Diet and exercise in combination with other factors can prevent Type 2 diabetes, a visiting United States Scientist and UKZN alumnus has told an audience of clinicians and researchers in Durban.

The Scientist, Professor Ishwarlal Jialal, is the recent recipient of the Garry-Lubbe award in nutrition from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry and twice a recipient of the Western Association of Physicians and Best Doctors in America.

Speaking at a College of Health Sciences public lecture at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine campus, Jialal said the solution to forestalling metabolic syndrome and diabetes was the introduction of a low fat low carbohydrate diet, exercise, metformin, statins and angeotensin II receptor blockers.

Jialal said it was important that diet and exercise began before the diagnosis of diabetes Type 2 and continued throughout the course of the syndrome.

He said predictions were that the number of people affected by diabetes in Africa would increase from 7.1 million to 15 million – a 111 percent hike – between 2003 and 2025.

The situation on every other continent was also bleak. In North America an increase of 57 percent was projected, in South America the projection was 85 percent, in Europe 21 percent, Asia 108 percent, Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East 105 percent and the Western Pacific 79 percent.

‘The global increase and progression of Type 2 diabetes places an ever increasing burden on healthcare resources and will reduce productivity in the workplace due to the resulted chronic complications,’ said Jialal.

‘The majority of obese people will eventually get diabetes and dyslipidemia, a well recognised risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The global trend is an ever increasing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Often these patients do not respond to oral therapies.’

Jialal provided examples of microvascular and macrovascular complications as a result of diabetes which led to kidney failure, new cases of blindness in adults, two-to-four-fold increase in cardio vascular disease and stroke and a leading cause of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations.

Diabetes also leads to beta cell “failure” with at least 50 percent destruction. Through studies conducted in the United States, Jialal found a 5 percent decrease of beta cell mass functions every year, since the onset of diabetes. This often led to primary and secondary drug failure, he said.

Diabetes is either acquired or inherited (genetics). Acquired causes are due to physical inactivity, a high carbohydrate diet, medications, hyperglycemia and obesity.

‘In the United States, 21 million people have diabetes. Millions of these people are unaware they have diabetes whilst 998 000 develop diabetes annually which equates to 2 500 daily. ‘A simple change in lifestyle will significantly prevent and reduce the progression of the syndrome,’ said Jialal.

Jialal is presently the Robert E Stowell Endowed Chair in Experimental Pathology, Director of the Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research, and Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Clinical Nutrition and Vascular Medicine, at the University of California in the United States.

To date, he has published more 440 original papers and invited reviews in the areas of diabetes, atherosclerosis, lipid metabolism, nutrition and vascular biology.  He has received numerous awards for his research.
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UKZN in partnership with the Umtapo Centre held the annual Strini Moodley Memorial Lecture at Westville campus recently to celebrate Africa Day and to honour those who fought for freedom and equal rights in South Africa.


The Lecture was delivered by Professor Philomena Essed, Professor of Critical Race, Gender and Leadership studies at Antioch University in Seattle, Washington.

Known for introducing the concepts of “everyday racism” and “gendered racism”, Essed’s work has been adopted and applied in various countries, including South Africa.

In addition to her academic work she has been advisor to governmental and non-governmental organisations, nationally and internationally, on issues of education, race, ethnic and gender equity, leadership and organisational diversity.

In his welcome address, Director of University Relations at UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division, Mr Len Mzimela, said it was fitting that the Lecture was hosted each year by the University, as Moodley had cut his political teeth at UKZN.

‘Strini’s subsequent banning and imprisonment are salutary reminders of the immense sacrifices made by so many South Africans in the struggle against injustice,’ said Mzimela.

In her lecture titled: “Racism and Violence in the Guise of Human Rights and Democracy”, Essed spoke on the different forms of racism which now existed. She touched on numerous incidents around the world which proved the existence of racism.

She spoke about “entitlement racism” spread through freedom of expression and the internet. Essed also discussed how people found amusement and normality in the exploitation of black girls and the abuse of Muslim women.

Essed said recent attacks on Muslims showed how explicit racism had returned with people using the argument of freedom of expression to justify racist comments.  The audience was given an opportunity to ask questions and debate on some of the issues. 

