which is indigenous to the area.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

INTERNATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY AWARD FOR UKZN LECTURER

INTERNATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY AWARD FOR UKZN LECTURER

Dr Michael Quayle, Senior Lecturer in Psychology on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus, recently received the award for the best PhD dissertation for 2011 by the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP).

The Chair of the ISPP award committee had high praise for Quayle’s work:  ‘Amidst a very competitive field, your dissertation stood out, in particular, for the way in which it moves literature forward.’

The ISPP is an international organisation with members from all regions of the world: the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.  It represents all fields of inquiry concerned with exploring the relationships between political and psychological processes. 

One of the main criteria for the award is that ‘dissertations should represent an independent piece of research that is the sole work of the author and gains the highest degree at the author’s university.’

Quayle, whose thesis focused on Situated Identity Performance: Understanding stereotype threat as a social identity phenomenon, received rave reviews from his examiners. 

One examiner described his model, which provides new ways for understanding and reducing stereotype threat, as ‘groundbreaking’ while another examiner suggested that his research ‘will undoubtedly be among the best pieces produced in social psychology in 2011’.

Quayle, who graduated with his PhD in April 2011, credits his Supervisor, Professor Kevin Durrheim, for his success.

‘This award is due to Kevin Durrheim’s exacting supervision as much as any qualities of my own,’ said Quayle. 


author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za

SUCCESSFUL REGISTRAR RESEARCH DAY

SUCCESSFUL REGISTRAR RESEARCH DAY

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the College of Health Sciences held its annual Registrar Research Day at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine campus recently.

 

On a mission to improve the health of women, through research, teaching and evidence-based practice of obstetrics and gynaecology, the Department and a panel of adjudicators listened to stimulating presentations from registrars on findings from research conducted in hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal.

 

The Research Day was telecast from the medical campus to several hospitals including Lower Umfolozi District War Memorial Hospital, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital, RK Khan Hospital, Stanger Provincial Hospital, and Edendale Hospital and Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

 

Dr Kamen Govender, a Registrar based at King Edward VIII Hospital, scooped the first prize for his study titled: “Osteoporotic fractures in African and Indian menopausal women”. Govender conducted his study at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital’s Gynaecology Clinic.

 

The second prize went to Dr Jayeshnee Moodley, a Registrar at RK Khan Hospital, for her study titled: “Comparison of cardio-metabolic profile and bone mineral density in African and Indian postmenopausal women”. Moodley found that there is a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk and low bone mineral density (BMD) among the local menopausal population, irrespective of ethnicity.

 

Dr Makaya Mchunu, also a Registrar at King Edward VIII Hospital, won third prize for conducting an evaluation of laparoscopic surgery for recto-vaginal endometriosis at a tertiary referral centre in KwaZulu-Natal.

 

Govender and Moodley will represent the Discipline at a National Registrar Research Day, competing against registrars from all eight medical universities in South Africa.

 

Other topics included: Reproductive characteristic of woman seeking Termination of Pregnancy at a local hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, presented by Dr Sam Muraya; and An Audit of Maternal Mortality at King Edward Hospital from January 2008 to 31 December 2010, by Dr Patricia Tigere.

 

‘Registrar Research Day is the culmination of registrars’ training... It is very important in that it deals with salient issues affecting women’s health,’ said Professor Jayanthilall Bagratee, Head of UKZN’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

 

Bagratee said the prevalence of HIV remained a problem for women’s health in the province.

 

The registrars were encouraged to publish their work in journals and received useful tips from the adjudicators on how to modify their research presentation skills. The research presented was part of their Master of Medicine degrees which is regulated by the Colleges of Medicine South Africa (CMSA).


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

DURBAN PARK AUTHORITIES ACT ON RECOMMENDATIONS FROM STUDENTS

DURBAN PARK AUTHORITIES ACT ON RECOMMENDATIONS FROM STUDENTS

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science and Distinguished Teacher Dr Helen Watson ensures research done by her students is relevant.

As part of her ENVS 211 Geographic Information Systems module, students were required to devote a weekend to acquiring data at the entrance of either Jameson Park,  Mitchell Park (Nimmo Road) or  Mitchell Park (Florida/Innes Roads) in Durban.

From sunrise to sunset on both days the students interviewed people using or entering the parks.  Their goal was to establish where they come from or lived; what attracted them to the facility; how often they used it; what they did not like about the Park; and what measures they would like to see implemented to improve their experience of the Park.

The students were then required to produce a GIS map showing the catchment area of most local users of the facility and to present their findings on a poster or in a report.

