Page 135 - UCT2012 Health Sciences

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Health Sciences
programme and the largest taught master’s in the Faculty,
with 171 students graduated over the past decade.
The MPH continues to attract widespread interest from
potential applicants, particularly from other African
countries. There were 237 applicants for 70 places in
2012, of which 71 were accepted. A record number of
30 students graduated in 2012 out of a total registration
of 141. With appropriate resourcing, there is scope for
an increased intake and increased throughput on this
flagship programme. The Diploma in Health Management,
also known as the Oliver Tambo Fellowship Programme,
continued to graduate senior health managers from
around the country under its new configuration as a joint
programme offered with the Graduate School of Business.
As the only Master programme in palliative medicine in
Africa, the MPhil Palliative Medicine continues to attract
students from South Africa and other countries in Africa.
The School is also playing an increasing role in the
new undergraduate medical curriculum with the aim of
producing medical professionals able to function effectively
at the primary care level and imbued with an understanding
of public health. Public Health and Health Promotion
training to undergraduates take place in community-
based settings and has been instrumental in pioneering
community-placements for MBChB students at UCT. A
number of initiatives are underway to develop off-campus
teaching sites linked to Community Health Centres and
district hospitals. The Family Medicine division has been
closely involved in developing and supporting the new
student learning centre at Vanguard Community Health
Centre and the rural teaching venue at Vrendenburg.
Research – overview
There are four URC-accredited research entities within the
School, residing under the Public Health Division: Health
Economics, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Women’s
Health Research and Occupational and Environmental
Health Research, as well as growing activities in Health
Policy and Health Systems Studies and in Health and
Human Rights. Research outputs in 2012 included 179
peer-reviewed journal publications (a 25% increase from
2011) and 10 book chapters. Total research grant and
contract income to the School was R38 997 179 in 2012, a
40% increase from 2011 research income.
Furthermore, in addition to subsidy-attracting publications,
academic staff participate in a range of provincial, national
and international policy and produce a number of technical
and policy papers. These contributions do not always
find their way into peer-reviewed scientific journals, but
which are integral to the department’s service mission,
reflecting the School’s strong social responsiveness profile
in applying research and scholarly activity as part of
advocacy to promote the public’s health.
The School’s research mission is reflected in the wide
range of research activities and the associated research
outputs are notable for their multidisciplinary perspective.
In infectious diseases and women’s health, publications
cover childhood and adult tuberculosis prevention,
diagnosis and treatment; HIV epidemiology, transmission
and treatment (including treatment outcomes, adherence
and mortality); adolescent risk-taking behaviour and
educational interventions; prevention of mother-to-child
transmission of HIV infection; contraceptive services and
women’s reproductive health more broadly; economic
analyses of tuberculosis and HIV services; HPV vaccination
and cervical cancer prevention and health systems
aspects of care related to TB and HIV. The integration of
human rights considerations into public health policy and
health systems practice receives attention in a number
of publications. The department continues its role as a
national leader in occupational and environmental health
research with investigations into occupational allergy,
pesticides, hazardous metals and lung disease due to
mineral dust. Finally, the question of equity of resource
allocation in health, and particularly in primary health care,
continues to occupy researchers in health economics, who
remain the leading South African source of peer-reviewed
publications in this field.
The School has six NRF-rated researchers, including Dr
Chris Colvin (Promising Young Researcher), Professor
Aqiel Dalvie (Established Researcher), Professor Lucy
Gilson (Internationally Acclaimed Researcher), Professor
Mohamed Jeebhay (Internationally Acclaimed Researcher),
Professor Leslie London (Internationally Acclaimed
Researcher) and Professor Di McIntyre (Internationally
Acclaimed Researcher).
Associate Professor Landon Myer was awarded the
Southern African Association for the Advancement of
Science (52A3) British Association Silver Medal for 2012.
The School also made its second award of the David
Bourne prize for the best student in the MPH programme
to Brian Allwood. The prize commemorates David Bourne,
a demographer in the School who died in 2009, and whose
death left a huge gap in the HIV research world. Henk
Temmingh was awarded the Ethne Jacka prize for the
top MPH dissertation by a graduating candidate in 2012.
Dr Brynt Cloete was awarded the Geoff Campbell award
for best DOH student passing with distinction. Dr Amy
Burdzik was awarded the SASOM medal of excellence for
obtaining a distinction in her dissertation and the CMSA
national specialist examinations in occupational medicine.