Faculty of Health Sciences

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Faculty of Health Sciences
Vision

The Faculty of Health Sciences aims to be a leader in Problem-Based Learning (PBL), Community-Based Education (CBE) and Community Partnerships in Africa,  to improve the quality of life of all the people we serve.

MISSION
The Faculty of Health Sciences is committed to excellence in Problem-Based Learning (PBL), Community-Based Education (CBE) and social responsiveness through the integration of community service into its learning programmes that involve innovative teaching and research, with special emphasis on Primary Health Care (PHC), and sustainable rural development in partnership with communities and service providers.

VALUES

  • Academic freedom in teaching and learning, research and community service.
  • Quality management and integrity in teaching and learning, research and community service
  • Equity in all activities of the faculty, be it in student matters, staff matters, patient care and community
  • service in general.
  • Democratic governance at all levels of management.
  • Student access for success in all programmes within the faculty
  • Staff development and leadership capacity for all faculty staff.
  • Batho pele principles of good character, respect and humility in our daily activities.
  • Cost effectiveness in handling institutional resources at all times.
  • Relevance to the needs of those we serve, especially students and the community.

PRINCIPLES

  • Building partnerships between university, community and service providers that should guide teaching and learning, research and community engagement throughout the Faculty.
  • Developing an appropriate recruitment and selection process that enables the Faculty to
  • recruit from communities with greatest need.

This process should also:

  • Look at the academic performance and personal attributes of prospective students.
  • Includes community members in the selection committee and thus as members of the selection panel/s.
  • Developing an appropriate curriculum that is based on the primary health care approach and guided by health and social needs.

The curriculum should include:

  • Early clinical exposure.
  • Significant learning in the community.
  • Problem-based learning as a vehicle for community-based education and service.
  • Integration of basic sciences, clinical medicine and population medicine from 1st year to final year.
  • Student-centeredness and self-directed learning.

Developing a student support programme that ensures access for success

This should include:

  • A student mentoring programme, where senior students are mentors for junior students, staff members are mentors to needy students and community members are mentors to all students in the community.
  • Provision of financial assistance to almost all students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Recruiting and developing appropriate teaching staff that has passion for community engagement

Including health professionals in the workplace (general/ family practitioners, nurses, health promoters, social workers, for example), community health workers and community liaison officers, this initiative requires:

  • Training of academic staff across disciplines to be tutors/facilitators of small group learning within an integrated curriculum beyond their respective disciplines/ specialisations.
  • Training of health professional also as tutors/facilitators of small group learning centrally, in the skills laboratory and in the community.
  • Recruitment of community health workers and community liaison officers to be teachers and
    mentors that guide students in the community.

Developing an appropriate and expanded teaching and learning platform that will enable the Faculty to admit more students and also enable teaching to take place mainly in secondary and primary health care settings rather than at tertiary hospitals

In this regard, each Learning Complex, including a District Learning Complex (consisting of a district hospital(s) and associated community health centres and/or clinics) should have:

  • A learning centre that has seminar/tutorial rooms with teaching equipment, a skills laboratory and a library with intro and internet facilities, in addition to patient care facilities.
  • Accommodation for students and staff.

Providing tangible, sustainable, integrated and comprehensive primary health care services that are based on relevance, equity, quality and cost effectiveness

This can be achieved through:

  • Teaching and application of the bio-psychosocial model throughout the teaching platform.
  • Exposing the students to community diagnosis that is followed by intervention projects, based on feasible and prioritised community needs.
  • Re-introduction of family attachment scheme that enables students to follow patients into their homes over a period of time.
  • District hospital and community health centre visits by academic staff for teaching students,
    capacity building to peripheral staff and service to the community.