UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG



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Faculty of Health Sciences alumni -

July 2009

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Dear alumni of the Faculty of Health Sciences and friends of Wits

It?s been a busy time since our last e-newsletter to you, with significant healthcare developments in South Africa and around the globe.

South Africa has a new Cabinet with five Witsies, including Wits Medical School alumnus, Dr Molefi Sefularo as Deputy Minister of Health. The Ministry of Health soon had its hands full as doctors in the public service around the country took to the streets in June to protest the lack of progress in addressing doctors? remuneration - the occupation specific dispensation (OSD) - and conditions of service. Wits issued a public statement which empathised with the medics? plight, but cautioned against compromising patient care. The Faculty of Health Sciences established a committee of academic doctors to monitor OSD discussions.

Internationally, the global recession resulted in cuts to health budgets and funding just as the global outbreak of the H1N1 ?swine flu? virus added to the burden of the public health sector.

Despite these challenges, Wits alumni continue to deliver an exceptional service in their various fields. This issue celebrates the pioneering accomplishments of alumni from a variety of Schools, while the Prestigious Lecture series adds impetus towards positioning the University as a top international institution by 2020.

I?m pleased to report that arrangements for the Health Graduates Association reunion in August are progressing well. The reunion programme includes the OJ Orenstein Memorial Lecture and options to visit the Apartheid Museum, Origins Centre or Sterkfontein Caves, amongst many other exciting outings.

Here at the Alumni Office, we?ve revamped the alumni website: www.wits.ac.za/alumni where you can access various social networking sites for Wits alumni, read the latest Wits news, find out more about alumni benefits, and update your contact details.

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback.

Best wishes

Peter Maher
Director: Alumni Relations

CONTENTS

1.2009 AJ Orenstein Memorial Lecture - Outbreaks: New Threats and Old Culprits. The Work of Disease Detectives

2.Local and international recognition for Health Sciences alumni

3.Wits medical alumnus and popular community surgeon dies

4.Accolades for School of Clinical Medicine alumni

5.Cardiovascular Disease: Life or Lifestyle?

6.Golden recognition for anatomy alumnus

7.Explore your origins, discover dinosaurs or visit the women?s gaol during the Wits Health Graduates Reunion 85th Anniversary

8.Kudos for School of Physiology alumni

9.School of Public Health?s gender equity and microfinance project a ?champion of change?

10.The doctor leaves the House

11.Call for participants in a confidential survey of South African doctors registered in Ireland

12.Children s Hospital set to launch in honour of Nelson Mandela

2009 AJ Orenstein Memorial Lecture - Outbreaks: New Threats and Old Culprits. The Work of Disease Detectives

From the pioneering work done on pneumonia, typhoid and plague nearly 100 years ago, through viral haemorrhagic fever research, to the emergence of new infectious diseases and pathogens and the recent prevalence of old culprits such as meningococcus, South Africa?s experience in outbreaks is extensive. Read More.

Local and international recognition for Health Sciences alumni

Wits University, local industry bodies and international institutions have recognised the contribution of Health Sciences alumni to their respective disciplines. Alumni in the fields of HIV/Aids, epigenetics, communicable diseases, neurology/stroke and paediatrics have been awarded professorships, fellowships, scholarships and prizes. Read More.

Wits medical alumnus and popular community surgeon dies

A Wits medical alumnus, benefactor and former lecturer, Dr Magan ?Mag? Lakhoo (MBBCh 1978) died on 9 May 2009 after a short illness, aged 56. Lakhoo had been senior surgeon and head of Unit 3 Surgery at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital for 16 years. A respected and well-liked community doctor, Lakhoo also had his own practice at Lenmed Clinic in Lenasia, southern Johannesburg. Read More.

Accolades for School of Clinical Medicine alumni

The most advanced Health Sciences degree for which a candidate can register, a Doctor of Science in Medicine, has been awarded to an alumnus in the School of Pulmonology and the visionary research of an ophthalmological alumnus has won recognition from an industry association. Read More.

Cardiovascular Disease: Life or Lifestyle?

Sowetans seem to be increasingly adopting westernised lifestyle habits, but the cost could be serious, warns Wits Faculty of Health Sciences researchers, who say that high blood pressure and abdominal obesity could lead to a vastly increased risk of cardiovascular disease in the township. Read More.

Golden recognition for anatomy alumnus

In a medical and teaching career that began in 1940, Wits benefactor and Professor Emeritus in the School of Anatomical Sciences, John ?Jack? Allan, has taught all medical students and most of the allied health sciences students at Wits over the last 60 years. In recognition of the outstanding service given by this extraordinary anatomist over a long period, Allan (91) received the University?s Gold Medal at the Faculty of Health Sciences graduation ceremony on 25 June 2009. Read More.

Explore your origins, discover dinosaurs or visit the women?s gaol during the Wits Health Graduates Reunion 85th Anniversary

The Wits Health Graduates Association (HGA) will celebrate its 85th anniversary with an exciting and varied programme of reunion events from 12 ?15 August 2009 in Johannesburg. Graduate classes from the 1940?s through to 21st century graduates are invited to attend all or selected components of the reunion which includes historical tours, symposia and good old fashioned socialising! Read More.

Kudos for School of Physiology alumni

The research contribution of four alumni from the School of Physiology has been recognised through the awarding of professorships and scholarships. Read More.

School of Public Health?s gender equity and microfinance project a ?champion of change?

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) awarded a project in the School of Public Health a ?Champions of Change? Innovation Award at a ceremony held in Washington, DC in March 2009. The award was given for the School?s Intervention with Microfinance for AIDS and Gender Equity (IMAGE) project which combines the delivery of microcredit services with gender and HIV training to some of the poorest women in rural South Africa. Read More.

The Doctor leaves the House

When Parliament reconvened this year it was in the absence of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) stalwart and Wits benefactor, Dr Ruth Rabinowitz (MBBCh 1967). A medical doctor, politician and qualified drama teacher, Rabinowitz ended her 15-year Parliamentary career shortly before the 2009 South African elections. Read More.

Call for participants in a confidential survey of South African doctors registered in Ireland

A visiting researcher in the Centre for Health Policy in the School of Public Health, Posy Bidwell, is conducting a study into the number of South African doctors who are registered with the Irish Medical Council (IMC). She wishes to gather information about the 1 632 South African doctors registered with the IMC in 2008, to determine their perceptions and opinions. Read More.

Children s Hospital set to launch in honour of Nelson Mandela

"A children s hospital will be a credible demonstration of the commitments of African leaders to place the rights of children at the forefront. Nothing less would be enough". Nelson Mandela

The Nelson Mandela Children s Hospital will be officially launched at a dedication ceremony set to take place at 10:00, 31 July 2009, on the Wits Education Campus, St Andrews Road, Parktown. Read More.

Alumni Relations