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Fellowship helps Heine tackle heart disease in low-resource settingshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7707Fellowship helps Heine tackle heart disease in low-resource settingsFMHS Marketing & Communications / FGGW Bemarking & Kommunikasie – Sue Segar<p>​Senior postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine (ISEM), Dr Martin Heine, has been accepted into the World Heart Federation's prestigious Salim Yusuf Emerging Leaders Programme, an accolade which, he said, is an indirect endorsement of his dedicated work in patient-centred rehabilitation in low-resourced settings.<br></p><p>Heine received the news earlier this year that he had been selected to the programme which focuses on creating a platform for global collaborative research projects with the aim of realizing shared goals towards reducing cardiovascular disease worldwide.</p><p>A delighted Heine said his selection onto the programme is “an honour and an opportunity to learn" from his peers based in other countries.</p><p>For the past four years, most of Heine's work has been focussed on building sustainable interventions for people with chronic disease. One of his benchmark studies, for which data collection has been completed and analysis is underway, took place in Bishop Lavis (Cape Town). The study is trying to determine the feasibility of a more patient-centred rehabilitation programme for people with non-communicable diseases.</p><p>Heine is focussing, through his work, on moving away from a disease-centred approach to a more holistic approach to patients, and thereby future-proofing the field of rehabilitation medicine for the high levels of multimorbidity often seen in low-resourced settings specifically. </p><p>He said his acceptance into the programme is an indication that his work is going in the right direction and that it is gaining traction.</p><p>However, he quickly adds, “this award is not about me, it's about strengthening the research I am doing for a greater impact. It will be interesting to learn from some of the ideas and solutions proposed by other countries with similar resource-constraints and challenges and to see if we can find common ground to strengthen our research."  </p><p>The World Heart Federation (WHF) Salim Yusuf Emerging Leaders Programme was created in 2014 by world-renowned leader in global cardiovascular disease research and WHF Past President, Professor Salim Yusuf. The initiative is one of the first international training programmes on cardiovascular health policy research, health systems and implementation science.</p><p>The programme's main goal is to build up capacity, professional development, mentorship and networking of WHF Emerging Leaders in 100 countries. Together, they research and act to reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases globally in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets around non-communicable diseases.</p><p>Heine said the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the planned programme of the 25 selected fellows who were originally scheduled to get together in Portugal in September to participate in training programmes and seminars with experts on the key challenges around the management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.</p><p>“The idea was that, out of these engagements would come one or more fundable research proposals that would bind the emerging leaders together in some of the work we proposed.</p><p>“So, all the training, networking and collaboration is expected to culminate in funding proposals, one or two of which may be funded by the World Heart Federation moving forward. On top of that, a number of the fellows have clinical duties and are on high alert for Covid-19 at the moment and cannot put in the time. For now, they have postponed that part of the programme until 2021.</p><p>“Nevertheless, this is going to be a very exciting opportunity. When I see the wonderful diversity of people from both a clinical and an academic perspective who are taking part - and the countries which the fellows represent – including India, Australia, Nepal, Lebanon, Iraq, Scandinavia, South America and Europe, I am very excited to see what I can learn about cardiovascular disease management and diabetes from colleagues around the world - especially those in low-resource settings, such as Brazil, Nepal, and Bangladesh."<br></p>
Innovation helps TygerMaties navigate Covid-19 restrictions on training platformhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7703Innovation helps TygerMaties navigate Covid-19 restrictions on training platformFMHS Marketing & Communications / FGGW Bemarking & Kommunikasie – Jackie Pienaar-Brink<p>​An innovative new clinical training plan has enabled fifth-year medical students at Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) to navigate the restrictions placed on the training platform due to the Covid-19 pandemic.<br></p><p>Were it not for the IDEAL (Integrated Distributed Engagement to Advanced Learning) plan, fifth-year medical students would have been hard pressed to catch up with the current year's clinical rotation before graduating at the end of 2021. Clinical rotation is the practical part of medicine and health sciences students' training that can only be performed in a clinical setting, such as a hospital, clinic or care home.</p><p>The IDEAL rotation enables students to return to a uniquely constructed learning platform where students are accommodated amidst limited placement opportunities.</p><p>Under non-pandemic conditions, the fifth-year students' clinical rotation would have commenced at Tygerberg Hospital and other training facilities at the beginning of August. However, with these sites, and especially Tygerberg Hospital under immense pressure due to Covid-19, the strategic decision was made by the FMHS management team and the Department of Health to prioritise the final-year medical students and to delay the other more junior years' return to the clinical platform.