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Russel Botman worked for equality, transformation - Justice Zak Yacoob Botman worked for equality, transformation - Justice Zak YacoobCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>The late Prof Russel Botman was committed to the achievement of equality and worked towards ridding society of the scourge of poverty.<br></p><p>This was the view of Justice Zak Yacoob, Retired Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, on Wednesday (18 October 2017).</p><p>He delivered the third annual Russel Botman Memorial Lecture at the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University (SU). The lecture, held in honour of the late Prof Russel Botman, former Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, was hosted by the Faculty of Theology in collaboration with the curatoria of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, the Dutch Reformed Church and the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology.<br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><ul><li><em>Mobile user click </em><a href="" style="text-decoration-line:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong><em>here</em></strong></span><em> </em></a><em>for video.</em><br></li></ul><p>In his <a href="/english/Documents/Botman%20Memorial%20lecture%20final%20(002)edited_PDF.pdf" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span lang="EN-US" class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style=""><strong style="">speech</strong></span></a> Yacoob highlighted Botman's commitment to, among others, equality, justice, transformation, human dignity and freedom.</p><p>He said equality, which is crucial to the achievement of a true socially just democracy, was close to Botman's heart.</p><p>“We must remember the Professor by committing ourselves to the achievement of substantive equality through affirmative action."</p><p>“To remember Professor Botman, all of us must continue to work with zeal, courage, determination and sacrifice towards the vision of our future society envisaged in our Constitution".</p><p>Yacoob said that we must also do all we can to hasten the transformation of our society, empower weak and vulnerable people and contribute to the elimination of discrimination.</p><p>He added that if Prof Botman were alive today he would have urged us to make social and economic rights a reality for millions of South Africans still trapped in poverty.</p><p>“The implementation of social and economic rights is essential to the reconstruction of society and,<strong> </strong>as the Professor pointed out in his Aberdeen lecture, instrumental in the alleviation of poverty. </p><p>Unfortunately, government is not heeding this message Yacoob said. </p><p>“The failure of the state to implement social and economic rights constitutes a significant violation of all of the civil and political rights in the Constitution."</p><p>Yacoob said corruption is the reason why government struggles to implement these rights.<br></p><p>He encouraged all South Africans to speak out courageously against corruption, to take part in anti-corruption activities, to strengthen civil society and to oppose corruption at every turn.<br></p><p>Yacoob said that if Botman were alive today he would have been at the forefront of the fight against corruption, whatever the consequences. <br></p><p>In her response to the Yacoob's speech, Prof Sandy Liebenberg of SU's Faculty of Law highlighted Botman's commitment to transformation.</p><p>“With Russel's inauguration, the pace of transformation at Stellenbosch University quickened. Russel understood that socio-economic rights were about justice." </p><p>She added that Botman was a model of visionary and ethical leadership.</p><p>Prof Wim de Villiers, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, welcomed the guest and said the fact that the University is on course to become more future-focused and inclusive is in large measure thanks to Botman.</p><p>“Botman's legacy has kept us on course over the last few years. We owe Prof Botman a great deal."</p><ul><li><strong>Photo</strong>: Justice Zak Yacoob delivers the Russel Botman Memorial Lecture<br></li><li><strong>Photographer</strong>: Stefan Els<br></li></ul><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p><br></p>
SANZAF bursaries empower students bursaries empower studentsFMHS Marketing & Communication / FGGW Bemarking & Kommunikasie<p>Students at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), Stellenbosch University, were full of praise for the South African National Zakáh Fund (SANZAF) at a recent event where the organisation handed over a cheque to the value of R776 150 for student bursaries.</p><p>“SANZAF didn't just help me financially and academically. By taking part in their charity events, I also grew as a person," a second year medical student at FMHS said of this faith-based social-welfare and educational organisation.</p><p>“I am very grateful to SANZAF. I am one of four children and the bursary lightens the financial burden on my family," said another MB,ChB II student. “Taking part in their outreach programmes makes me feel like I'm making a difference, and reminds me of why I want to be a doctor – which is something you can lose sight of when you're always studying."</p><p>This year, SANZAF gave partial bursaries to 44 Maties students, 34 of which are studying at the FMHS.</p><p>“We are living in a time when the need is much greater than the available resources, so we are grateful for any support," said Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean of the FMHS. “SANZAF has been a faithful supporter for many years, and not only has your support been regular, it also increases every year."</p><p>SANZAF raises funds through the collection of Zakáh (a portion of a person's wealth donated to the deserving), which are then distributed to social-welfare and educational programmes aimed at empowering and assisting the needy.</p><p>“SANZAF has been operating for 43 years and was initially focussed on welfare relief by handing out food parcels, etc. We realised that although this was bringing relief, it was not breaking the cycle of poverty and that we need to develop more sustainable interventions. Today we have the SANZAF Education and Empowerment Development Programme (SEED), which offers bursaries and vocational training, supports Islamic studies, and also has an early childhood development- and a youth mentoring programme," said Ms Yasmina Franke, the SANZAF General Manager in the Western Cape.</p><p>“Our intention is not to make people dependent on SANZAF. We want to empower people so that today's bursary recipients, one day becomes payers of Zakáh."</p><p> </p><p><em>Caption: (Front) Ms Yasmina Franke, Prof Jimmy Volmink and Ms Faeza Govind. (Back) Ms Farah Fredericks, Dr Therese Fish, Prof Julia Blitz, Mr Arrie Hanekom.</em></p>
