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Media Invite by Professor Nceba Gqaleni, Honorary Research Professor at the Durban University of Technology

Media Invite by Professor Nceba Gqaleni, Honorary Research Professor at the Durban University of Technology


The Durban University of Technology invites members of the media to a graduation ceremony of traditional healers hosted by the University and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.

The graduation will begin tomorrow (8 July 2014) at the Osizweni Community Hall in Newcastle with the tentative programme stakeholder’s meeting. On Thursday and Friday (10-11 July 2014), the official graduation ceremonies will take place at the Edumbe Municipal Hall and at the Belgrade Community Hall (Pongola) respectively.

The graduation comes after the Universty Research Co. LLC (URC) funded project trained 520 Traditional Health Practitioners. The project came shortly after South Africa adopted a policy of Primary Health Care Re-engineering. The policy states that primary healthcare should be sustained by integrated, functional and mutually supportive referral systems leading to the progressive improvement of comprehensive healthcare for all, and giving priority to those in most need.

This project has trained 520 THPs who have reached 22 715 patients/clients in eight months. Of these, 1 085 (+-5%) patients were screened for TB/HIV and referred to local clinics. During training, THPs requested to be offered HIV counseling and testing or medical circumcision services and were provided with N95 (masks that prevent health workers from getting tuberculosis) masks for infection prevention and control. Anecdotal information from THPs is they offer directly observed therapy adherence support to 145 patients. A referral form, patient register and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) reporting tool have been developed. The referral form was adopted by the Amajuba Health District by including it in the district’s new Referral Policy.

At the end of the project, 14 THPs were appointed to serve on the Ward AIDS Committees (WACs) of the uPhongolo Municipality, five in WACs at the Edumbe Municipality, seven in 10 WACs of Dannhauser Municipality and five in five WACs of Newcastle Municipality.
All the graduating THPs are now participating in the KZN Provincial AIDS Council, District AIDS Councils and Local Municipal AIDS Councils in their areas.

Details of the events are as follows:
Event: Tentative Programme Stakeholders Meeting
Venue: Osizweni Community Hall, Newcastle
Time: 9am
Date: 08 July 2014

Event: Traditional Healers Graduation Ceremony (Day 1)
Venue: Edumbe Municipal Hall, Dumbe Municipality
Time: 10am
Date: 10 July 2014

Event: Traditional Healers Graduation Ceremony (Day 2)
Venue: Belgrade Community Hall, UPhongolo Municipality
Time: 10am
Date: 11 July 2014
For more information please contact Professor Nceba Gqaleni on 084 7270119 or email: