The Executive Dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Durban University of Technology, Professor Nokuthula Sibiya, is set to deliver her Inaugural Lecture in the Mansfield Hall, on DUT’s Ritson Campus later today (Wednesday, 8 August 2018.)

Sibiya’s Inaugural Lecture is titled: ‘Transforming the education and training of the health professionals to strengthen the health system in the 21st century: Have we made progress?’

The lecture will provide an overview of the current health situation in SA – and the national imperatives to address the challenges facing the health system. The focus of the lecture will be on the progress that the Faculty of Health Sciences at DUT has made in transforming the education and training of the health professionals, to strengthen the health system in the 21st century.

Professor Sibiya explained the rationale behind the title of her inaugural lecture saying, “South Africa’s quadruple burden of disease (HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, maternal and child morbidity and mortality, violence and injuries) and shortage of health professionals, particularly in under-sourced and rural areas, continue to place challenges on the health system.”

“The National Development Plan: 2030 Vision, a blueprint of how South Africa can eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030 calls for a radical transformation of the health sector. This requires transformation of health professional education to respond to all these challenges.” she added.

Sibiya said the major challenge in South Africa is that universities that offer health professional education and training have not kept pace with these challenges. 

“The current curricula does not prepare the graduates that are capable to address these challenges. Redesign of health professional curricula is urgently needed in South Africa,” she said. 

Professor Sibiya also highlighted some of the key strides undertaken by the Faculty of Health Sciences at DUT, in tackling some of the prominent challenges facing the health system in the 21st century. 

“The Faculty of Health Sciences at DUT produces almost 25 PHC Nurse specialists on annual basis and these graduates are trained to take up positions as part of the District Clinical Specialist Team. The Faculty of Health Sciences also produces Emergency Medical Care and Rescue as well as Environmental Health Practitioners who are part of the Ward Based PHC Outreach and Specialist Support Teams in PHC,” she said.

The Department of Nursing at DUT was the first University of Technology to offer the four-year Bachelor Degree in South Africa. The programme has a strong PHC philosophical underpinning, which prepares the graduate nurses for the implementation of NHI. The Undergraduate Nursing Programme was initiated as a response to address gross shortage of nurses in the rural district in KwaZulu-Natal in order to improve access to the undergraduate nurse training.

“I currently supervise a PhD student who aims to develop a model for the integration of homeopathy into the public healthcare system. Developing a model for integration homeopathy into the public healthcare system will add to the panel of discussions as one of the strategies to improve the health system in the country,” said Sibiya.

Professor Sibiya who will also receive her full professorship and expressed her gratitude to DUT for her achievement. “I feel greatly honoured and humbled to be recognised by DUT for the scholarly contribution I have made towards improving the health system in the country,” she said.

The lecture will be at 18h00 on Wedensday 8, at the DUT Ritson Campus. 

Adapted from Press Release 

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