High-level German delegation visits innovative HIV testing sites in Cape Town German delegation visits innovative HIV testing sites in Cape TownKim Cloete<p>​A top-level German delegation has had first-hand experience of the positive impact of community HIV testing during a visit to field sites operated by Stellenbosch University's Desmond Tutu TB Centre.</p><p>The 23-member delegation, led by Theresa Bauer, Minister of Science, Research and the Arts of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, visited such a community testing site where tents and caravans had been set up, so that people could swiftly get tested for HIV instead of going to a clinic.</p><p>The mobile testing forms part of an HIV prevention package delivered door-to-door as well as by mobile units in the community by Community HIV Care Providers (CHiPS), as part of the HPTN 071 (PopART) study. PopART is a research study that will determine the impact of a package of HIV prevention interventions on the incidence of HIV at a community level, involving a million people in 21 communities in South Africa and Zambia.</p><p>“The Desmond Tutu TB Centre was recommended to us as an extraordinary institution where research on pressing health questions is done in a very practice-oriented way to the direct benefit of society," said Bauer.</p><p>The delegation comprised mostly principals and rectors from Baden-Württemberg, which has the greatest concentration of universities and the most diverse higher education landscape in Germany.</p><p>The group was interested to hear about the experiences of Blia Yang and her CHiPS team when testing people for HIV in and around Cape Town. They were also encouraged to hear how counsellors follow up HIV-positive clients at their homes to help link them to care at clinics and to receive the antiretroviral treatment they need.</p><p>The delegation congratulated the field teams for their hard work in addressing the HIV epidemic.</p><p>“I am delighted that the delegation could see how people in communities are involved in and benefit directly from Stellenbosch University's research activities," said Prof Nulda Beyers, South Africa's principal researcher for the HPTN 071 (PopART) trial.</p><p>The visit to the HIV testing site formed part of the delegation's five-day visit to South Africa and Namibia. The group was particularly interested in the interconnections between science and research, as well as science and industry, with the focus on “living laboratories" in the fields of health, food security and social research.</p><p>“We learned that in South Africa this interaction between science and industry, including civil society, is achieved particularly well. This is why we chose to come to South Africa and to learn more about this network and exchange at institutes like the Desmond Tutu TB Centre," said Bauer.</p><p>The delegation also visited the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research at Stellenbosch University, as well as the Lynedoch Eco-village Initiative near Stellenbosch. </p><p>Professor Arnold van Zyl, President of the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, said the visit was an extremely valuable learning experience as university leaders could see how knowledge was closely combined with community health practice. He explained that this is unusual, since clinical and bio-medical work in other countries often take place far from one another.</p><p>The visit is expected to hold longer-term benefits.</p><p>“Our countries have a lot in common regarding excellent interdisciplinary research and academic education. Therefore, I am convinced that the personal encounters between the delegation from Baden-Württemberg and the partners in South Africa and Namibia will either initiate new contacts, or strengthen existing partnerships to the mutual benefit of all," said Bauer.</p><p>According to her interaction between Germany and its African partners is vital.</p><p>“Cooperating and integrating with African partners is essential if we want to make progress when confronting today's pressing global challenges."</p><p> </p><p><em>Caption: Members of a high-level German delegation take a look at one of the mobile HIV testing sites in Cape Town.</em></p>
What and how much should we drink per day? and how much should we drink per day?Irene Labuschagne<p>National Nutrition Week takes place from 9 to 15 October each year, and this year the theme is: “Rethink Your Drink – Choose Water!"</p><p>Proper hydration is vital for good health and well-being. Poor hydration can negatively affect one's mood, concentration and performance, and have recently also been linked to an increased risk of chronic disease.</p><p>The Nutritional Information Centre at Stellenbosch University (Nicus) has compiled the following guide to help consumers make the best choices on what and how much to drink.</p><p><strong>What should we drink every day?</strong></p><p>Fluid intake in healthy adults is regulated by thirst. Water is an essential nutrient for life and it is considered the ideal drink to quench thirst and ensure hydration. Ironically, it is often ignored as part of our dietary recommendations.</p><p>Despite the benefits of water, many people prefer other drinks such as cool drink, fruit juice, coffee, tea, milk or sport drinks. These beverages could contribute to a person's daily energy intake, for instance, a glass of regular sweetened carbonated cool drink provides at least 418 kJ, while a glass of artificially sweetened cool drink contains less than 5 kJ, making the latter a far better choice for an overweight or inactive adult. </p><p>The increase in obesity and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart disease highlights the need for greater awareness of better food and drink choices to help attain and maintain a healthy body weight. Healthy choices are complicated by the wide range of “functional" food and drinks, such as micronutrient enriched water or “cancer fighting teas", such as green tea, and other products offering health benefits. Faced with all these choices, consumers may need some guidance on how to include these beverages into their diet.</p><p><strong>How much?