</p><p>A bilateral agreement, recently signed between Stellenbosch University and the Western Cape Government Department of Health, enabled these two entities to engage as partners to consider the possibilities. A key consideration was how the students could be part of the clinical teams and learn while also delivering assistance in the clinical setting.</p><p>A team of colleagues, led by Dr Therese Fish, FMHS Vice Dean: Clinical Service and Social Impact, Dr Kobus Viljoen from the Rural Clinical School in Worcester and Prof Michael Pather with the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care contacted the leadership at public sector hospitals in the Western and Northern Cape to determine how many places are available on the clinical platform.</p><p>Viljoen was asked by the FMHS Vice Dean: Learning and Teaching, Prof Julia Blitz, to lead the IDEAL rotation team. A design team, including two fifth-year medical students, Luné Smith (class leader) and Ntsako Mtileni (the exiting Tygerberg Student Council Chairperson) developed the strategy for the IDEAL rotation.</p><p>With 160 clinical places available for 256 students, it was important to think creatively. The end result was the IDEAL rotation, which entails everyone being placed but students having to spend one day on site in the clinical environment and the next day away from the clinical setting engaged in learning.</p><p>The students were placed in groups of between two and forty. “Some of the large groups are in the metro, as well as further away in Worcester and Paarl," says Viljoen. Smaller groups have been posted to places like De Aar, Calvinia and Springbok in the Northern Cape or Hermanus and Bredasdorp in the Overberg, and other Western Cape sites. In all, 18 different sites are being utilised.</p><p>In less than a month the logistics for accommodation, transport and information and communication technology for 256 students had to be finalised. “The SUNLOC team lead, by Georginia Stam and Nicole Crow pulled off a miracle to make this happen," says Fish.</p><p>During the new rotation, which began on August 24 and ends on November 13, students are making use of two apps. One is the already existing Vula Mobile, which has been adapted so that students can learn in a very specific format, and the other one is My Clinical Logbook, created in house by the FMHS experts.</p><p>The self-directed learning approach differs significantly from earlier in that the interaction with the patient drives the student's learning experience and there is no structured curriculum. “You go to the patient and find out quickly how something works or what you are unsure about," Viljoen explains.</p><p>Students are assigned to learning facilitators in groups of five to eight. These facilitators communicate with the students through the apps and give advice on the learning process and clinical reasoning.</p><p>Over a two-week period a student will alternately be on site on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday or a Tuesday and Thursday. On each of these days a patient has to be logged on to Vula Mobile. If the student is unsure about a specific treatment, this is what he will focus on the next day (off site).</p><p>SUNLearn also has a forum for all the different clinical disciplines. Students can post questions there and the assigned lecturers will answer or explain by means of an article, podcast or YouTube video.  </p><p>IDEAL covers all eleven major disciplines that the students would have covered in their sixth year. </p><p>“It's a bit like a test run for greater integration of all the disciplines and a fun way to gain experience and learn," says Viljoen.</p><p>Because of the new learning experience, there is other support besides the facilitators, with the site clinician the first level of support. Various staff members, called the well-being supporters, engage with students – groups of ten students are allocated to each wellbeing supporter.</p><p>According to Viljoen IDEAL stands on two legs: Service and learning. “We endeavour to create a learning opportunity, but also consider at how we can support the health system. The idea is that the students become part of the local clinical team and declare themselves willing to do things that do not necessarily come across as academic, but through which they will learn a lot."</p><p>“None of this would be possible without the staff of the health facilities where students are placed, the patients who attend those facilities, the many university staff and the leadership of the Western Cape Government: Health and the Northern Cape Health Department," says Fish.<br></p><p><br></p><p><em>Caption: FMHS students receiving training on the clinical platform. Photo by Stefan Els.</em><br></p>
Stellenbosch University involved in testing a promising Covid-19 vaccinehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7686Stellenbosch University involved in testing a promising Covid-19 vaccineFMHS Marketing & Communications / FGGW Bemarking & Kommunikasie – Michelle Galloway<p>​​​Stellenbosch University (SU) is part of a large international research trial testing one of the most promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates currently available.<br></p><p>This vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) was developed by Oxford University in the United Kingdom (UK) and is currently being tested at seven sites in South Africa, along with the UK and Brazil. The study is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in South Africa is led by Prof Shabir Madhi of the University of the Witwatersrand. </p><p>Dr Shaun Barnabas of SU's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) is leading the Tygerberg trial site in Cape Town.