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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

New Division of Virology to deliver crucial services for HIV diagnosis and resistance testing
2015-12-14

The establishment of a Division of Virology within the Department of Medical Microbiology, under the joint auspices of the UFS and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), reflects the continued growth within Virology.  Dr Dominique Goedhals, Head of the Division, says the division will also provide training of undergraduate medical students, medical technologists and technicians, and registrars.

The newly established Division of Virology at the University of the Free State will be one of only five laboratories in the country to be involved in crucial diagnostic and testing services for HIV viral load monitoring, early infant diagnosis, and HIV resistance testing.

The Virology Diagnostic Laboratory serves as the reference laboratory for all HIV National Priority Programme samples for the Free State and Northern Cape provinces.

Medical staff at the laboratory will provide a 24-hour consultative service, as well as outreach programmes to district laboratories in the Free State and Northern Cape where pathologists are not available. 

Dr Dominique Goedhals, Head of the Division of Virology, says this division, under the joint auspices of the UFS and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), reflects the continued growth within Virology.

The division will not only deliver this critical diagnostic service, but will also focus on training and teaching, as well as research.

Teaching and training activities include teaching of undergraduate medical students, medical technologists and technicians, and registrars.  The postgraduate science programme has a high output of honours, master’s and doctoral students in Virology.  The intern medical scientist programme is also active, with five interns having successfully submitted their portfolios since the programme was implemented in 2010.

Research activities under the Head of Research, Prof Felicity Burt, have also expanded and continue to show increases in publication output and acquisition of grant funding.  Established research groups within the Division of Virology focus on vector-borne and zoonotic viruses, human papilloma viruses (HPV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as work with a number of international collaborators.


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