Watson said that the resultant posters and reports were co-ordinated and made available to the Mitchell Park Trust.  ‘The students’ findings have assisted recent decisions made regarding the prioritisation of expenditure in the Parks,’ said Watson. ‘The most significant of which is the replacement of pipes that are contributing to unhygienic conditions in the toilets.’

Watson said she was delighted at how the students really committed and engaged actively with the project.  ‘The students were thrilled to hear that their work had been taken seriously by the Trust and that funding was made available to fix the key problems they had identified.’


author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

STUDENTS EXCITED TO BEGIN EXCHANGE PROGRAMME

STUDENTS EXCITED TO BEGIN EXCHANGE PROGRAMME

Sixteen students leave for overseas soon to study for a semester as members of UKZN’s international student exchange programme.

The programme allows students to move beyond an academic exchange and embrace a new culture and a different lifestyle.

The students have been accepted to study in institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Finland. They recently attended a pre-departure orientation on the Howard College campus to assist them prepare for their semester abroad. 

UKZN’s Student Exchange Co-ordinator, Ms Preshantha Reddy, said students would stay for an average of four months. They leave in mid-August or early September and return towards the end of December.

When students return from their exchange experience they add value and diversity to the lectures because they have been exposed to other ways of teaching and learning and this adds value to the academic environment. All students get a lot of benefit from participating in this programme because of the different academic and social skills they acquire from their semester abroad,’ said Reddy.

She advised the students to make the most of their experience abroad and to learn as much as they could.

Second year psychology student Mr Dale Green has always wanted to study overseas and saw this as a once in a life-time opportunity to fulfil his dream. He will be studying at the Trent University in Peterborough, Canada.

‘I’m so excited and I can’t wait to experience a different culture and a way of life. It will be my first visit to Canada. My mom is a bit worried but she’s really happy for me. There’s already talk of a farewell party before I leave,’ said Green.

Media and Cultural studies student, Ms Qiniso Zungu, is also overjoyed to be a part of the exchange programme and is looking forward to making the most of her stay at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

 ‘I’ve never been on a plane before. I’m a bit scared but I can’t wait. There’s so many places I want to visit in the US and this opportunity will definitely expose me to a whole different culture and environment,’ she said.


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

BAVAKASHELE IZIKOLE NGOSUKU LWABASHA

BAVAKASHELE IZIKOLE NGOSUKU LWABASHA

Ngenjongo yokukhuthaza abafundi ukuba bafunde izifundo zeMathematics, ezeSayensi nezobucwepheshe, ithimba lase-UKZN ligubhe usuku lwentsha ngokuvakashela izikole iNorthbury Secondary eMgungundlovu neZwelibanzi High School eMlazi.

Ekhuluma ngokubaluleka kwalolusuku, uMnu Len Mzimela onguMqondisi wezokuxhumana nokukhangisa eNyuvesi uthe: ‘Lezizikole zibhekwa kakhulu e-UKZN ngenxa yezinga eliphezulu labafundi babo okubanakala ngokubhalisa ngobuningi kwabo e-UKZN minyaka yonke. Sithanda ukubongela othisha nabafundi ngokukhiqiza abafundi abaphezulu nokuvakashela izikole sizogubha lolusuku lwaseSoweto olwaziwa ngoJune 16.’

Ezama ukuqeda inkolelo yokuthi isayensi inzima, uDkt Naven Chetty ovela esikoleni sakwaChemistry nePhysics e-UKZN esizwa abafundi ababili abenza izifundo zeMasters uMnu Sphumelele Colin Ndlovu nuMnu July Teboho Bell, bakhombise abafundi izinto ezenza isayensi ibe mnandi nabakwaziyo nabo ukudlala kuzona.

‘Abafundi bathole lezizikhangiso zijabulisa futhi zibanika ulwazi,’ kusho uChetty. ‘Ibanika ulwazi olungconywana ngokuthi isayensi iyini kahle nokuthi abakaze bakhonjiswe izikhangiso zesayensi ngenxa yokungabi nansiza zifundo ezikoleni. Ngenza lezizikhangiso ukuheha abafundi nokubenza bathande lomkhakha.

‘Yebo abafundi bezesayensi bancane eNingizimu Afrika okwenza sikhuthaze abafundi abanye ukuthi bafunde imfundo ephakeme kwezocwaningo.’

Usuku lonke bekukhona izikhangiso nezinto abangazenza e-UKZN, ulwazi ngempilo yaseNyuvesi emakolishini ahlukene nezindlela zokungena e-UKZN ukuze kunikeze abafundi ukuhamba phambili ezintweni abafuna ukuzenza nokuthi bafike kanjani kuzona.

