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Students from Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University offer Physiotherapy services at the 96th Comrades Marathon

Media Statement
Date: 10 June 2023
For Immediate Release

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University has once again sent a group of 44 final year Physiotherapy students to the Comrades Marathon to provide pre and post marathon physiotherapy services to athletes that will be taking part in the close to 90 kilometer run taking place on Sunday 11 June 2023.

These students accompanied by three of their lecturers have already provided muscles pre –conditioning services, therapeutic massages and soft tissue mobilization services to athletes since yesterday Friday 09 June 2023 at the Comrades Marathon Expo centre in Durban.

Karabo Raphokoane, a lecturer in cardiothoracic rehabilitation explained that the SMU students under their supervision will also proceed and be stationed at the end point of the race on Sunday 11 June to provide post marathon services to athletes. “It is in this end tent where the students working with other professionals will do a lot of rehabilitation, deal with most severe muscle cramps, severe joint stiffness and also attend to cases of cardiothoracic emergencies where emergency physiotherapy will be provided and resuscitations performed if necessary”, she added.

Triage services are also performed by these students and their lecturers to ensure that patients are thoroughly checked to determine the urgency and nature of treatment they require at the finishing line. If the diagnosis indicate that they require urgent treatment, they can be referred to the medical section to get a drip or undergo cardiothoracic protectiveness where oxygen or any other treatment can be provided to protect their heart and lungs.

What these students do is linked to the training they receive during their studies at SMU as they are exposed to the different areas of Physiotherapy such as; neuromuscular, cardiothoracic sports, muscular skeletal sports and others. While runners would have done the necessary preparations that determined their fitness, Raphokoane warns that anything can happen in the middle of the race due to other environmental factors such as weather changes, runners catching flu and other illnesses and their cardiothoracic system may take a strain as a result of such conditions and advices them to be alert of such conditions.

Ntombenkosi Sobantu who also lectures the students in orthopedic rehabilitation explained that some athletes suffer acute injuries or fractures after the marathon as their muscles would have been overworked. The muscles react differently as if running away from an injury and get into a spasm as a protective reaction. The students will then ensure that the RICE method is applied where runners have to rest, use ice, perform compressions and elevation. “Mental and emotional strength is required for athletes to complete the marathon and athletes should work as a team and help one another along the journey. They need to realize that the body is connected and functions as a system”, added Ms Sobantu.

Ishmerelda Mabena-Segoe, a lecturer in Orthopedic Manipulative Therapy, with many years of experience in sports physiotherapy added that the profession should be seen as a first line profession and explained that all of these students are taught to diagnose during their training, through observation, assessment and testing and will be applying all they learned during training to handle runners at the end of the race.

The lecturers warned that Hypothermia cases are often seen at the end of the marathon where the body temperature of athletes drops below the level of where it should be and they appear vigorously shocked and in such cases, they assist the runners to restore their normal temperature and ensure they keep warm and release them once they are stable.

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Media Statement SMU students offer physiotherpay services at Comrades Marathon 2023 updated

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) to award qualifications to over 1100 graduates during its 3 – day graduation ceremonies

Media Alert
Date: 23 May 2023
For Immediate use

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) will award qualifications to over 1100 graduates from all its five Schools during its 3-day graduation ceremonies from 24-26 May 2023 at the University’s Sports Complex. A total of 12 doctoral Degrees will also be conferred during these events.

“SMU is on a trajectory of growth and success and plays a pivotal role in producing globally competitive and quality graduates. These graduations are a culmination of years of hard work by students and the academics as well as everyone involved in teaching, learning, community engagement and research”, said SMU spokesperson Dr Lusani Netshitomboni.

The details are as follows:

School of Oral Health Sciences and School of Science and Technology
Date: 24 May 2023

School of Health Care Sciences and School of Pharmacy
Date: 25 May 2023

School of Medicine
Date: 26 May 2023

Venue: SMU Sports Complex
Time: 10 am

Members of the media are invited to cover the graduations. The ceremonies will also be streamed live on the SMU YouTube channel.

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Media Alert 2023 SMU Graduations Ceremonies final

DHET Director General Dr Nkosinathi Sishi impressed by outstanding progress made at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University during his visit.

Media Statement
Date: 05 October 2022
For Immediate Release

Director General of the Department of Higher Education and Training Dr Nkosinathi Sishi paid a courtesy visit to the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University on 04 October 2022 at the invitation of the Vice-Chancellor Prof Peter Mbati. The Vice-Chancellor used the occasion to provide a general update on SMU and this gave the DG a sense of the current status of the University, existing challenges and its future plans as espoused in the 2021- 2025 Strategic Plan which is being implemented. Accompanying the DG was the DDG University Education Dr. Marcia Socikwa.

The Vice-Chancellor took the DG on a tour of the Campus visiting the SMU MECRU unit, the proposed African Bioimaging Centre, the premium 2,000 beds student accommodation facility and the upgraded
Pharmacy Building.