</p><p>“The Faculty does well with infectious disease research and, because of this, we are comfortable conducting cutting-edge vaccine studies," says Barnabas, who is based at the FMHS' Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. “Our strength lies in conducting vaccine studies safely and rapidly. The infrastructure, reputation for pioneering work (especially in HIV and TB) and the relationships we have built allow us to compete with other big sites in South Africa." </p><p>This history has led to the Faculty's involvement in the randomised, placebo-controlled phase I/II trial of a prominent Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The vaccine is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus (which is often used in the development of human vaccines). This, and the fact that the virus can't replicate itself, should enhance the safety profile. </p><p>In the UK nearly 1 000 volunteers have already received the test vaccine and initial results published in <em>The Lancet</em> were promising. South Africa is enrolling just over 2 000 people nationally and the Tygerberg site plans to enrol 200, of which approximately 150 have been enrolled thus far.  </p><p>“It's a mix of people and recruitment has been straightforward. We are looking for people representative of the general population, healthy with no comorbidities," says Barnabas. “We are recruiting from the surrounding community with the help of Community Advisory Boards. We've also had interest from healthcare workers – they see it as a one-in-two chance of receiving one of the most promising vaccines tested thus far." </p><p>Participants are screened for antibodies and also given a nasal swab to test for active disease. Barnabas explains that having had previous Covid-19 infection is not exclusionary, because there is no good data yet on whether previous infection actually provides protection. </p><p>“We don't know if natural disease leads to protection. The information on antibodies is unclear. We don't know what level of protection is needed or how specific the antibody tests need to be. We don't know if those people are at the same risk as someone who has never had it, or at a higher or lower risk. So they are eligible for the study."</p><p>Volunteers are also tested for co-morbidities – specifically hepatitis B, diabetes and HIV – and asked to disclose other conditions like hypertension or asthma.</p><p>The study involves two doses of the test vaccine given a month apart. It is hoped that enrolment will be completed by mid-October and immunology testing will be done in the UK after administration of the second dose.</p><p>“We should have some results in the first quarter of 2021," says Barnabas. </p><p>Due to the urgency of finding a vaccine, most studies are being carried out at a relatively rapid pace. However, this does not mean that safety can be compromised. The UK arm of the trial was recently paused due to an adverse event in a participant. This has been investigated and the study has recommenced. </p><p>“Thousands of people enrol in these studies, therefore the chances of someone developing something completely coincidentally is relatively high," explains Barnabas. “Any adverse event results in a global pause. There is a huge emphasis on safety and very high-level monitoring. There is also good communication between the sites." </p><p>In South Africa the study is closely monitored by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, the Data Safety and Monitoring Board and other regulatory authorities, as well as institutional ethics committees.  </p><p>“South Africa is a research-intensive country when it comes to infectious diseases and vaccines," says Barnabas. “I think our involvement in this trial will boost our chances of accessing a successful vaccine when available. I believe we must use our excellent resources to contribute to developing a vaccine against Covid-19. It's about being a good global citizen.</p><p>“A vaccine is the best way to overcome the pandemic and allow normal life to resume."<br></p>
SU partners with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to drive student success http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7683SU partners with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to drive student success Corporate Communication and Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking<p>Stellenbosch University (SU), in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, is excited to announce the launch of the Dell Young Leaders programme, enabling Stellenbosch University students from low-income backgrounds to receive increased support towards university graduation. <br></p><p>This month, Stellenbosch University will open applications for qualifying first-year students and select 100 Dell Young Leaders for the inaugural class. Over five years, the programme seeks to benefit 1,000 Maties.  </p><p>Dell Young Leaders come from low-income communities and are the first in their families to attend university, so earning a degree is an essential step towards prosperity. The Dell Young Leaders programme offers support to students in the areas most needed, helping them overcome their individual challenges so they can graduate from university and move onto a meaningful career. To date, 97% of <a href="https://www.dellyoungleaders.org/">Dell Young Leaders</a> have either graduated or are still actively pursuing their studies, and 98% of graduates are employed or are pursuing further study.  </p><p>The Dell Young Leaders programme — which has been running for 10 years in South Africa — will select low-income students enrolled in professional degrees at Stellenbosch University for a top-up scholarship that will cover the gap in their full cost of attendance at university. Students will also receive ongoing targeted and personalised advice and resources on campus from dedicated programme staff. This includes mentorship, academic support, wellness resources, leadership development, career coaching, and graduate job placement. The programme ultimately helps students with challenges they encounter on their journeys to graduation and into the world of work.</p><p>“We are continuously inspired by the driven students in our programme, who overcome immense odds to make not only their life, but the lives of their families and communities, better," said Helen Vaughan, Program Manager of University Success in South Africa, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “We are excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Stellenbosch University, assisting more students as they graduate, secure meaningful employment, and become leaders in their chosen professions." </p><p>In the spirit of ensuring more students thrive, Stellenbosch University has committed to allocating increased scholarship funds of its own to grow the number of students who will benefit from this programme, thereby doubling up on student success. </p><p>“We are excited at the possibility of extending our scholarship offering for students from low-income backgrounds at our university through a comprehensive, multi-layered support programme in partnership with Michael & Susan Dell Foundation's Dell Young Leaders programme," says Prof Wim de Villiers, rector and vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University. “The Dell Young Leaders programme is a vehicle to help SU fulfil its core strategic objectives. At SU, we value our students and are committed to delivering a transformative student experience to each one of them."</p><p>The Dell Young Leaders programme will add to several of Stellenbosch University's ongoing initiatives to drive student success. The addition is part of the university's overall efforts to ensure that the university is accessible to qualifying students from all backgrounds, particularly to those facing barriers to success in university education. The university regards this as a journey — from the first contact with prospective students until they graduate and embrace the role of alumni. </p><p>Karen Bruns, senior director of development and alumni relations at Stellenbosch University noted the perfect fit of the partnership: “This partnership will surely improve outcomes for students who become Dell Young Leaders, and in the long-term benefit their families. This resonates strongly with our intention as a university of having a positive social impact and of ensuring that our students feed into growing the economy of the country with appropriate skills, both from the curricula and alongside formal education."</p><ul><li><strong>The inaugural class of Dell Young Leaders will be announced on November 6. Learn more about the Dell Young Leaders programme on </strong><a href="http://www.dellyoungleaders.org/"><strong>dellyoungleaders.org</strong></a><strong>.</strong></li></ul><p><br></p>
Anton Lubowski 'the embodiment of the fight for social justice'http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7684Anton Lubowski 'the embodiment of the fight for social justice'Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni​​The second Anton Lubowski Memorial Lecture which paid tribute to the anti-apartheid activist and advocate under the theme Social Justice, Quo Vadis - Is Social Justice happening?<em> </em>was held online on Saturday, 12 September 2020.​<div><br><p>The event was presented by Stellenbosch University's (SU) Development and Alumni Relations Division in partnership with the Faculty of Law and Simonsberg Men's Residence.<br></p><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;">Lubowski was a Stellenbosch student and a Simonsberg resident in the seventies. He initially enrolled at SU in 1972 for a BCom degree but transferred to a BA Law degree in 1973 and graduated in March 1976. <br></p><p>Speakers featured at the event included jurist, academic and media personality Judge Dennis Davis; psychologist and holder of the research chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation studies at SU, Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela; and Dr Ismail Lagardien, a prominent author and commentator. Max du Preez, author, commentator and editor of <em>Vrye Weekblad, </em>was the moderator.<br></p><p>Du Preez, a good friend of Lubowski, said although Anton was a fervent Namibian patriot, he inspired many young South Africans.<br></p><p>“The driving force behind Anton's passionate commitment toward the struggle in Namibia was his fundamental sense of justice. He was prepared to risk his life in the pursuit of social, economic and political justice, and the human dignity of ordinary Namibians."<br></p><p>Du Preez compared Lubowski to another famous lawyer and activists George Bizos who passed away on 9 September 2020.<br></p><p>“They were both motivated by a sense of justice rather than ideology. They were proof that you could indeed have a pale skin and be a red-blooded African."<br></p><p>He lamented the fact that, 31 years after his assassination, the criminal justice systems of Namibia and South Africa have still not provided the Lubowski family with proper closure on why Anton was killed and by whom.<br></p><p>Davis, who was Lubowski's lecturer at the University of Cape Town in 1977, said he has mixed emotions when reflecting on the life of the brave hero.<br></p><p>“I have a considerable amount of pride that in my very first year as a law teacher, I came across Anton as one of my students. It is also true that I have a considerable admiration for him. He was charismatic, he filled a room. <br></p><p>“But there is also a sense of frustration. Here we are in South Africa struggling to develop a new conception of identity to transcend the divisions of race, gender and sexual orientation. If we want to pursue social justice for all, we have to heed the lessons from the life of Anton who understood perfectly well that justice does not have boundaries of colour or gender."<br></p><p>Gobodo-Madikizela said the examples of Lubowski and others like him are the embodiment of the kind of fight for social justice that inspires responsible citizenship. <br></p><p>“Yet today, as the country suffers under COVID-19, we witness again the continuing injustice of an ANC government's lack of accountability. Our country is reeling with rape, murder and inhuman acts that cause untold suffering and which are tolerated by government."<br></p><p>She said the commitment to love and solidarity as exemplified by Lubowski, is what is needed now. <br></p><p>“Love has everything to do with social justice. It is the absence of love and care for the other that results in their dehumanisation. The shining legacy of Anton is his love of humanity. This is the distinctive feature of people like him."<br></p><p>Lagardien expanded on the definitions of social justice ­and argued that dignity and respect should be added to the list.<br></p><p>“We need greater equality to goods and services, equal and effective industrial and political rights and the knowledge and language to defend oneself in a court of law. Then you have to include dignity and respect in that."<br></p><p>He added that greater effort should go into correcting the machinery of social injustice.<br></p><p>“The institutions that we create in a society have the power to reproduce inequality. We need to look at the institutions that reproduce it and fix it. So many of the losses inflicted on the poorest people are a result of deliberate policies."<br></p><p><br></p></div>