OyiGuidance Counsellor eZwelibanzi High School uNkk SE Chili ukhulume ngokujabulela kwakhe lolusuku. ‘Njengesikole esibheke khakhulu izifundo zeMaths neSayensi, lokhu kuyithuba elihle lezingane zethu. Abaningi baba sesikoleni ngokugamanxa kwehora lesithupha ekuseni bahambe ngehora lesishiyagalombili ebusuku. Bazinikele ekufundeni kwabo, nokuvakashelwa i-UKZN ikhombisa uxhaso esinalo.’

Ephothula usuku uChetty uthe: ‘Konke kuqala esikoleni. Uma singaqeda lombono wokuthi isayensi inzima nokuthi awukho umsebenzi singanqoba ekukhiqizeni abafundi abaningi bezesayensi. Lokhu futhi kuyindlela nathi esisiza ngayo intsha yethu ngoba ilona kusasa lethu.’

Click here for English version


author email : sibran@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN ACADEMIC AT MATHEMATICS CONGRESS IN NAMIBIA

UKZN ACADEMIC AT MATHEMATICS CONGRESS IN NAMIBIA

Professor Michael de Villiers, Cluster Leader of Mathematics and Computer Science Education on UKZN's Edgewood campus, delivered a plenary paper on the Van Hiele Theory of Learning Geometry at the annual National Mathematics Congress for Teachers in Namibia.

The congress, held in the Namibian seaside resort of Swakopmund, attracted about 350 Namibian teachers and teacher educators.

De Villiers also gave several workshops on handling definitions in geometry, tessellations, modeling and creative problem solving.  

He said the need for extensive further professional development among mathematics teachers was similar to that in South Africa. 
author email : profmd1@mweb.co.za

TRAIN THE TRAINER WORKSHOP

TRAIN THE TRAINER WORKSHOP

The need for students to be trained in skills development specific to their discipline motivated College of Law and Management studies counsellors to present a pilot Train the Trainer workshop.

The initiative is aimed at enhancing the capacity building of tutors and Academic Development Officers (ADOs) by sharing critical academic skills such as time management and goal setting, exam preparation, learning styles and study skills with the purpose of integrating them into their teaching and thus increasing the chances of students’ success in exams.

The pilot programme held at the College recently was attended by 21 ADOs and tutors.

Senior counsellor Ms Shariefa Hendricks, who facilitated the workshop alongside colleagues, Ms Carla Nunes and Ms Ishara Maharaj, said the idea for the workshop was sparked by the realisation that a large number of students would be affected by staff shortages due to the university’s restructuring process.

‘This training session is intended to be the first of many and was designed to introduce the ADOs and tutors to academic skills training content and format. ADOs and tutors were targeted to deliver academic skills training - mainly to first year students - because they are regarded as peers and mentors by fellow students and it was evident they would be able to serve as exemplary role models of the university and the college,’ said Hendricks.

The workshop offered practical tips and advice on how tutors can build their academic skills to deliver effective teaching and learning.  This included the setting of achievable goals for students, issues of student focus and attention while taking into account personal, behavioural and environmental factors which play a crucial role in the classroom.

In addition, the counsellors  plan to use the feedback from the training to plan for future workshops and  brainstorming sessions where ADOs will have the forum to have an interactive discussion on some of the their challenges and other areas of concern.

Pietermaritzburg counsellors plan to hold a similar training programme with Human Rights and Law tutors and graduate assistants in July.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

ALUMNUS PUBLISHES THRILLER

ALUMNUS PUBLISHES THRILLER

Pixie (Malherbe) Emslie, who graduated with a BA degree from the former University of Natal in 1969, has published a novel, Cry of the Rocks.


Cry of the Rocks is a thriller about the world of deep rock mining. The book’s issues and dangers take readers into the depths of a fictional mine named Nkuti, a modern deep-rock platinum mine in post-apartheid South Africa. A mysterious man threatens the miners into sabotaging the mine, while also carrying out two kidnappings. The story involves murder, international conspiracy and trapped miners awaiting rescue.

 

During her years at the University, Emslie served on the SRC, NUSAS, and was involved in several other student organisations.

 

Emslie began her writing career on the Daily News in Durban in 1970 and then went to London to work on a variety of magazines.  She returned to South Africa and joined the Star newspaper in Johannesburg before moving to a publishing group editing magazines including, Soweto Today.

 

She later moved to Eskom as head of employee communication managing a bilingual fortnightly newspaper, a weekly video newsreel in four languages, and various other publications and annual reports.

 

Emslie became a communication consultant in 1990, with some of South Africa's biggest corporates, including Gencor (now BHP Billiton), as her clients.  For the next 15 years she worked with several coal, platinum, base mineral and granite mines, editing their publications, liaising with their employees and trade unions, and hosting groups of global financial analysts.