SMU through the MECRU unit is currently conducting a Vaccination trial study sponsored by Sinovac/Numolux Group. The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of two doses of CoronaVac® against confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 cases in children and adolescents aged 6 months to 17 years. The pilot study was launched in September 2021 and has successfully enrolled a total number of 370 participants as per the given target to the site. Other studies currently underway at MECRU include the following:

  • CoVPN 3008 COVID 19 Vaccine (Mordena)
  • VPM 1002 (Tuberculosis vaccine)
  • SHERPA – SISONKE (J&J Vaccine), for booster shot of HCW with Mordena vaccine.

Moreover, the proposed African Centre for Bioimaging will house the state-of-the-art High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope (HRTEM) that has been purchased through joint funding from the Department of Science & Innovation, National Research Foundation,

Department of Higher Education and Training and SMU. The HRTEM has capabilities for elemental microanalysis, tomography and cryo-imaging which will allow the university to obtain high resolution images to amongst others, support research in the health sciences such as in nanomedicine and nanotoxicology.

Dr. Sishi expressed his appreciation on the work done so far by SMU and said the path the University has taken will lead to the realization of the vision driven by Prof Mbati. He was particularly impressed with efforts to improve research and development as well as progress made around the academic project in general. “We now have a broader picture of where you want to go as a University. My advice is that if you wish to move faster, find the right partners to work with, including international partners. I also want to give you our sincere affirmation that the department will support you”, said the DG.

Prof Mbati explained that SMU is on a new trajectory in line with its 2021-2025 strategic plan and that the academic project and the financial sustainability of the University are key priorities. He further elucidated that plans are underway to implement the approved new Business Model which will among other things allow for the commercialization of the SMU land which will in turn enable SMU to bring the much needed third stream income. The VC assured the DG that the University will account fully for every cent received.

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Media statement DHET DG visit to SMU fnl

SMU to hold symbolic in-person graduation ceremonies for the 2020 and 2021 cohorts

Media Advisory
Date: 19 September 2022
For Immediate Release

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University will hold symbolic and in-person graduation ceremonies for the cohorts of students who graduated virtually in 2020 and 2021 respectively as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions enforced by government at the time. Degrees will also be awarded to another group of students who could not attend the May 2022 physical graduations ceremonies due to reasons beyond their control.
The University took a decision to give the students an opportunity to walk the stage and allow their families and friends to witness the momentous events. Over 1000 graduates have confirmed attendance for the ceremonies which will take place over a period of two days.

Details are as follows:
Dates: 20 and 21 September 2022
Time: 10 am
Venue: SMU Sports Complex

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Media Advisory SMU symbolic graduations 2022

SMU to host its first face-to-face graduations after two years of virtual ceremonies.

Media Advisory
Date: 23 May 2022
For Immediate Release

The year 2019 was the last year where higher education institutions hosted face to face graduation ceremonies due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) was equally affected, with the 2020 and 2021 graduation ceremonies conducted virtually.

However, after the National State of Disaster was terminated by Cabinet on the 4th of April, the University will be hosting its first face-to-face graduation ceremonies. This year’s graduation ceremonies are scheduled to take place from the 25-27 May 2022 at the SMU Sports complex.

As indicated on the table below, a total of 1435 students will graduate, with a total of 16 Doctoral degrees in 4 of the 5 SMU Schools.

Undergraduate Degrees 411
Honours Degrees 107
Masters Degrees 12
Doctoral Degrees 8
Undergraduate Degrees 218
Postgraduate Diplomas 16
Masters Degrees 31
Doctoral Degrees 3
Higher Certificates 4
Undergraduate Degrees 71
Masters Degrees 26
Doctoral Degrees 1
Higher Certificates 6
Undergraduate Degrees 282
Honours Degrees 77
Masters Degrees 73
Doctoral Degrees 4
Undergraduate Degrees 73
Postgraduate Diplomas 4
Masters Degrees 8
Doctoral Degrees 0

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Media Advisory SMU 2022 Graduations 

SMU to celebrate Africa Month through dialogue and other activities

Media Advisory
Date: 18 May 2022
For Immediate Release

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University will celebrate Africa Month through dialogue and a range of activities from 19 to 20 May 2022 under the theme ‘Strengthen resilience in nutrition and food Security on the African Continent’.
Several distinguished speakers and academics are lined up to share their insights on a variety of topics that relate to the theme. The speakers are as follows:

  • Dr Bazibu Richard Kajjura – a public health nutrition Scientist based at the Makerere University’s college of Health Sciences.
  • Professor Unathi Kolanisi – Associate Professor and Acting Deputy Dean from the University of Zululand’ s Consumer Science department.
  • Professor Corrie du Preez – Associate Professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences at the University of Zululand where she has been a lecturer for more than 33 years.
  • Dr Annette van Onselen – Senior lecturer at SMU and a member of Nutrition Society of South Africa, Association for Dietetics in South, Africa and African Nutrition Society.

Africa Month is observed to commemorate the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which later became the African Union (AU). The day is also used to reflect on the challenges confronting the African Continent and the successes achieved in a number of areas.

Date: 19 May 2022
Venue: SMU Amphitheatre
Time: 15h00 to 18h00

Date: 20 May 2022
Venue: SMU Student cafeteria
Time: 10am to 7pm

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Media Advisory Africa Month 2022