Gas and oil companies should be wary of cyber-threatshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7678Gas and oil companies should be wary of cyber-threatsCorporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking [Alec Basson]<p>International oil and gas companies face increased political risk because of cyber-attacks and they will need to change the way they approach risk management to minimize the impact of cyber-threats.<br></p><p>This is one of the main findings of a recent study at Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p>“By digitalising their systems to increase productivity and profitability, oil and gas companies are opening themselves up to even greater risk of being the target of cyber-attacks that can result in the theft or destruction of intellectual property, espionage, extortion, and massive disruption of operations," says Kayla Mc Ewan, who obtained her Master's degree in Political Science at SU recently.<br></p><p>According to Mc Ewan, there is little information on the full impact of cyber-attacks on the oil and gas industry despite it being targeted more than other industrial sectors. <br></p><p>“Research conducted by multinational organisation Ernst and Young showed that the oil and gas industry face more cyber-attacks (to steal intellectual property or data and financial information) and phishing attempts than other industrial sectors." <br></p><p>She says two of the most prominent cyber-attacks against the oil and gas industry are those on Saudi Aramco in 2012 and Norwegian oil and gas companies in 2014.<br></p><p>“The Shamoon attack on Saudi Aramco showed how a cyber-attack can affect a company in a major way. Not only did Saudi Aramco lost its recent drilling and production data; it was also forced to shut down its corporate operations and had to use significant financial revenue to recover. It also had to give oil away to local trucks to maintain domestic oil supply. It took the company over two months to recover."<br></p><p>Mc Ewan adds that it is becoming increasingly important for oil and gas companies to start developing management strategies to address the risk of cyber-threats. <br></p><p>“The industry has been slow to address the issue of cyber-threats and how to manage them. Oil and gas companies if they have been the target of a cyber-attack are normally unwilling to even say they have been a target." <br></p><p>“In the case of Saudi Aramco, they had no clear risk management plans in place to effectively manage the threat or to prevent the attack from happening."<br></p><p>Mc Ewan says oil and gas companies need to take a closer look at the vulnerabilities that exist throughout the industry because identifying them is a key part of developing plans to either mitigate or manage cyber-threats.<br></p><p>“Example of these vulnerabilities include a lack of well-developed plans and programmes for monitoring and detecting of and dealing with cyber-threats; the industry's size which makes it difficult to secure all the different automated systems and Internet of Things devices; the reliance on the traditional method of security and uneducated and untrained employees; and the use of different firms, suppliers and vendors with different security systems to protect their assets."<br></p><p>Mc Ewan suggests a few steps that oil and gas companies can take to mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks. <br></p><p>She says they need to put in place technological methods of risk management such as early warning and detection systems that can act as safeguards against cyber-threats.<br></p><p>“They should start to deploy anti-malware reputation servers to supplement traditional, signature-based anti-virus software and also separate the business systems from operational systems. To manage the risk of cyber-threats effectively, evaluation needs to be conducted continuously to detect any form of breach or inaccuracy in a facility's system." <br></p><p>Mc Ewan says oil and gas companies also need to start sharing information with one another regarding their experiences with cyber-threats and steps they may have taken to manage them. They should also be promoting cyber-security awareness amongst their employees and train them accordingly, she adds</p><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Kayla Mc Ewan</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:kayls2895@gmail.com">kayls2895@gmail.com</a> </p><p><strong>ISSUED BY</strong></p><p>Martin Viljoen</p><p>Manager: Media</p><p>Corporate Communication and Marketing</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:viljoenm@sun.ac.za">viljoenm@sun.ac.za</a> <br></p><p><br></p>