</strong></p><p>The National Research Council (NRC) recommends a daily water intake of about 1ml/kcal energy expenditure, which translates to about 8 glasses of water per day. This recommendation is based on an average-weight male (+/- 70kg), and there is no single formula that fits every individual or every situation as water intake recommendations also depend on other factors such as activity, humidity, climate, body temperature and body composition. </p><p>Water is part of every cell in the body and on average it comprises 50% of a woman's body weight, and 60% in men. Every system and function in the body depends on water. For example, water helps with the digestion of food, it carries nutrients to cells and it provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. The amount of fluid consumed per day is approximately equivalent to the amount lost. Mild dehydration affects a wide range of cardiovascular and thermoregulating processes and responses. Dehydration of 3-5% of body weight, decreases physical strength and performance, and is the primary cause of heat exhaustion. Daily turnover of water is approximately 4% of total body weight and even higher proportions in children. Water losses from the lungs and skin (insensible losses; 500 – 1000 ml/day) are responsible for approximately half of the daily turnover and sensible losses from stools (50 – 100 ml/day) and urine account for the rest of the daily losses. Yet, despite changes in body composition and function as well as the environment, most healthy people manage to regulate daily water balance well across their lifespan.</p><p><strong>Why is water the best possible choice?</strong></p><p><strong><em>Water is highly recommended for daily fluid intake</em></strong><strong>. </strong>Despite the focus on hydration and de-hydration in many official reports, some studies have shown that plain water consumption is associated with better diets, better health behaviours, and a lower burden for chronic disease. It provides no additional energy, which makes it ideal for overweight or inactive adult. It also provides variable amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and fluoride, depending on its source.</p><p>In most developed Western societies, diets provide an excess of total energy, which is associated with obesity and so-called lifestyle diseases. Although plain water fulfils almost all the fluid needs of healthy adults, individual preferences, perceived needs, taste, cultural, social and other factors have resulted in the availability of a variety of beverages. Some of these beverages contribute significantly to the intake of total daily energy and other nutrients. Depending on the frequency and amount consumed, the intake of energy and/or other nutrients may become inappropriately high.</p><p>South Africa has a heavy burden of infectious diseases (such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis) existing alongside diseases of lifestyle (non-communicable diseases) such as undernutrition, overnutrition, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Diet-related non-communicable diseases account for 28% of the total burden of disease in South Africa, and are thought to be linked to the process of societal transition,  urbanisation and Westernisation from a traditional rural lifestyle – the so-called South African 'nutritional transition'. Specific dietary and lifestyle changes have been observed in the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and food – particularly a shift to a diet high in sugar, salt and saturated fat – and the reduction in physical activity.</p><p>South African adolescents and school learners are at an increased risk for environmental factors that cause obesity. For example, they are more likely to consume sugar-sweetened drinks, they are less likely to compensate for “fast food" energy, and they generally consume more energy-density foods (e.g. sweets, chocolate, and chips). </p><p>In South Africa, as in many other countries, obesity and overweight are mainly caused by an imbalance between energy consumed and energy expended:</p><ul><li>an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat or added sugars; and </li><li>a decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanisation/development.</li></ul><p><strong>Recommendations for South Africans</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Water</strong> fulfils almost all the fluid needs of healthy adults. Women should drink at least 4 glasses (250ml) and men at least 6 glasses (250 ml) of clean safe water per day. Children should drink water when thirsty and limit their intake of milk to 600 ml per day (from the age of 5 years all children and adults should drink low fat or fat free milk) and fruit juice to 240 ml per day.</li><li>Drinks should not contribute to more than 14% of total daily energy intake.</li><li>Schools should encourage children to meet their fluid needs with water and provide clean safe water, and limit the availability of other cool drinks/juices. </li><li><strong>Sweetened cool drinks</strong>, such as carbonated cool drinks should be limited to no more than 240 ml (approximately one standard cup) a day. These drinks should be avoided by diabetics and inactive and/or overweight adults and children. </li><li><strong>Fruit and vegetable juices</strong> (100% juices) and <strong>sports drinks</strong> should be limited to no more than 240 ml (approximately one standard cup) a day.</li><li><strong>Diet- or artificially-sweetened cool drinks </strong>could replace sweetened drinks in a varied diet (up to four servings of 240 ml a day). </li><li><strong>Unsweetened coffee and tea:</strong> Adults should limit their intake of caffeine drinks to no more than 4 cups of coffee per day or 8 cups of tea per day. Preferably, these should be with fat free or low fat milk and no sugar.</li></ul><p>Access the South African Food Based Dietary Guidelines and recommendations for healthy eating and weight loss at: <a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/nicus/how-to-eat-correctly"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span></a>.</p><p>For more information contact the Nutrition Information Centre at Stellenbosch University (NICUS) or a dietitian registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.</p><p>References from the scientific literature used to compile this document are available on request.</p><p>Photo: Pixabay</p>
