SOPH BULLETIN The School of Public Health (UWC) Staff Newsletter Starting a Google Group Following on from Ehi and Debra's Google Group (also called a Discussion Forum) for Measuring Health and Disease II in Semester 1, I started one for Qualitative Research Methods about 3 weeks ago. Ehi and Debra had sustained theirs over several months, almost all students had clocked in, some very Mgaywa Magafu, will receive his MPH actively, and it was apparent that students enjoyed and cum laude! Thesis title: Assessment of really needed this forum: they were able to clarify health-related quality of life of adult difficulties, solve problems with lecturers' and each others' HAART recipients at Kagera Regional help, share their own resources, ask questions and chat Hospital, Tanzania. Supervisor: Ehi socially too. Igumbor Use the SOPH Staff Bulletin For 10 days after sending my first invitation, nothing happened; I sent repeated invitations, and resolved that for…. Announcements students only use the Discussion Forum when they have Sharing SOPH Cluster News problems with their module. I consulted Hilton, was about (Research, Academic, Admin.) to give up, then tried one more time; this time I sent the Project Profiles accompanying message to Google explaining why I was Research Centre on HIV/AIDS sending to so many people at one time. I think all previous Staff/Student News invitations had been trashed as spam: this one worked. Travel and Field Work News Then Emmanuel Mafoko clocked in, our very active Gossip student in Botswana, who incidentally joined us through Publications Recognition of Prior Learning and has defied all Research/Awards/Training expectations of struggling RPL students! Then a few more, Resources/News from outside some using the site, most of them content to just receive Housekeeping Announcements contthe communications as emails. NEWS from the Student Admin office QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS STUDENTS KEEPING IN TOUCH This is a discussion group for students taking the MPH at SOPH, UWC with Qualitative Research Methods as an elective in Semester 2 2009. The aim is to discuss problems and issues of interest, to share resources, and to support each other through the discussions. This is being run very successfully by Lucy Alexander who is currently convening the module . GRADUATION: SEPTEMBER 2009 Congratulations are in order to the following students whose graduation has been approved by Senate Higher Degrees on 12 August (pending certain conditions). They are: Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health: Reggis Katsande Nonqaba Mzana Nontlantla Zamxaka Contd. below… So far, I have established an Masters in Public Health: introductory page about the module, Student Name: Hilary Chibiya sent out a group memorandum after Thesis title: An exploration of the prevailing perceptions on the marking the drafts, guiding them to role and skills of environmental health officers regarding the common pitfalls and weaknesses; in prevention of cholera outbreaks in the Lusaka District addition powerpoint presentations Supervisor: Prof Uta Lehmann from Winter School have been uploaded under Files, as well as a Student Name: Fasil Taye Gebreselassie few additional readings; one student Thesis title: Investigating the compliance with universal has sent five resources on Grounded precautions among health care providers in Tikur Anbessa Central theory to the group too. After Referral Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia receiving the draft assignments, I Supervisor: Dr Jon Rohde uploaded a self-check quiz leading Co-Supervisor : Dr Brian van Wyk students to areas of weakness. There Student Name: Khumbulani Hlongwana was a good response to that and I Thesis title: Knowledge, attitude and treatment seeking behaviour sent the answers a week later. towards malaria among Bushbuckridge communities, Mpumalanga Supervisor: Mr Wondwosson Lerebo The process needs active attention, Co-Supervisor : Mr Ehimario Igumbor which is fairly difficult with the range of tasks that come at us on a Student Name: Alexis Ntumba daily basis; however, even after this Thesis title: Knowledge, attitude and behaviour related to brief encounter, I can see some HIV/AIDS of teenagers on contraception in Andara district, distinct advantages: the Google Namibia Group provides a consolidated Supervisor: Dr Vera Scott Co-Supervisor : Mr Ehimario Igumbor forum for this sort of engagement: not lots of emails scattered across Student Name: Mary Simasiku your email accounts; it enables Thesis title: An exploration of perceived barriers and facilitators quick collective communication; it to disclosure of HIV positive results by pregnant women, to their links the students with each other; it partners and families also enables sharing of big Supervisor: Ms Nikki Schaay documents e.g. ppts; its flexible, and there are lots of ways to engage it Student Name: Blackson Tembo that I haven't even thought of, I'm Thesis title: Road traffic accidents in Botswana: a case study of sure. It is quick to access for most Chobe District students, as it does not require entry Supervisor: Mr Wondwosson Lerebo into UWC's restricted bandwidth. Co-Supervisor: Dr Brian van Wyk There must be other facilities it Student Name: Moses Zulu offers, and maybe Debra and Ehi Thesis title: Psychological, social and information needs of can share those with us. Since then, primary care givers of family members living with AIDS in Mansa Wolde has now started one for the District, Zambia HRH Masters students, and we Supervisor: Dr Brian van Wyk started to develop a style of using A special congratulation goes to our student who passed CUM the site which I think will be helpful. LAUDE So thanks to Ehi, who beat the path Student Name: Mgaywa Magafu (see photo attached) for us, and hopefully others will Thesis title: Assessment of health-related quality of life of adult follow! As a technical exercise, if I HAART recipients at Kagera Regional Hospital, Tanzania could set one up with my luddite Supervisor : Mr Ehimario Igumbor tendencies, you all can! Lucy Alexander Corinne