New consortium aims to strengthen primary health carehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7680New consortium aims to strengthen primary health careFMHS Marketing & Communications / FGGW Bemarking & Kommunikasie - Sue Segar<p>Professor Bob Mash, head of the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care has been appointed to chair a new global consortium, the Primary Health Care Research Consortium (PHCRC), which aims to promote high-quality primary health care (PHC) around the world through focused and relevant research.<img src="/english/faculty/healthsciences/PublishingImages/NewsCarousel/Nuus2020/IMG_20190228_084453.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:600px;height:337px;" /><br></p><p>The PHCRC – funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – will, among other things, investigate key research pertaining to PHC, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).</p><p>The consortium aims to conduct “prioritised and policy-relevant research to support country and global efforts to build high-quality PHC systems in pursuit of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals".</p><p>It will achieve this by developing, growing, and maintaining a global PHC research network led by organisations based in LMICs.</p><p>In an interview, Mash said the formation of the consortium is an “excellent" development because funders have historically tended to put their money “into diseases and not into research into PHC as a system".</p><p>“Having funding devoted to this is very important because successful health systems are built on strong PHC. It is great to have this funding rather than fragmented programmes for different diseases," he said.</p><p>“Current research on how best to achieve strong PHC systems in LMICs is fragmented and focused on measuring gaps. Less is known about strategies to improve core PHC functions such as governance, service-delivery models, quality of care and financing models. There is an urgent need to coordinate disparate research efforts and build capacity and resources around questions prioritised by country leaders for which better evidence is needed to improve delivery of equitable, high-quality PHC."</p><p>The consortium will identify stakeholder knowledge needs, conduct evidence gap analyses, address priority questions and conduct multi-country comparisons to maximise knowledge gain across different settings.</p><p>Explaining how the consortium came about, Mash said that originally, a group of people were brought together by the Ariadne Labs in the United States.</p><p>“This group reviewed the global research and came up with four key areas they wanted to look at in more depth. They put out a call for researchers to look at the knowledge gaps in those areas. The members of the consortium are those who responded to the call and did the initial work published in the <em>BMJ Global Health</em> as a supplement."</p><p>The Primary Care and Family Medicine Network (Primafamed), Sub-Saharan Africa, which Mash coordinates, responded to the call.​</p><p>“After the initial work was done, we met as a consortium at the Department of Family Medicine about a year ago to decide on the next steps and what the consortium should look like.</p><p>“We decided the consortium's funding and administrative core organisation would reside at the George Institute in Delhi, India.</p><p>“We created a steering committee and held a meeting in Delhi earlier this year, just before the Covid-19 outbreak and I was selected to steer the committee for the consortium."</p><p>​Mash said the gaps identified in global knowledge about what works in PHC included: organisation and models of care; quality, safety and performance management; policy and governance; and finance of primary care systems.</p><p>He added that, through context-specific design and dissemination pathways, the PHCRC and its members will enhance the impact of research findings, increasing the likelihood that the knowledge gained can be translated into action.</p><p>Mash said it is “fantastic" to be part of a global consortium.<img src="/english/faculty/healthsciences/PublishingImages/NewsCarousel/Nuus2020/Group%20Delhi.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:375px;" /><br></p><p>The steering committee will, besides Mash, consist of members from the USA, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Australia and Lebanon.<br></p><p>“We hope to address the knowledge gaps to address issues across multiple settings … and to answer questions in a global way," said Mash.</p><p>Mash said that, through his work, to date, with the consortium, he has realised that, within the medical faculty, there are a lot of people who have been doing research into PHC “in their own little silos and bubbles".</p><p>This had led to him motivating to create an inter-departmental, inter-disciplinary approach to collaborating on PHC research.</p><p>“We need to connect people in the faculty to see how we can collaborate on key research questions."</p><p>He said that faculty management had agreed to make PHC a niche research area for the faculty.</p><p>“We have met with the departments which have an interest in PHC, including Nursing and Midwifery, Global Health, and others, and identified areas where there is a lot of overlap, including in the education and training of PHC providers and human resources for health policy; and also about effective service coverage.</p><p>“A planned workshop to identify the research questions we wanted to take on as a group was delayed due to Covid-19 but we look forward to working further on this," said Mash.</p><p>The <em>BMJ Global Health</em> supplement on the initial work on knowledge gaps can be found at <a href="https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https://gh.bmj.com/content/4/Suppl_8&data=02%7c01%7c%7c5631aa8f79ca4f633ff908d826f814df%7ca6fa3b030a3c42588433a120dffcd348%7c0%7c0%7c637302194272326861&sdata=NHu0ciQXznlSsb558FMsn3dnEc/JFT/cunF1edMwMhQ%3D&reserved=0">https://gh.bmj.com/content/4/Suppl_8</a> and more information on the PHC niche area in the faculty can be found at <a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/Pages/Primary-Health-Care.aspx">https://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/healthsciences/Pages/Primary-Health-Care.aspx</a>. </p><p><br></p><p><em><strong>Captions</strong></em></p><p><em>Banner photo: Prof Bob Mash. Picture by Stefan Els.</em><br></p><p><em>Article photo 1: Backrow left to right - Saif-Ur-Rahman (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh); Racha Fadlallah (American University of Beirut, Lebanon); Jocelyn Fifield (Ariadne Labs, USA); David Pon</em><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5" style=""><em>ka (Wonca, </em></span><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-5" style=""><em>Can</em></span><em>ada); ​Wolfgang Munar (George Washington University, USA); David Peiris (George Institute, Australia); Praveen Devarsetty (George Institute, India). Front row left to right - Amanda Howe (Wonca, UK); Felicity Goodyear-Smith (Wonca, New Zealand); Bob Mash (Primafamed, RSA); Lisa Hirschhorn (Ariadne Labs, USA); Shabir Moosa (Wonca, Africa and RSA).</em><br></p><p><em>Article photo 2: Praveen Devarsetty (George Institute, India); Saif-Ur-Rahman (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh); Lisa Hirschhorn (Ariadne Labs, USA); Felicity Goodyear-Smith (Wonca, New Zealand); Bob Mash (Primafamed, RSA)</em><br></p>
#Train4Fees campaign crosses the finish linehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7681#Train4Fees campaign crosses the finish lineDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>Student athletes at Stellenbosch University (SU) who have lost financial backing due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, will soon receive a financial lifeline after sport stars, coaches, alumni and friends of the University went the extra mile to help raise money to pay their outstanding tuition fees. <br></p><p>A total amount of R1, 808, 428 was raised as part of SU's #Train4Fees campaign after a generous donor committed to match funds raised in July and August on a rand-for-rand basis. “We are in the process of finalising the list of student athletes who will benefit, but for now our aim is for at least 45 students to receive financial help," says Hans Scriba, Fundraising Manager at SU's Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR).</p><p>According to Scriba, 109 players, staff and supporters heeded the call and signed up to raise funds for the #Train4Fees campaign, while over 480 donations were received from alumni, supporters and corporate donors. Notably, among the campaign's supporters were Stormers and Springboks Pieter-Steph du Toit, Breyton Paulse and Schalk Brits. </p><p>The campaign's youngest fundraiser, 5-year-old Michael Allcock, managed to complete a 50km walk and raised R9 500, almost double his original target of R5 000. </p><p>"We are so grateful that our greater Maties family have put their hands in their pockets and shown our students tremendous support. All the effort put in over these past three months exceeded our expectations. To be in a position to help our students, is heart-warming and will go a long way in ensuring that no student is left behind," says Scriba.</p><p>Launched on 1 June 2020 by Maties Sport and DAR, the three-month #Train4Fees campaign came to an end on 31 August 2020.  Supporters could either make a donation towards any of the various Matie sporting codes on the GivenGain fundraising platform or sign up to become a fundraiser themselves. Fundraisers could run, cycle, walk or skateboard while asking their network – family, friends, colleagues, or neighbours — to make a donation per kilometre.  </p><p>“It just goes to show that with a little effort, we can all make a huge difference," Scriba adds.</p><p>Ilhaam Groenewald, Chief Director of Maties Sport, says this very important initiative was one of the most exciting experiences during the lockdown period. “It brought us together as a team to deliver a positive result for our student athletes."<br></p>
Two from Innovus receives SARIMA Excellence Awardshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7682Two from Innovus receives SARIMA Excellence AwardsInnovus <p>​​Two Innovus staff members received national acclaim for their contribution to innovation management in the technology transfer field of expertise in South Africa.<br></p><p>Innovus' Dr Madelein Kleyn, Director Technology Transfer and Camille de Villiers, Technology Transfer Officer, each received an award at the Annual Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) Excellence Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in Research and Innovation Management in Southern Africa. </p><p>Dr Kleyn received the DSI-SARIMA Award for Distinguished Contribution in Innovation Management. This award recognises individuals who have made distinguished contributions to the Research Management or Innovation Management profession. A specific contribution should have been made in the period under review (2019), but nominations should be in respect of leaders in their respective fields. They are recognised beyond their organisation for their broad contribution to the profession over many years. </p><p>In announcing the award, Dr Therina Theron, Senior Director Research and Innovation at SU's Division for Research Development and also President of SARIMA, said: “Amongst a list of accolades, Dr Kleyn generously shares her knowledge and expertise with professional innovation management colleagues and peers across the globe. She provides guidance and assistance to several institutions which require guidance on Intellectual Property (IP) knowledge, capacity and expertise, especially to universities. " </p><p>De Villiers, who has been at Innovus for almost three years, received the DSI-SARIMA Award for Early Career Excellence in Innovation Management. This award recognises individuals who are newcomers to the Research or Innovation Management professions. Nominees must have less than five years' experience in any of the core elements that make up a Research Management or Innovation Management function, whether they were in a formal organisational office or not.</p><p>Amongst her many achievements, Anita Nel, Chief Director Innovation and Business Development, highlighted De Villiers' involvement in actively and efficiently managing the IP protection, prosecution and commercialisation of over twenty projects at Innovus in 2019. “Camille has closed several commercialisation agreements on these projects while assisting with incubation of two potential Innovus spin-out companies. Also, she has successfully proposed, raised funding for and managed the establishment of two new initiatives at Stellenbosch University: the annual SU Hackathon, and the Stellenbosch Network."</p><p>Nel congratulated Kleyn and De Villiers, saying that both are exceptional in their respective positions. “Both Madelein and Camille deserve this recognition for the incredible work they are doing at Innovus. In the short time that they have been part of the Innovus team, they have added great value to the work we do." <br><br></p><p><strong><em>About SARIMA</em></strong></p><p><em>The Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) is a membership organisation that brings together research and Innovation practitioners to strengthen these disciplines and institutional capabilities. It provides a platform for the promotion and facilitation of best practice in research and innovation management in Southern Africa. For more information, visit www.sarima.co.za.</em></p><p><strong><em>About Innovus</em></strong></p><p><em>Innovus is the university-industry interaction and innovation platform of </em><a href="/"><em>Stellenbosch University</em></a><em> (SU). Innovus is responsible for technology transfer, entrepreneurial support and development, and innovation at the University. Amongst its activities to commercialise the assets of SU, Innovus manages the commercialisation of the University's innovation and intellectual property portfolio through patenting, licensing and the formation of spin-out companies.</em></p><p><br></p>
Inspiring alumnae launch new network for Matie womenhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7639Inspiring alumnae launch new network for Matie womenDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​Stellenbosch University's Development and Alumni Relations Division on Wednesday (26 August 2020) launched a new initiative that aims to enable networking among Matie women from diverse backgrounds and industries around the world.<br></p><p>Known as the Stellenbosch Women Alumnae Network (SWAN), the initiative aims to bring women graduates together through mentorship programmes, leadership training and round-table discussions. </p><p>According to Karen Bruns, Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations, SWAN was formed to prove that Stellenbosch women can be just as successful as philanthropists and active citizens as their male counterparts. <br></p><p>“Stellenbosch University has through the decades delivered fantastic women graduates to the business world, arts and culture and science and technology, as well as fantastic innovators and entrepreneurs," said Bruns. “We know that Matie women are extremely well-connected, have strong opinions on things and have worked hard to make their mark in our communities, our country and on the global stage. We want the SWAN network to grow and aim to run regular SWAN meetings with our alumnae in South Africa and around the world."</p><p>Dr Nthabiseng Moleko, an alumna who advocates for women's rights on the Commission for Gender Equality where she is the Deputy Chairperson, facilitated the inaugural SWAN event. <br></p><p>She challenged the participants to use their skills and knowledge to help provide solutions to issues such as gender-based violence and the economic crisis in the country.<br></p><p>“For too long we have left things to everyone else. We need to start picking up the baton as civil society and as academics," said Moleko. “Our education should be used to transform the world and to make the world better in our respective callings and sectors of work."<br></p><p>Dr Marlene le Roux, CEO of the Artscape Theatre, co-founder of the Women's Achievement Network for Disability and twice Stellenbosch University Alumna of the Year, was the keynote speaker at the event.<br></p><p>The disability and women's rights activist shared her experiences in the workplace with regards to ethics, human resource and cultural practices.<br></p><p> “As women we are confronted with discrimination, humiliation, and inequality. But how can we bring about change in a positive way? As a leader I feel that we need to concentrate our efforts on young people. We need to use our backgrounds, challenges and positive influences to mentor young people so that they do not experience the same difficulties that we have been experiencing.</p><p>“From a cultural perspective, we as leaders also need to look at the importance of everybody in the workplace, not only directors and the executive members. The policies need to be fair. How do we accommodate different cultural and religious practices in the workplace? What type of leave do we take into consideration? An employee will appreciate you more if you allow them to choose one or two practices which is important to their belief system and implement it as the leave days they take.  It is extremely important to remember that we are not born with culture, religion or even language for that matter. These are learnt and acquired influences in our lives impacting and determining our behaviour and reactions to other learnt cultures, languages and religions.</p><p>"When we factor some of the above in with our employees, the employee in turn gives you 150% more because you care and you made an effort to understand them and to engage with them.</p><p>“Thirdly, we cannot bring about gender empowerment if we do not bring men to the table as well. We need to have robust discussions with men on how we make changes and how we are going to stop this evil in society." <br></p><p>Le Roux added that the workplace is not just a place for different language and cultural groups to huddle together, but an ideal opportunity for a diverse workforce to talk and share things that are important. We need to learn to practise positive cultural interactions and understanding.<br></p><ul><li>Join SWAN on <a href="http://www.matiesconnect.com/" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>www.matiesconnect.com​</strong></a>, where we will share information on all upcoming networking opportunities and shine the spotlight on more outstanding Matie women. <br></li></ul><p><br></p>