Rector’s Awards for SU’s top students’s Awards for SU’s top studentsCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​​​Stellenbosch University (SU)'s top students who excelled in areas such as academics, sports, leadership and social impact were honoured with Rector's Awards for Excellent Achievement on Thursday (5 October 2017). The annual award ceremony took place at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS).<br></p><p>The following students received SU medals for being the top master's student in their respective faculties: Christiane Schaeffler (Arts and Social Sciences); Jadri Barnard (Education); Niel Miller (AgriSciences); Monika du Toit (Economic and Management Sciences); Kari Jonker (Medicine and Health Sciences); Josh Mitchell (Engineering); Sunel de Kock (Science); Cecile van Schalkwyk (Law); and Susan Mellows (Theology).</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><ul><li><em>​Mobile users click <a href="" style="text-decoration-line:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a> </em><em>for video</em><br></li></ul><p>An award for excellence in Community Interaction was given to Tafadzwa Girupira, while Lize-Marie Doubell, Lee Baatjies, Melt Hugo, Khensani Hlongwane and Gideon Basson were honoured for excellence in leadership.<br></p><p>Also among the awardees were Paralympic athlete Dyan Buis and Olympic athlete Justine Palframan who received the Rector's Award for Excellent Sport Achievement.<br></p><p>A special Rector's Award went to <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4749" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">Anita Engelbrecht</strong></a>. Suffering from spastic diplegia, Engelbrecht has been in a wheelchair all her life. She was born prematurely and experienced an oxygen shortage shortly after birth. This affected part of her brain that controls the development of motor functions.  </p><p>“It is fantastic for me to receive recognition for all the blood, sweat and tears that went into my studies. It's a privilege to help make a difference in society," Engelbrecht said. <img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/R3_preview.jpeg" alt="R3_preview.jpeg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:450px;height:286px;" /><br></p><p>The guest speaker Dr Nondumiso Mzizana, Chief Executive Officer of Sikelela Medical & Dental Suppliers and recipient of a Diploma in Odontology at SU, was nominated by the Student Representative Council for the Exceptional Alumni Award. <br></p><p>In her speech, Mzizana congratulated and encouraged students by sharing some of her life lessons with them.<br></p><p>“You have to be passionate about what you do. You have to love it. You have to believe in yourself and have resilience." <br></p><p>“Work harder and never stop educating yourself," she added.<br></p><p>In his congratulatory message, Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, praised students for their hard work.  <br></p><p>“Behind every achievement lies focus, dedication and persistence. That is a big component of what is being recognised here tonight. Hang on to that lesson, especially when the going gets tough, and you will go far in life."<br></p><p>De Villiers also reminded them that SU stands for excellence.<br></p><ul><li>Click<strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong><a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/RECIPIENTS%20RECTOR%27S%20AWARDS%202017_pdf.pdf" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">here</strong></a> for the complete list of students who received Rector's Awards in 2017.<br></li><li>Click <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">here</strong></a> for photos of the event.<br></li></ul><p><strong>Main photo</strong>: Prof Wim de Villiers with some of the students at the award's ceremony. </p><p><strong>Photo 1</strong>: Former SRC Chairperson Nomzamo Ntombela, Prof Wim de Villiers, and Dr Nondumiso Mzizana at the ceremony. <strong>Photographer</strong>: Hennie Rudman</p><p><br></p>
Discovery awards boost research on rural health awards boost research on rural healthLiezel Engelbrecht<p>Two family medicine registrars from Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences recently received a much needed financial boost for their research that targets the improvement of rural health conditions.</p><p>Drs Karlien Doubell and Milton Groenwald both received a Rural Fellowship Award granted by the Discovery Rural Foundation. These awards are allocated to registrars in family medicine who have demonstrated a commitment to pursue a career in rural healthcare.</p><p>“The award focusses on MMed research with a contribution to medical knowledge in the rural health and community context," Groenwald says. Doubell believes the prevailing inequality of healthcare in South Africa is due to the lack of resources and funding, also for research. “That's why receiving this award is wonderful." Doubell received R25 000 and Groenwald R10 000 to put towards their respective studies.</p><p>Groenewald's research will focus on growth, associated co-morbidities and mortality in children under five after treatment for severe acute malnutrition in the Oudtshoorn sub-district. “The study will assess the impact of the current rehabilitative and nutritional management programme by looking at a set of indicators six months after discharge. Malnutrition is an important recognised cause of childhood mortality in South Africa. It also affects a child's intellectual capacity, and on the long run the ability to contribute to a skilled work force and subsequently the economic status and growth of the country," he explains. “I'm grateful for being able to make a contribution towards child health, especially towards the improvement of child nutrition and decreased mortality."</p><p>Doubell will be working in the Witzenberg sub-district on her research relating to a quality improvement cycle for TB contact management. “As in the rest of South Africa, TB places a great burden on the people living in the Witzenberg sub-district. We are still struggling with early case detection, thus people are still presenting at a late stage and in dire condition at the local hospital and clinics," she says. Doubell believes that the study could contribute towards improved TB contact management in rural areas and primary healthcare facilities across South Africa. “I have a big passion for rural healthcare and it fills me with great joy knowing that I can help communities most in need thereof."</p><p><em>Caption: Drs Milton Groenwald and Karlien Doubell.</em></p>
