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Bridging the public healthcare gap

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first_imgRay Maota Doctors who need valuable surgicalexperience can get it through AfricaHealth Placement.(Image: AHP)MEDIA CONTACTS• Retha GrobbelaarAHP: Media and Public Relations+ 27 11 328 1316Africa Health Placements (AHP) is a non-profit organisation determined to support and enhance healthcare systems in South Africa by finding, placing and retaining healthcare workers in rural and underserved areas.The organisation came about in 2005 to counter the brain drain that South Africa in particular was experiencing in the public health sector. A large number of medical professionals were pursuing private sector opportunities in some of the world’s more lucrative industries.Over 2 000 healthcare workers have been placed so far in predominantly rural areas, with almost half of these being local professionals.AHP gets funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief; The Atlantic Philanthropies; and leading mining companies Anglo American and De Beers, as well as Discovery Health; West Pharmaceuticals and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.“We work in the public sector and are linked to the national department of health as well as its different provincial departments,” said Retha Grobbelaar, media and public relations officer of AHP.“This is in order to get an idea of where there are shortages of health practitioners and how we can help.”Grobelaar said that they tend to encourage the professionals they meet by reminding them of the reasons they entered into the profession. Their message is one of making a difference: the practitioners get the opportunity to expand on their medical experience and the impact of adjusting to a difference lifestyle means growth for them spiritually and for their careers.“We also try to make their transition smoother by doing administrative work for them like finding them accommodation, schools for those who have children and suitable peers with whom they can relax in their spare time if they need some.”According to AHP, as many as 50% of graduating health professionals in South Africa are likely to emigrate to foreign shores at some point in their career. To add to the woes of the public sector, 75% of those who remain in the country opt for private practice.“Africa’s greatest obstacle in the public (and particularly rural) healthcare environment is the lack of qualified professionals,” said Grobelaar.“Our aim is to fill the gaps, and ultimately to help people view the public health sector in a new light – as a truly viable and exciting career option.”Health practitioners who are recruited and placed within the AHP programme receive the standard government salaries for their work.Recruitment and placingThe programme offers a variety of contracts for professionals, ranging from permanent to part-time and voluntary placements.The processes are governed within the standards set by regulatory bodies such as the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the Foreign Workforce Management Programme.According to AHP, citizens from economically developed countries not on the G77 list – a coalition of 132 nations, all UN members, of which 77 are founding members of the group – may be called upon to write a proficiency examination if they would like to work in South Africa, depending on the country in which the qualification was issued.On the other hand, AHP has a policy of not recruiting candidates from G77 countries if those countries have a similarly desperate need for qualified professionals. The exception here is for those who would operate under a refugee status. The policy is in line with standards of the HPCSA.For local doctors applying for placement, permanent positions are available at levels one to three in public hospitals as well as in the NGO sector. Volunteer and temporary placements are also available.Requirements for foreign health practitioners applying can be found here.The great stories from doctors already placedDr Andrei Kirpichnikov from the Ukraine came to South Africa in 2007 seeking to further his surgical experience.After spending a year at the Tugela Ferry Hospital in rural KwaZulu-Natal, about three hours from Durban, he found another post at the East London Hospital Complex in the Eastern Cape.“I am definitely a better doctor now. I came to be trained and to do surgical procedures and I ended up staying,” said Kirpichnikov.Asked to give advice for doctors seeking experience in their field, Kirpichnikov described the experience as a unique opportunity.“There are wonderful hospitals, and if you are looking for experience, or if you want to be supervised, you will find it here. If you want to work independently in a rural setting, you will also find that.”Doctors Jenness Cameron from the UK and Anne Brouha from the US came to South Africa in August 2011. They hope to leave a successful ARV programme behind in the rural clinics surrounding the Rietvlei Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal when they leave South Africa at the end of June 2012.The two have been establishing ARV services in Rietvlei by training two nurses at each of its 13 clinics on how to administer ARV treatment.Cameron said: “HIV rates in rural KZN are very high. We’ve put hundreds on treatment and there are always more who desperately need it.”She also found the experience rewarding, especially the opportunity to train the local nurses.“You feel like you are leaving something behind that will carry on. You are not just seeing patients. It’s been an amazing experience and I love working with the people,” said Cameron.last_img read more

Press Release: iEntrepreneur – a Week of Entrepreneurship at Wits

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first_imgThe 2017 Wits Student Entrepreneurship Week will explore how entrepreneurship can help overcome South Africa’s high unemployment. (Image: Wits Business School)Johannesburg, 30 August, 2017 – Unemployment among the youth of South Africa has reached an ‘all time high’ and young people need to step out and make their own way in the economy. This is according to various stakeholders at Wits University involved in entrepreneurship.In response to this imperative, Wits is pleased to announce the launch of Student Entrepreneurship Week (SEW) 2017 in order to raise awareness of entrepreneurship as a career. The project is an initiative of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to combat high unemployment, foster sustainable economic growth and facilitate the development of an entrepreneurial economy.SEW, which will run from the 28 to 31 August, will include a variety of presentations, workshops, discussions and displays, with the aim of making the concept of entrepreneurship accessible and fun.“We want to encourage students to explore the option of entrepreneurship as a career path versus looking for employment,” says Chimene Chetty, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Wits Business School (WBS). “It takes courage to take the plunge into becoming and entrepreneur, and there are often so many questions. This initiative, involving both Wits and WBS, aims to make entrepreneurship accessible and easy to understand by breaking it down into ‘bite sized chunks’.”Framed as ‘iEntrepreneur’, the programme will focus on the following ‘I’s’:Information – answering questions on where entrepreneurial support exists at Wits and elsewhere, start-up toolkits, compliance guidance and funding options;Ideas and innovations – focusing on business ideas that are making waves at present; simple solutions that have been built into successful start-ups, and national initiatives and agencies that support innovation;Implementation and impact – how to make those ‘out there’ ideas concrete and gain maximum impact in the market.SEW, driven by WBS’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, will include 15 events focusing on all things entrepreneurial, including presentations by entrepreneurs and practitioners, research findings, workshops, pitching sessions, a student market and various displays.SEW will take place at four university venues: The Wits Tshimologong Precinct, the Transnet Matlafatso Centre, Science Park and the Wits Business School.One of the ‘must attends’, according to Chetty, is a discussion with Stafford Maisie, former Google SA CEO and entrepreneur, and innovator of and innovator of Absa Bank’s Payment Pebble.“We started the ball rolling in March after the DHET shared with us its vision of advancing entrepreneurial ecosystems and entrepreneurial education in Higher Education Institutions, at a Legotla. Various partners immediately jumped on board, including the Tshimologong Precinct, the Transnet Matlafatso Centre, Wits Enterprise and the Wits SRC, all sharing the same vision,” says Chetty.“It is imperative that we encourage and support more young people to step into the space of start-ups, considered the weakest link in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This initiative is about creating awareness, demystifying what it means to start a business and to inspire students and increase their appetite for entrepreneurship.”For more information on the Wits Student Entrepreneurship week please contact Sibongile Horo on 011 717 3942 or [email protected] To register or see the programme, visit www.witsew.co.za.Twitter: @WitsUniversitylast_img read more

Ohio’s Crop Progress — July 24th, 2017

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Continued wet conditions hamper field workWhile some areas of the state are still too waterlogged, some areas were dry enough for fieldwork until heavy rains over the weekend, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending July 23rd. Some fields are showing damage from too much rain, particularly soybean fields with yellowing and some plant death. Growers were also having difficulty cutting hay, harvesting wheat, spraying fields, and spreading manure. Some growers resorted to aerial application of fungicides and pesticides. Wheat harvest moved closer to completion, but quality issues were found in the wake of the warm wet weather of late.Click here for the full reportlast_img read more

Cathedral Cavern Cache — Geocache of the Week

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first_imgTraditional GC2CQB7 by Hattlebags Image by Slažinskas. Location: North West England, United Kingdom N 54° 25.006 W 003° 03.519′ Even the most focused geocachers need at least a few minutes to process this humbling sight before they can search for the cache. But beware: this hide comes with added difficulty as there is no GPS signal in this cave; luckily, this geocache also comes with a useful hint. Image by Delta68. After parking and taking a quick but very scenic stroll to the quarry,  you’ll find yourself at the cave entrance. Here, there’s a short tunnel, hewn centuries ago into the monochrome stone, which leads you to the main attraction of the old slate mine: The Cathedral. Image by TmGrandemotte. Upon entering The Cathedral, visitors are stunned by the sight of an enormous slate pillar that prevents the domed ceiling from collapsing. A gigantic skylight on one end of the 40 ft (12 m) tall cave floods the cavern with angelic light, creating an atmosphere full of grandeur and the perfect backdrop for breathtaking pictures. Image by oktanol. In the Lake District of North West England lies the valley of Little Langdale which, for the past several hundred years, was mined and quarried extensively for copper and slate. One of the disused inter-linked tunnel systems, Cathedral Quarries, is now open to the public and makes for a magical cache outing.center_img Finding a geocache after a long search can feel like there’s a “light at the end of the tunnel.” This saying becomes quite literal when it comes to this week’s Geocache of the Week — Cathedral Cavern Cache, GC2CQB7. While flashlights are not necessary to explore this area of the larger quarry system, you may want to bring your wellies: frequent rainfalls in the Lake District can lead to light flooding and subsequently wet feet if you choose to leave your waterproof footwear at home.  Difficulty: 2 Terrain: 3 Image by allieballie. Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Once the logbook is signed and the cache container is put back where it was found, there are even more secrets hidden within this magical place. Amateur speleologists can venture on to discover the second level of the main chamber, fish lovers might catch a glimpse of the shy goldfish that are said to live in the cave’s floodwater pool, and aspiring opera singers should definitely make use of the legendary acoustics within the cavern. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form. Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedUnderground — Geocache of the WeekFebruary 7, 2018In “Community”Down, down, down into the underground – Below Above, The Fallen Monarch (GC2GAMT) – Geocache of the WeekApril 3, 2013In “Community”It’s the Spookiest Time of Year — Manunka Chunk Tunnels (GC82B5) — Geocache of the WeekOctober 23, 2013In “Community”last_img read more