The Strini Moodley Peace Activists awards were presented by Ms Asha Moodley from the Umtapo Centre.

Recipients were:

Moodley was one of the founders of Umtapo Centre. The Centre was established in 1986 in response to the rise of internecine violence within the black community and the resultant division and intolerance that became a way of life among oppressed people in South Africa.

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The global need for pollution-free environment policies led to School of Accounting, Economics and Finance Lecturer Dr Gerry Bokana presenting a paper at the International Journal of Art and Sciences (IJAS) International Conference for Academic Disciplines at Harvard University in the United States recently.

The five-day conference was attended by more than 500 scholars and researchers from various disciplines and academic institutions. Topics discussed at the conference were in the fields of social sciences and humanities, business and economics, teaching and education, and
science and technology.

Bokana’s paper was titled: “Pigovian Tax Dynamics and Net Income Earnings in Commercial Timber Plantations in South Africa: A GAMS Analysis”. The research aims to address the lack of studies that specify methods for calculations of the impact of Pigovian taxes on the competitiveness of businesses.

Using a General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS), the research models the impact of potential Pigovian tax dynamics on net-income earnings in the commercial plantations sector as an addition to the limited literature.

Bokana said the conference provided networking opportunities which were vital for UKZN as they led to strategic linkages with other institutions.

‘The conference provided a platform to stimulate intellectual interests, share research, and exchange experiences with the global community of scholars and receive constructive criticism and feedback. It was also an opportunity for me to get to know international scholars and strengthen networks with them with a view to enhancing my contribution to UKZN.’

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Rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal are benefiting from a strategic partnership between the KwaZulu-Natal provincial Department of Health (DoH), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the 20 000+ partnership, and UKZN’s Centre for Rural Health (CRH).


CRH says the availability and quality of health care in rural areas is often compromised, leaving these communities without adequate access to care. To address the challenges, the Centre uses research, education programmes, capacity building and advocacy with health workers, officials from the public health system, health science students, and residents of rural communities benefitting from the efforts.


Rural communities in the Ugu District are witness to the partnership’s on-going Nompilo Research Project which is examining the impact of interventions to improve childhood survival through Community Care Givers (CCGs) using a community based mother and child health intervention.


The intervention comprises two weeks of residential training to give the CCGs the skills required for implementation, followed by regular supportive visits every two weeks using a quality improvement approach.


Dr Christiane Horwood, Research Manager at CRH, said: ‘We hope we will be able to show that community based interventions provided by CCGs can improve uptake of key interventions like early antenatal clinic attendance, post-natal care and HIV testing, which will improve outcomes for mothers and children in the most vulnerable communities.


‘South Africa really needs a good health infrastructure and the DoH needs all the help it can get,’ said CRH’s Mr Andrew Penniall who meets regularly with the CCGs and fieldworkers in the project. ‘I don’t think people realise how bad it is living in rural areas,’ he added.


‘There’s no electricity here! Transport is bad and there’s no water. It only gets delivered once a week and when it’s finished people use water from the river,’ said one of the fieldworkers in the research conducted at St Faith's.


‘Seeing the faces of the Community Care Givers (CCGs), how hard they work and how little they earn sometimes gets you emotional, ’ said Ms Nokuthula Lushaba who is part of the research team at CRH.


Data collection for the baseline study is almost complete and training of CCGs is underway, The Nompilo study is due to be completed in 2013 and results should be released in early 2014.

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Wood Chip Exports and the Challenges Faced by Private Pulpwood Farmers in Southern KwaZulu-Natal is the title of a paper by Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate Mr Lenny Naidoo and Dr Mihalis Chasomeris currently under review by a SAPSE accredited journal, the Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences.

This paper was presented by Chasomeris at the University of Johannesburg’s Value 2012 Conference held in the Drakensberg recently.  The theme of the conference was: “Creating Value in Sustainable Business Practices”.  

The paper examines the trends in wood chips exports from the port of Durban as well as the stability and growth of private pulpwood production in southern KwaZulu-Natal. Its findings show that wood chips exports increased from the Durban facility between 2006 and 2011.