Older people at risk for malnutrition people at risk for malnutritionIrene Labuschagne<p>​<em>Ageing is associated with changes in nutrient requirements and dietary habits, which increase the risk of nutritional deficits, especially in poor communities and food insecure households. In poorer communities elderly people, particularly women, who share their pension income with other household members, may be at risk of inadequate dietary intake as they often skip meals in order to feed their grandchildren.</em></p><p>According to Statistics South Africa's Social Profile of Older Persons 2011-2015 report, the elderly account for 8,1% of the population. The proportion of older persons in the population increased from 7,3% in 2001 to 8,1% in 2016.</p><p>The risk of non-communicable diseases in the elderly, such as hypertension, diabetes, strokes and heart disease, is on the rise in South Africa. The elderly (people older than 60 years) are usually more dependent on healthcare services than the rest of the population. When malnutrition is prevalent in this group, disease and death rates are likely to increase. Energy and protein deficiencies lead to changes in body composition and functions, such as impaired muscle function, decreased bone mass, delayed wound healing, reduced cognitive and immune function, and anaemia.</p><p>There is a lack of national data on the nutritional intake of the elderly population in South Africa. The elderly are generally considered a high-risk group for nutritional deficiencies, yet little is known about their dietary intake. Currently only small-scale regional studies are available, and more research is needed about malnutrition in the elderly, particularly in poor communities. </p><p><strong>Why are the elderly at risk of poor nutrition?</strong></p><p>Chronic illness, medication, poor dental health and depression are some of the factors that may cause a lack of appetite and reduced food intake among the elderly. They may also suffer from poor absorption, gastro-intestinal malabsorption, chronic pain, poor fitting dentures and changes in taste and smell perception. Elderly persons also have a lower thirst perception and are at high risk of dehydration. Furthermore poverty, economic hardship, low levels of education, low functional status and the inability to shop for food may all contribute to malnutrition in the elderly.</p><p>Although social grants have made a difference in poor households, food prices are rising steadily and poor families are being forced to buy cheaper, less nutritious food that is high in starch and low in protein, and fewer vegetables and fruit.</p><p>Food purchases determined by prices rather than nutritional value, tend to be energy-rich and nutrient-poor. These include foods like refined cereals, added fats and sugars, that provide a higher dietary energy at a low cost, but a lower content of other nutrients. A typical “low quality" meal consists of mostly mealie-meal, bread or rice, with very little animal protein or vegetables. The meal is also usually prepared with cheap oil and lots of salt. This has resulted in many South Africans, even those who are overweight, experiencing high levels of nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin A, iron and other minerals and vitamins.</p><p>Social grants are also used for non-food items. Even if they could afford a nutritious diet, poor people have other needs apart from food. A study of how social grant money is spent by women recipients in the Western Cape, found that food was the first priority for recipients of the Child Support Grant (CSG), the Older Person's Grant (OPG) and the Disability Grant (DG). Education costs were the second priority for CSG recipients, followed by clothing and transport. For OPG and DG recipients, funeral cover policies were second priority, followed by education. </p><p><strong>Nutrition considerations for older people and/or their caregivers </strong></p><p>Recommendations and conclusions based on the available literature: </p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li><p>Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of clean water. Dehydration can cause tiredness, dizziness, constipation, poor mood and confusion, among other things. As a general guide, people shoud drink eight glasses of water a day.</p></li><li><p>Eat a variety of healthy foods, and avoid high-energy, low-nutrient foods that contain a lot of sugar and fat, but few nutrients. These include chips, cookies, cool drinks and alcohol.</p></li><li><p>Aim for five servings of fruit and vegetables each day. These can be fresh, frozen, tinned or dried.</p></li><li><p>Great sources of protein include lean meat, poultry and fish. Tinned sardines, tuna and pilchards are packed with heart-healthy omega 3 fats. Eating beans, eggs and nuts are also a good way of boosting the protein in your diet.</p></li><li><p>Pulses and legumes are rich and affordable sources of good quality protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals. They are low in energy, fat and salt and can improve diet quality and protect against lifestyle diseases.</p></li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li><p>Use less salt. Too much salt in the diet can contribute to high blood pressure, which can lead to strokes or heart disease.</p></li><li><p>Drink three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk throughout the day. If you cannot tolerate milk, try small amounts of yogurt, butter milk, hard cheese or lactose-free foods. Drink water in stead of sugary drinks.</p></li><li><p>An elderly person consuming less than 6 300 kJ (1 500 kcal/day), may need multivitamin and mineral supplementation at Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) levels. </p></li><li><p>If poor appetite or low food availability is a problem, meal replacement drinks or nutrient-dense foods such as enriched or fortified foods should be recommended. Alternatively, multivitamin and mineral supplements are recommended. Single nutrient supplementation (with the exception of calcium) is not recommended if there is not a clinical deficiency.</p></li><li><p>Chronic diseases may increase the need for supplementation. These include  diabetes, Crohn's disease, HIV and ulcerative colitis.</p></li><li><p>Elderly people who smoke cigarettes or overuse alcohol may need additional nutrients. </p></li><li><p>Medication may increase the need for certain nutrients – these should be addressed by the medical professionals prescribing the drugs.</p></li><li><p>Calcium supplementation at RDA levels (1 200 mg) is indicated in elderly patients who do not consume three portions of dairy per day. Calcium citrate is more reliably absorbed in achlorhydric patients, and so may be more effective.</p></li><li><p>Supplementation with vitamin D-3 (400 IU to 800 IU) plus calcium (500 mg to 1 200 mg), may be beneficial in reducing the incidence of fractures in institutionalised older adults.</p></li><li><p>Healthy postmenopausal women and adult men should generally not take iron supplements.</p></li><li><p>Smokers should avoid supplementation with beta carotene. </p></li></ul><p><strong>Choices for a restricted budget: getting better value for money</strong></p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li><p>Dried legumes are not only good substitutes for meat, fish, eggs or cheese, but can be used to stretch foods (meat extenders). </p></li><li><p>It is not necessary to eat meat everyday. Meat alternatives, which are more affordable, can be used as substitutes or to bulk up meals.