 

Always passionate about communication, she was the founding President of the Southern Africa branch of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and was made an Honorary Fellow of that organisation in 2009. She has been a speaker at numerous international conferences in the United Kingdom, the United States, Belgium, Namibia and South Africa.

 

 Pixie, who now spends a lot of her time writing, lives near Sedgefield in the southern Cape with her husband, Robin Emslie.

 

For more information see www.PixieEmslie.com



author email : pixiem@mweb.co.za

PUBLIC FORUM ON SA NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE

PUBLIC FORUM ON SA NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE

Academics and young scientists from the College of Health Sciences (CHS) took part in a public debate in Durban between various stakeholders on the implementation of a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme in South Africa.

 

Since the release of the Green Paper – the NHI’s draft policy – by the Department of Health (DoH) in August last year, several concerns and arguments have been raised by various stakeholders regarding the financing of the scheme.

 

The public forum presented an opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss a way forward that would embrace the country’s constitution in health infrastructure, development and maintenance; human resource planning, development and maintenance; quality of health services; and the re-engineering of the primary healthcare system.

 

A keynote address was delivered by UKZN alumnus and KwaZulu-Natal's Minister for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who said: ‘Our driving force is the assertion that health is a public good.’

 

Dhlomo explained that until South Africa sorted out the HIV/TB pandemic, it would be difficult to win against maternal, new-born and childcare issues. He said the DoH was non-apologetic about introducing the NHI but there was a lot that government still needed to do before its implementation.

 

The seven principles of the NHI were: the right to access healthcare, social solidarity, effectiveness, appropriateness, equity, affordability, and efficiency.

 

Dhlomo said the quality of healthcare in the public sector had to improve dramatically. He stressed that health regulations should be in line with the country’s constitution, therefore public participation in policy-making was an integral part of democratic processes.

 

Mr Mark O’Flaherty, an Independent Financial Planner and CEO of the Proper Group, said although the country’s private healthcare sector was recognised as world-class, the inflation rate of medical aid schemes surpassed South African citizens’ annual salary increases and this could result in the service becoming unsustainable. He shed light on the expected impact of NHI on private healthcare financing.

 

Dr Bernhard Gaede, Director for the Centre for Rural Development (CRH) at UKZN, was one of the respondents at the forum. Gaede said the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa and the CRH looked forward to ways in which the NHI would improve access to appropriate health services, increase human resources, foster good governance and ensure the quality of care even for rural communities burdened with disease.

 

Registrars and other postgraduate students from CHS engaged in critical dialogue exploring the efficacy of an NHI to transform the country’s healthcare system.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

POVERTY REDUCTION AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP

POVERTY REDUCTION AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP

The first international workshop on poverty reduction and impact assessment - co-hosted by the United Nations Academic Impact and UKZN’s School of Built Environment and Development Studies UKZN (Poverty Hub) - was held recently in Stellenbosch.

The purpose of the workshop was to review the current research work around impact assessments for poverty level change.

According to Research Project Manager at SARChI, Ms Kathleen Diga, the contents of the workshop helped to contribute towards the development of the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment research.

The workshop involved about 30 participants both physically and virtually on three themes:  the priorities around impact assessments for poverty reduction, methodologies used around these assessments and communicating research for policy level influence.  

Representatives from a variety of institutions including Oxford University, the University of Michigan, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, the University of California, the United Nations and the World Bank attended the workshop. 

‘The workshop focussed on several issues in research and policy including ways in which policy makers can interact productively with researchers and vice versa, many of which involved trust in the person as well as the research quality itself,’ said Diga.

Selected participants were asked to submit short concept documents on the three themes which included papers on the UK experience in measuring whether their programming was leading to employment and some of the political economy around impact assessment within the poverty reduction context. 

‘Through video-conferencing, live webcasting and other forms of social media networking, we also invited selected outside participants from the University of Manchester and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology  who gave their feedback to the papers and discussions virtually,’ said Diga. 

The expected outcome of developing the Chair research agenda was to have a broader conceptualisation of policy impacts on poverty impact assessments in South Africa and beyond. 

Diga said they hoped to increase the reach and influence of the research work on impact evaluation on poverty at the international institutional level as well as improve capacity for junior researchers engaged in the post-graduate programmes concerned with poverty reduction.  

* More information about this workshop as well as SARChI and UNAI activities around poverty and impact assessment can be found at:  http://outreach.un.org/unai/hubs/addressing-poverty/

* Watch the workshop proceedings online at:  http://www.corpcam.com/WorkshopJune2012
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za