Division of Human Nutrition
The Division of Human Nutrition, led by Prof Xikombiso Mbhenyane, was established in 1991 as a department is now part of the Department of Global health. We offer a 4-year BSc Dietetics programme at undergraduate level and provide postgraduate education, which is renowned nationally and internationally. Our Postgraduate offering include three master’s degrees (Masters in Therapeutic Nutrition, Masters in Public Health Nutrition and a MSc in Food and Nutrition Security). We also offer a PhD (Nutritional Sciences) degree. The main research focus areas of the Division include Food and Nutrition Security, including right to food and governance and indigenous knowledge systems; Maternal and Child nutrition and wellbeing; Specialised Nutritional Support and Food Safety and Legislation. The Division, through its head, Prof Xikombiso Mbhenyane, also holds a Research Chair in Food Environments, Nutrition and Health.
Division of Disability & Rehabilitation Studies
The Division of Disability and Rehabilitation Studies offers unique postgraduate programmes to health, disability and rehabilitation professionals. Applicants are (but not limited to) persons who are doctors, nurses, speech and occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, etc. The approach is interdisciplinary, with emphasis on development of leadership skills to facilitate development, management and evaluation and research into appropriate and cost effective rehabilitation and disability programmes. The Division of Disability and Rehabilitation Studies also plays a supportive role in curricular development within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in respect of disability and rehabilitation-related aspects.
Ukwanda is a Nguni word meaning “to grow"; in accordance with this, growth, development and progress are core pillars utilised by the centre to promote health care in rural communities through intentional and relevant student, staff, and community collaborations. Based on international models, the Ukwanda Centre for Rural health (CRH) was launched in 2002 and later opened a rural clinical school based in Worcester in 2011, another first in South Africa. The rural clinical school initially focused on medical students, but other programmes soon followed suite, with Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, and Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy joining in 2013. The placement of students in distributed rural locations was intended both to provide students with the skills for rural health care and to acclimatise students to rural communities and lifestyles. The exposure would in turn encourage the option of practising in rural and underserved communities after graduation.