</p></li><li><p>Add cooked dried beans to stewed meat. </p></li><li><p>Mix mashed, cooked, dried beans with mince or fish to prepare meat loaf, fish cakes or meatballs.</p></li><li><p>Soya beans have been processed to form textured soya proteins that resemble meat in taste and look, and can therefore be used as meat substitutes. </p></li><li><p>Textured soya protein products (e.g. Toppers, Knorrox and Imana) can be used to stretch mince in bobotie, fricadels and other meat or chicken dishes. </p></li><li><p>A kilogram of dried beans yields 33 portions, while a kilogram of meat yields 9 portions (1 cup dried beans, raw, yields ± 8 cups cooked). </p></li></ul><p>Access the South African food-based dietary guidelines and recommendations for healthy eating and weight loss at: <a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/nicus/how-to-eat-correctly"></a>.</p><p>For more information, please contact NICUS or a dietitian registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.</p>
Getting closer to understanding the link between PTSD and bacteria in the gut closer to understanding the link between PTSD and bacteria in the gutDr Stefanie Malan-Muller<p><em>This article was originally published on </em><a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><em>The Conversation</em></span></a><em>. Read the </em><em>full article </em><a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;">here</span></a><em>.</em></p><p>South Africa is one of <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;">10 countries</span></a> globally where more than 70% of the population has suffered from a traumatic event in their lifetime. These traumatic events contribute to the high rates of anxiety and stress related disorders.</p><p>Of the South Africans who experience trauma, about 3.5% – about 1.4 million people – will eventually develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).</p><p>PTSD is a debilitating psychiatric disorder that can develop after a traumatic experience. Most people recover naturally, but some experience symptoms, like flashbacks, and severe stress and anxiety even when they are not in danger. This interferes with their daily functioning.</p><p>There are several factors that influence whether or not people are more likely to develop PTSD. This includes genetics, epigenetics (factors that influence the way genes are expressed into proteins) and the environments that they are exposed to.</p><p>Newer evidence is showing there may be another factor at play. Studies show that people who suffer from psychiatric disorders have high levels of inflammation in their bodies. Scientists are still unsure of how this inflammation comes about although some <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;">studies on animals</span></a> have suggested the gut microbiome could play a role. They found that exposure to stress changed the gut microbiome of these animals and also resulted in increased levels of immune molecules and inflammation.</p><p>We therefore wanted to determine whether there were differences in the gut microbiomes of people who had developed PTSD, and those who hadn't.</p><p>We <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;">found</span></a> that people with the disorder have a deficit of a specific bacterial combination that regulates the immune system and inflammation. Currently we can't say whether the disorder causes the bacterial deficit or if the bacterial deficit contributes to PTSD symptoms.</p><p>But our findings bring us one step closer to understanding how the gut microbiome plays a role in the disorder. It provides new ideas for future studies to determine whether these bacteria contribute to the disorder or whether they develop as a consequence. It could also help future studies to develop new treatments for PTSD.</p><p><strong>A connection to the brain</strong></p><p>In the last 10 to 15 years, scientists have discovered a vast number of functions performed by the trillions of bacteria living inside the human gut (called the gut microbiome). These include the metabolism of food and medicine and protection against infections. But the gut microbiome also plays an important role in brain functioning and behaviour.</p><p>There is a complex interaction between the brain, the gut and gut microbiome called the gut-microbiome-brain axis. The microbiome can influence brain functioning and behaviour through several mechanisms. It communicates with the enteric nervous system – a complex system of millions of nerves in the lining of the gut. It also produces hormones, immune molecules and toxins that affect the brain. </p><p>Within this axis the interaction between the brain and the gut microbiome is bi-directional. This means that stress and emotions can also affect the gut microbiome. Hormones released during stress can affect the gut microbiome and the integrity of the intestinal lining, which, when compromised, enables bacteria and toxins to cross into the blood circulation. This leads to increased inflammation.</p><p>This gut-brain connection, as well as the high levels of inflammation seen in people with PTSD, led us to our hypothesis that the gut microbiome may be different in people diagnosed with the disorder. </p><p><strong>A comparative exercise</strong></p><p>Working with researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder in the US, we compared the gut microbiomes of people who suffered from PTSD with those who experienced a traumatic event, but didn't develop the disorder. </p><p>When we looked at the composition of the gut microbiome of PTSD patients, we found they had very low levels of a <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;">combination of three bacteria</span></a>: Actinobacteria, Lentisphaerae, and Verrucomicrobia, compared to the controls. </p><p><a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Previous studies</span></a> have shown that these bacteria play an important role in regulating inflammation and the immune system. In turn, high levels of inflammation and changes in immune functioning can influence the brain, its functioning and behaviour. </p><p>We believe that the low levels of this trio of bacteria in PTSD patients may have contributed to a deficient immune system and heightened inflammation, which may have contributed to symptoms of PTSD.