Carolissen PROFILE ON SOPH INITIATIVES AND PROJECTS CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN HIV ANDAIDS The roots out of which will grow the actual research projects and communications and policy interventions of the Centre are UWC’s excellent HIV/AIDS Programme; the work already underway in many faculties, departments, and units across the university; and the local and global research and practice partnerships forged over the past years. Through these key entry points focusing on the dynamic continuum from primary prevention through broad-based treatment and care, rather than through a disease-focused, clinical, or primarily individual-oriented approach, the Centre will build an African and global centre of excellence for engaged research and practice in societal initiatives and responses to prevent and mitigate both the incidence and the impacts of HIV and AIDS. The Centre will actively engage communities, schools, the health system, and gender and social equity advocates in developing, conducting, sharing, and applying research and teaching. Visiting scholars, students, staff and others will visit the Centre and participate in its seminars, public events, workshops, and research projects. An annual flagship event will include participants from UWC, other South African and African research and policy institutions, our European partners, as well as civil society organizations and selected international partners. Fundamentally, the Centre will be and create space and opportunity for creative collaboration and research, together with its application. In that sense, it is a virtual Centre which depends on the vision and leadership of its core team and, crucially, the research community. However, we envisage several strategic investments to help catalyze and maintain this creative, dynamic vision and interchange and to foster the development and implementation of major research projects and programmes. These include, among others, the following: launching a Website for the Centre; Research and Visiting; Seminar and lecture series; Flagship publications and production; Briefs and Updates on UWC research; Event reports and productions, including videos, based on the flagship events; A UWC “Beyond The Project” series, which would be a package of systematic and critical review, analysis, workshop, publication, and research and policy recommendations linked to promising or controversial interventions in HIV/AIDS; Training and internship opportunities contributing the Centre vision. The Centre and UWC’s HIV Programme are also exploring an Internship with the HIV Programme, funded through the University of Toronto and CIDA, as a key liaison site between the Research Centre and the HIV Programme. We expect the Centre to attract students and researchers. Funding and efficient and effective co-supervision arrangements will be crucial to ensure that the Centre and Centre- related trainees are integrated within and across departments Janine Kader attended a I found that most of these places have National Association of explored with one or other Distance Education and system/programmes, like us who recently Open Learning, started the Google groups (very low key (Nadeosa) Conference on compared to them) They are always trying ‘The changing faces of to improve communication. Unisa has a distance education and open learning’. Here "MyUnisa"; maybe we should look at a are some of her impressions "MyPublic Health". We should however look at other things to make the students feel To me it was mostly on how to improve on more in class and interacting with one delivering, and technology that's getting another and also with conveners. quite out of hand these days. I was taken aback to find that these institutions do The thing I came home with from this everything they can in their power to push conference is that Technology is moving students through, including students to set fast, it's becoming more advanced everyday their own pace of study. They make huge and lots of people are being sold on it. We allowances for these students and let them need to move with it, otherwise we and our get away with enough. I thought maybe we programme will be left behind. We need to should look at that to let the odd student slip move away from the thinking that our through and just hand in whenever it is students, because they are in rural areas or more convenient; our markers are all within from African countries they will not be able the building and our marks really only get to move with us. I agree that few of them submitted towards the end of the year. For have not moved with the times and still have this semester, for example, I had two difficulty in accessing internet and email, but students who are dropping modules it's really only a small percentage; we because they are just not ready. What is should maybe look at doing a survey again really wrong in giving them an extra month? with regards to this and see where our I'm not saying we should give this option to students stand with technology. I discovered all our students but on an individual basis, that the students we have in places like the obviously informing the marker and saying, Eastern Cape are more stranded than those you can expect one or two assignments this out in the African countries. and that time. If we get more students through, then I am all for it. Janine ************************************************************************* NEW STAFF Welcome Busi! Dr. Busisiwe (Busi) Nkosi, B.Paed, BA (Hons), MA, PhD Busi joins us from the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD), UKZN. She is currently working with Uta Lehmann on the following projects: “Evaluation of the training of home community based carers within the expanded public works program (EPWP). This is an evaluation study commissioned by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, Department of Health. “Improving quality of lay community health workers (CHW) Programs for delivery of HIV/AIDS services”. The objective of the study is to develop monitoring and evaluation tools for the national CHW„s policy framework.