According to the paper, dominant challenges faced by the farmers were land reform, transportation costs and municipal rates while land claims, road infrastructure, economics (cost vs income) and demand for timber were the most challenging factors affecting private timber production into the future.

The qualitative and quantitative results confirmed that timber production was definitely increasing and hence contributing to the stability of private pulpwood production in southern KwaZulu-Natal.

The paper used research conducted by Naidoo for the dissertation component of his MBA degree.  This was completed under the supervision of Chasomeris who was thrilled to see Naidoo, along with eight other MBA students whom he supervised, graduate in April.  

Naidoo who is employed as the Financial Manager at NCT Durban Wood Chips (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of NCT Forestry Co-operative Limited, said he was motivated to find out more about the timber industry since he was a part of it.

‘I could not find any research that was done by anyone concerning southern KwaZulu-Natal private pulpwood farmers. Being involved with a company that deals in timber I felt that it was necessary for me to understand more about the industry and where the timber came from,’ said Naidoo.

Naidoo encouraged partnerships between academics with students saying academics had valuable experience and knowledge to share.

‘I feel excited and privileged that the paper is being reviewed. It gives me great comfort knowing that all the hard work, time and effort I put into the document is useful to someone. Working with Dr Chasomeris was great and we understood each other. I owe him a lot of credit as he supervised my dissertation and shared his wisdom and guided me to the end product,’ added Naidoo.

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Dr Shahidul Islam, a Biochemistry Lecturer on the Westville campus, has been invited to be a guest Editor for a special issue of an American Journal, Experimental Diabetes Research. According to the journal home page, Experimental Diabetes Research publishes original research on physiology and pathobiology of experimental diabetes mellitus and its complications and related relevant topics.

Dr Islam has been working as an active researcher in the field of diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, making a significant contribution in the field.

His current research focuses on the development of novel, non-genetic animal model of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome and investigates the possible effects and the mechanisms of actions of several medicinal and functional foods, artificial sweeteners, medicinal plant extracts and newly developed anti-diabetic drugs in these newly developed animal models.

Dr Islam has published 26 full length research articles, one book chapter and 10 abstracts in international peer-reviewed journals and books. Several more of his articles are currently under review for publication.

He also serves as a regular reviewer of about 15 international journals in the area of his research and is a member of the editorial board of two international peer-reviewed journals, World Journal of Diabetes and Frontiers in Experimental Pharmacology and Drug Discovery.

Currently, two postdoctoral fellows, one PhD, two MSc and three Honors students are busy with diabetes research under his direct supervision while his first MSc student graduated in April 2012 with a cum laude distinction.
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Dean of Research, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, and the Principal International Advisor of the International Relations Unit, Ms Tasmeera Singh, were active participants at the SANORD Symposium in Aarhus, Denmark, recently. 

SANORD - the Southern African-Nordic Centre - is a partnership of Higher Education Institutions from all the Nordic countries and Southern African countries. Its primary aim is to promote multilateral research and international co-operation on matters of importance to the development of both regions. There are currently 37 members within the network.

The theme of the symposium was: “Strengthening the Role of Universities as Hubs of Development through the Southern Africa-Nordic University Centre”.

Potgieter was elected Chair and lead the international committee established to develop a framework for research collaboration among SANORD members.

Singh is part of the team on developing a plan for collaboration among SANORD members.  Ms Singh also delivered a paper titled: “Enhancing Internationalisation through Research and Partnerships”.

The symposium was a means of nurturing old partnerships with the Nordic regions and fostering new partnerships with the African and Nordic countries. Some key African institutions were identified as partners UKZN intends signing Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with.  Presently an audit of all MOUs with SANORD partners is being conducted to recruit post-doctoral students to UKZN.

 Next year’s conference takes place in Malawi from 2 – 5 December.

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The Department of Public Health Medicine in the College of Health Sciences recently hosted a lunch to celebrate the success of its registrars in training.


The registrars excelled in the Colleges of Medicine South Africa (CMSA) exams.


Professor Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni, Acting Academic Leader: Public Health at UKZN, congratulated the new physicians saying it was important to celebrate every milestone in one’s road to success. She also lauded members of the Department for their support and collegiality.


The Department rejoiced when Dr Nisha Nadesan-Reddy, received CMSA’s prestigious Henry Gluckman Medal for outstanding performance in the examination.


A custodian for the quality of medical care in South Africa, the CMSA regulates the training and examination of all registrars attending South African Medical Faculties.


‘We’re very excited to have graduates who can now call themselves Public Health Medicine Physicians… claiming their space among a unique species of professionals,’ said Dr Stephen Knight, Principal Specialist and Senior Lecturer in the Department.


‘The country needs public health-trained academics and physicians.’


Knight said the graduates would take over the mantle of leading public health in the future. He also encouraged them to stay passionate as there were more and more employment positions opening up for Public Health Medicine Physicians.


One of the Registrars, Dr Tsholofelo Mhlaba, thanked the Department for encouraging her saying she was determined to make an invaluable contribution to public health medicine in the country.

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Having scooped one of the prestigious Ovation Awards at the 2011 National Arts Festival, UKZN Drama Lecturer Ms Lliane Loots’s acclaimed Bhakti, Loots and Flatfoot Dance Company is back in Grahamstown this year on an invitation to the Arena Mainstage platform.

The programme being performed, Southern Exposure, features two of Loots’s most recent dance works back to back and is, in many ways, a tribute to the strongly gendered voice of Loots as one of South Africa’s foremost critical female dance voices in choreography.

It also showcases the professional nine-year-old Flatfoot Dance Company whose six resident dancers are fearless in journeying with Loots into hazardous social and political terrain where they literally put their bodies on the line.

Southern Exposure begins with Loots’s 2011 controversial solo work SKIN that originally premiered at the University’s JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Festival.

‘Working with live musicians who create and score in the studio as you are imagining and creating the choreography is a dream come true for any choreographer,’ said Loots.

Loots is well known for her award winning dance theatre landscapes and the second work to be featured at the festival is her 2012 Mapping Nostalgia.

‘All contemporary dance theatre travels to dark and dangerous places, all of it masked in beauty. Sometimes this beauty is real and then our heart sings, and sometimes this beauty is only an idea we once had for a better future, but always, in dance, we come back to the body; a surface tension for both violence and, maybe, redemption – this is what Mapping Nostalgia is about,’ she said.

Performances in the Centenary Hall are on: 2 July at noon and 8pm, and 3 July at noon.

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UKZN’s Alumni Relations Unit hosted a two-day leadership workshop followed by a two-day project management training workshop for the University’s April graduates.

The workshops, held on the Westville campus, were designed to provide leadership and project management skills to new alumni to use in the corporate world. The range and diversity of participants proved the workshops are not only appealing to recent graduates but also to older, experienced graduates.

Participants included business owners, professors, recently employed graduates, postgraduate students, engineers, contractors, and aviation industry representatives from all over KwaZulu-Natal.

The workshops were facilitated by Ms Vani Moodley, an internationally accredited trainer with extensive experience in South Africa and Africa.

In the project management workshop graduates learned about a range of skills needed to create a successful project plan. Areas discussed included establishing and leading a good team, communication, structures of a project plan, understanding the lifecycle of a project and other range of issues affecting project managers.

A variety of activities encouraged teamwork and communication while there was also an opportunity for the alumni to network.

‘These workshops assist in building long lasting relationships between the University and the graduates – many of whom are starting out on careers which require skills such as project management and leadership,’ said Alumni Relations Manager, Mr Finn Christensen.

The workshops, held annually, have previously included topics such as CV writing, interview skills, entrepreneurship, project management and leadership. Alumni Relations welcomes suggestions from graduates on other workshop topics.

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Isikole sezeMfundo esisesikhungwini sase-Edgewood e-UKZN sibambe ingqophamlando yosuku obeluqala ukuhlanganisa amasiko esifundazwe saKwaZulu-Natal kanye nesaseLimpopo.

Lolusuku luhlelwe lahambisana nokuhlowa kwabafundi abenza uyaka wokuqala ohleweni iArts and Culture 110 kulesi sikole, kanti abafundi nabafundisi batheleke ngobuningi babo bevunule ngezamasiko, bathamela umculo obungaze usuku.