</p><p>It is, however, still unclear when these changes in the microbiome might have taken place. They may have occurred early in life as a response to childhood trauma. People who suffer high levels of childhood trauma have a higher risk of developing anxiety and stress related disorders later. </p><p>This correlates with another finding in our study, where people who experienced high levels of trauma during childhood had significantly lower levels of two of the earlier mentioned bacteria (Actinobacteria and Verrucomicrobia) compared to people with no or minimal childhood trauma. </p><p>The missing link, which needs to be validated in a larger, longitudinal sample, is whether differences in the bacterial composition are a cause or a consequence of PTSD.</p><p><strong>Next steps</strong></p><p>Our next steps are to repeat the study in a larger group, to include healthy controls, and to measure markers of inflammation and bacteria that crossed into the bloodstream. </p><p>We are also launching a large-scale, population based initiative to understand the connections between the gut microbiome and the brain. The <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;">South African Microbiome Initiative in Neuroscience</span></a> will focus on people who have experienced trauma and been diagnosed with a mental or psychiatric disorder. This study will identify more links between the gut microbiome and disorders that affect the brain.</p><p>Understanding how the bacteria in the gut affects the brain and behaviour is the first step in establishing how different factors influence susceptibility and resilience to PTSD.</p><p>This could, in future, expand our knowledge and help scientists identify new treatment options for PTSD. </p><p>This is especially important since the microbiome can easily be altered with the use of prebiotics (non-digestible foods that bacteria digests), probiotics (live, beneficial bacteria) and synbiotics (combination of probiotics and prebiotics) or dietary interventions.</p><p>Image: Pixabay</p>
Taking concussion injuries seriously concussion injuries seriouslyWilma Stassen<p>​<em>Concussion injuries in sport are common, and a new unit at Stellenbosch University will focus on addressing this problem through research and treatment.</em></p><p>An Advanced Concussion Unit will soon be launched at Stellenbosch University to track, treat and study concussion among Maties, as well as the wider community.</p><p>“Concussion is a common sports injury, particularly among rugby players, and it is important that it is managed properly," says Prof Wayne Derman, Director of the Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine (ISEM) at SU's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. “The first step is to recognise concussion, and then to remove the person from playing sport until he or she is rehabilitated. It is imperative that they don't go back to playing sports too early."</p><p>Concussion is a mild type of brain injury that is commonly associated with contact sports such as rugby, boxing or hockey. It occurs when a blow to the head or body causes the brain to shake inside the skull, and can affect cognitive functions such as vision, balance and speech, and cause other physical and psychological symptoms.</p><p>Annually between 250 and 300 cases of concussion are reported to SU's Campus Health Services.</p><p>Derman and Dr Pierre Viviers, Director of SU's Campus Health Services, recently spent time at Seattle Sea Hawks, an American football club in the USA, to learn about their advanced concussion programme in order to apply this knowledge to the new unit at Maties.</p><p>This new facility will serve as both a treatment and research centre, built on interdisciplinary collaboration between various university partners, to ensure that patients recover physically, mentally and psychologically before returning to sport.</p><p>“The psychological impact of concussion is an important aspect. Patients can suffer from a range of mood abnormalities like irritability, anxiety or depression. Therefore, the unit will perform physical as well as cognitive and psychological assessments to ensure all functions are fully restored before players return to the field.</p><p>“Athletes that go back too early are susceptible to further injury. Their threshold for concussion is lower, which puts them at risk for a secondary concussion. A recent study showed that they are also prone to knee and other musculoskeletal injuries," warns Derman.</p><p>ISEM is working with several research partners on a number of concussion-related projects. For example, in collaboration with SU's Department of Sport Science, they are developing an application (app) that will be used to recognise concussion by tracking abnormal eye movement; and with SU's Division of Physiotherapy, they are looking at balance retraining after concussion.</p><p>“A lot is known about concussion in professional rugby, but there is a gap in knowledge about concussion in community-level rugby, and that is what we hope to study at SU's Advanced Concussion Unit," Derman concludes.</p><p><em>Caption: Dr Pierre Viviers and Prof Wayne Derman on a recent visit to the advanced concussion facility at the American football club, Seattle Sea Hawks.</em></p>
It's possible to pursue your passion AND pay the bills's possible to pursue your passion AND pay the bills Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p style="text-align:justify;">If you think pursuing your passion means giving up on a job that pays the bills, this may not be the case after all. Meet Stellenbosch University alumnus Dalton Odendaal who graduated with a BCom LLB from Maties and now runs his own business specialising in sports marketing and is also a consultant at the UK-based specialist sports, media and entertainment law firm Harbottle & Lewis. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dalton will be the guest speaker at the Alumni Relations Office's second Careers Café on 9 October at 13:00. The event will take place in Room 230 on the second floor of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences building on the corner of Merriman and Ryneveld Streets. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“These days people do not have to do the same job for their whole lives and there are more opportunities to do something that you're interested in and enjoy. Becoming a partner in a law or an accountancy firm is not the only way to achieve success and being an entrepreneur is rightly also viewed as a sign of achievement and success," says Dalton who lives in the United Kingdom, but still proudly holds South African citizenship.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“My own career might have started off in a conventional way. I completed a BCom LLB at Maties and then started doing my articles at a law firm in Cape Town. I had the opportunity to study for a Masters degree in law at Cambridge University (LLM), so I interrupted my articles to do that. I then interrupted my articles for a second time when I had a further opportunity to complete a BCL (Bachelor of Civil Law) degree at Oxford University. I must have been the longest serving article clerk in history – it took me 5 years to complete them!