Faculty of Health Sciences Projects

Project information provided are excerpts from the University of Cape Town site Developing cutting-edge health care interventions.

The Eden District Health Sciences Project

Increasing the number of health sciences students and expanding the exposure that senior students receive in their training are two objectives of the Eden District Health Sciences Platform. The project involves a placement teaching and service facility at the George and Oudtshoorn hospitals in the Eden District where final year students join the clinical teams at these hospitals and contribute to service delivery while learning hands-on. The benefit is therefore twofold since students are exposed to a wide range of health challenges in a more rural setting, while these medical institutions benefit from the added expertise that accompanies the transition of a non-academic hospital to an academic hospital. With the movement and accommodation of senior students away from the Health Sciences Faculty base in Observatory, Cape Town, space is then available for the faculty to admit a larger cohort of students in the first year and ultimately increase the number of health care practitioners that the university produces. [Read more.]

Forensic Pathology Institute

South Africa’s high crime rate and a lack of sufficient resources in forensic pathology have given rise to excessively high rates of unsolved murder cases. Unanswered questions surrounding the death of loved ones, is a harsh reality that thousands of citizens face every day. In the Western Province Metro region alone, over 6000 cases per year are presented for examination, an exorbitant load that is shared between only two forensic pathology laboratories. The University of Cape Town’s Forensic Medicine Department, under the leadership of Prof Lorna Martin, has undertaken to set right this injustice to the dignity of crime victims through the establishment of a new Forensic Pathology Institute. The facility is poised to be more than just a mortuary. It will allow for pathologists to be trained and work as expert consultants to investigators, courts, prosecutors and defence counsel. In this way, the Institute will provide an improved quality of response to those who seek answers regarding the untimely death of their loved ones. The new facility will also enable many unsolved or cold cases to be reopened and investigated with the latest technology and expertise.

Perinatal Mental Health Project

Caring for Mothers / Caring for the Future
More than 1 in 3 women in Khayelitsha (part of the Cape Town metropolis) experience postnatal depression. The public health service has been unable to provide for these women within maternity services or within mental health services. This is despite a wide body of evidence that distress in the mother may have long-lasting physical, cognitive and emotional effects on her children. The PMHP is a mental health service integrated routinely, on site, within the primary maternal care environment. The PMHP provides interactive mental health training for a wide range of health providers working with women and children. More information.

African Paediatric Fellowship Program

The World Health Organisation estimates that approximately 10, 6 million children under 5 years of age die each year in Africa, the highest infant mortality rate in the world. Among the major causes of this problem is poor paediatric healthcare, a challenge that is being tackled by the University of Cape Town’s School of Child and Adolescent Health.

The goal of the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme (APFP) is to transfer specialised skills to child health care professionals in Africa, especially where resources for such training are minimal.

With access to the facilities of Africa’s largest and most successful hospital for children, the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, the programme creates opportunities for practitioners from rural South Africa and the rest of the continent to gain fundamental training in focused paediatric areas. Over the last five years, 31 doctors from seven African countries have completed the programme or are still in training in 14 different paediatric specialities, thereby building much needed capacity. Email info@UCTCanada.ca for more information on this exciting initiative, or watch the video that recently featured on CNN.

These are but a few of the projects presently being undertaken with the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Read more.

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