‘Ibaluleke kakhulu imicimbi efana nale ngokuba inika abafundi ithuba lokuzibandakanya nobuciko ngokuzimisela,’ kusho uDkt Yolisa Nompula, umHoli weMfundo yobuCiko namaSiko.

‘Abafundi bafunda bafundisane ngamasiko abo. Bafunda lukhulu, bacije amakhono obuholi njengothisha bakusasa bezobuCiko namaSiko.’

Abahlanganyeli bacelwa ukuba bacule babonise imidanso emibili yanoma yimiphi kwayishumi nambili amasiko aseLimpopo kumbe KwaZulu-Natali.

Impumelelo yomculo nomdanso ohlolwe abafundisi ekugcineni isukele ngesikhathi abafundi bezilungiselela beboniswa nanangozakwabo ngamacebo azobaphumelelisa.

‘Isiko nesiko belinomlandi ochazele izihlwele ngaphambi kokuba kungene ingoma nomdanso. Kufeze ngemepela ukuthi iNingizimu Afrika iyiRainbow Nation,’ kusho uNompula.

Isikole sezeMfundo sihlele ukugubha lolusuku nangonyaka ozayo lapho kuhlolwa ubafundi abenza unyaka wokuqala. ‘Kubaninka ithuba elihle lokufunda futhi bathole amamaki amahle.’

Click here for English version

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The Department of Media and Cultural Studies recently showcased the works of its honours students in the form of 16 short films, with eight of the best being screened.  The event was attended by students, their parents and staff.

Short films formed part of the requirements for the Advanced Television Studies module which combined practice with theory. Students worked in four production teams, producing the 16 short films around four topics – Hot, Music, The Honours Class and City Life. 

In the course of their filmmaking, each student had an opportunity to be the director/script writer, editor, cinematographer and production manager. 

The concept, Idea is King, was central to the projects. Teams used available equipment and sourced free editing software to complete their project. 

‘As the teams worked together, they developed valuable skills in intergroup relations and communication,’ said the Department’s Dr Zoe Molver.  ‘Their experiences were articulated in meticulously presented production diaries – each student completed the course with a substantial portfolio comprising four films each accompanied by a production diary.’

One of the students, Ms Ashley Bowman, said: ‘For the topic City Life we filmed three couples exploring trendy hot-spots in Durban such as Gateway, Florida Road and even the Arcade. We wanted to show Durban as an exciting place to hang out and we managed to convey it in a romantic, fun, quirky manner.’

Her colleague, Ms Ronel Singarum, said there were both challenges and highlights to the guerrilla film-making course. ‘We experienced technical problems with lighting, microphones and editing but it was all worth it. In the end, it really is gratifying to see the completed product and it truly was a learning experience that has fuelled my passion for TV and film production even more.’

Films included a comedy horror film, complete with fake blood and gore, and music videos. ‘For many parents, this was the first time they had a sense of where their children worked and played and who taught them. Many were astonished by the calibre of work produced.’

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UKZN, the University of Zululand (UniZul) and the Durban University of Technology (DUT Midlands) competed in the annual Inter-Varsity Sports Day on the Edgewood campus recently.

The day attracted 900 students who participated in various events including aerobics, athletics, hockey, cricket, rugby, dance, karate, netball, soccer, snooker, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, bodybuilding and chess.

About 3 000 students converged on the Edgewood sports ground to cheer for their universities in a great show of support.

UKZN’s Sports Administrator Mr Zwelithethindaba Sapula, said it was a very successful event.

Participating teams were formed two weeks before the sports day and were able to train together,’ said Sapula.

A committee was also established to ensure spectators were kept informed and updated on the scores.

The UKZN Soccer teams Jafta and Sakheleni did exceptionally well and won gold medals. UniZul clinched the top spot with UKZN second and DUT Midlands third.

Sapula, who said further competitive sporting events and awareness days would be held this year, encouraged those interested to check out UKZN’s Facebook page which gave daily updates about the various sporting events and clubs at the University.

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