</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Whilst I was at Oxford, all my peers were doing interviews at law firms in London. I am an avid tennis player and it is through this network that I ended up attending my first interview at a London law firm and secured a job in the corporate tax team."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">While Dalton admits that he already knew at that stage that he did not want to remain in corporate and tax law forever, the training provided him with a good foundation. To improve his chances of working in sports law, he enrolled for evening classes on a part-time basis at King's College London and completed a specialist Postgraduate Certificate in Sports Law. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2000 he joined Harbottle & Lewis as a Senior Associate where he started focusing on the commercial side of sports law. This included the negotiating and drafting of sponsorship, licensing, broadcasting rights and other commercial agreements. Seven years later he had the opportunity to work on the London Olympics and Paralympic Games where he was the Head of Legal: Commercial, a testimony to his expert knowledge in the commercial sports field. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">His involvement in the Olympic and Paralympic Games and his passion for all things sports related, led to his next career opportunity as the General Counsel for the inaugural Invictus Games held in London in 2014. “The Invictus Games is an international multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick service men and women that was started by Prince Harry and has since been held in Orlando in the United States and Toronto in Canada," explains Dalton. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">His involvement in the Invictus Games has provided him with opportunities to also wok for other members of the Royal Family, for example, by helping them secure sponsorship for their various charitable activities. Other sporting events that he works on include the Rugby World Cup, the Cricket World Cup, Wimbledon, the World Athletics Championships, and the European Golf Tour.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I didn't come from a professional background in that neither of my parents had been to university. My father completed an agricultural degree at Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute in the Great Karoo and my mother was a personal assistant. They ended up running their own business exporting proteas. They realised the importance of an education and of working hard. They encouraged both my sister and myself to do the best we could at school and to get a good university degree.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I knew I wanted to be a lawyer – mainly by process of elimination as I didn't want to do anything involving science or maths and I am not a creative person at all. I thought I wanted to be an advocate – but that might have been the influence of television programmes. It was only when I started working at a law firm that I realised what I liked and what I didn't like. It also dawned on me that I was going to have to work for a long time and that I needed to do something that I was interested in and passionate about. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“By working hard at whatever job I happened to be in and by keeping an eye open to all opportunities, I was able to end up doing something that I really enjoy and that I am good at. I recognise that I have been fortunate and that not all students might have the family support and opportunities that I had, but I firmly believe that you can increase your possibility of having a successful career by working hard and doing something you are interested in."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Shaun Stuart, the Manager: Alumni Relations, the Careers Café series was developed by the Alumni Relations Office to provide a platform for alumni to engage with the university in a different manner by offering their time and skills to help current students prepare for the careers they want. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stuart says that while SU's degree programmes are world-renowned and equip graduates with the relevant skills and knowledge to perform the tasks they are required to do upon entering the job market, studies have shown that graduates across the world are failing to build their careers or progress up the career ladder due to a lack of soft skills. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"There is therefore a real need to focus on improving our students' soft skills in the long run, but at the same time, we can also build better connections with past graduates who have experience of the world of work and what our current students will need when entering the job market and beyond.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This is also part of a bigger drive at the university to connect with our alumni in a variety of meaningful ways, to build more intimate relationships between alumni and their faculties, and to start connecting with our future alumni and inspire them to think about their lives beyond university and start building the career they want now," said Stuart at the first Café held in October 2016. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Invites have already been sent to students and those who RSVP before the cut-off date on 5 October will receive a free lunch that they can enjoy during the talk. Students are also encouraged to like the University and Alumni Facebook pages to receive more information about the talk in the weeks preceding it and to watch those pages for the Facebook competition to win a free dinner with Dalton and the Alumni Relations Office on the evening of the talk.<br> <br>After the event, a survey will also be conducted amongst students on ways to improve the Cafés going forward and a lucky student will also stand the chance to win a voucher for two from Hudsons in Stellenbosch during this exercise. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Remember to use the hashtag #SUCareersCafe or #USLoopbaanKafee to keep track of the event before and on the day on Facebook and Twitter. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Dalton Odendaal, an SU alumnus, entrepreneur and legal consultant at the UK-based me</em><em>dia and entertainment law firm Harbottle & Lewis</em><em>, will be the guest speaker at the second Careers Café at Stellenbosch University on 9 October. </em></p><p><br></p>