Health model one of best on the continent

The partnership between Walter Sisulu University’s health sciences faculty and the department of health gives graduates a unique advantage.

According to the university’s vice-chancellor Rob Midgley the faculty, the flagship of the institution, has one of the best teaching methodologies on the African continent.

“Our faculty of health sciences has a spectacular kind of teaching methodology which is problem-based learning, with the majority of teaching taking place around the hospital bed,” he said.

Midgley said the university worked with satellite hospitals around the province, such St Elizabeth in Lusikisiki, Madzikane kaZulu in Mount Frere, St Barnabas in Libode, Dora Ngiza in Port Elizabeth and hospitals in Queenstown, Mthatha and East London.

“We bus our students to these hospitals so that they can assist in providing medical attention to people in rural areas as they are learning,” he said, adding that the students were instructed by qualified staff members when providing this care.

Midgley said the partnership was very successful.

“We benefit from the synergy of students learning, while providing necessary primary healthcare to rural communities,” he said.

He said other universities across the continent were coming to them to learn ways of doing things. “Just last year, the university of Lagos, which is the top medical school in Nigeria, sent a team down to us to see how we do things, so they can learn from our processes.

“This is not the first university to do so and will not be the last to do so,” he said.

He said the programme would not have succeeded without the enormous support of government.

“The provincial government has been extraordinary generous in assisting the university with staff, as well as with facilities. It is an ideal partnership.

“It is a good example of a partnership between the university and the provincial government to the benefit of the institution.”

Department of health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the department was providing health resource centres which were knowledge hubs, “equipped with modern technology to enhance learning and teaching”.

Kupelo said the department was collaborating with nursing, undergraduate medical training and specialist doctor training.

“We provide funding for these programmes through student finance and joint staff appointments,” he said. —