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25 April 2019 | Story Mamosa Makaya

Since 2016, the University of the Free State Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has received a grant from First National Bank worth R2 498 000, which supports tertiary bursaries for students with disabilities. Bursary holders are funded through CUADS, as the administrator of the bursaries.
  
These are students enrolled for various academic programmes who require academic assistance and/or assistive devices such as electronic handheld magnifiers, laptops, and hearing aids. The FNB grant also covers tuition, accommodation, study material and books, and meals.  The success of the grant is already evident, with one of the recipients having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in December 2018. A second student was capped at the April 2019 graduations with a BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying.
 
Supporting the principles of the ITP

The UFS received the grant from FNB in instalments, starting in the 2016 academic year to date, supporting the needs of 40 disabled students. This grant and the work of CUADS speaks to and supports the principles of the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP), namely inclusivity, transformation, and diversity. The vision of the Universal Access work stream is to enable the UFS to create an environment where students with disabilities can experience all aspects of student life equal to their non-disabled peers. The ITP provides for the recognition of the rights of people with disabilities as an important lesson in social justice and an opportunity to reinforce university values.

The successful administration of the grant to benefit past and present students is a ‘feather in the cap’ of CUADS, and is a shining example of the impact of public private investment and the endless possibilities that open up when there is a commitment to developing future leaders in academic spaces, allowing them to thrive by creating a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering. 



News Archive

UFS researcher explores the future cost of cancer
2017-01-10

 Description: 001 Dr Alicia Sherriff Tags: 001 Dr Alicia Sherriff

Dr Alicia Sherriff, Head the Department of Oncology
at the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences, co-authored
an article in the South African Medical Journal.

Photo: Charl Devenish

Cancer is on an exponential rise globally, and the cost of treatment is a growing international problem. South Africa alone is expected to see a 78% increase in cancer cases. Dr Alicia Sheriff, Head of the Department of Oncology, collaborated on and co-authored a research paper for the South African Medical Journal on the future of oncology treatment in the country, along with doctors from various universities across South Africa. The article, titled "The future cost of cancer: interdisciplinary cost management strategy", looks at the prognosis of cancer management in the country.

Cancer is on the rise

There is a visible growth of the cancer disease in the developing world. Rapidly changing lifestyles, uncontrolled urbanisation, pollution, and population ageing are some dynamics that provide a lethal cocktail of infectious and lifestyle risk factors that leave people at a higher risk of developing cancer.

The simultaneous increase in cancer incidence has increased the cost of treatment exponentially. The cost of cancer treatment is multitiered, making the provision of care for cancer patients a high-risk business. A combination of treatment delays, limited resources, differently skilled personnel, high patient volumes and advanced disease stage on presentation all place a bigger burden on the delivery of optimal cancer care outcomes.

Adoption of new strategies

According to the doctors, innovative thinking to embrace technology, combined with a preventive approach, as well as lowering the cost of treatment drugs should be prioritised. So should the commercialisation of new technologies that will diagnose and treat cancer in its early stages. They also encourage interdisciplinary research funding in South Africa as a way to better understand the demographic and molecular dynamics of cancer in the country, along with retaining more oncologists in the public health sector.

Efficient solutions to curb cancer mortality

The doctors assert there is a need to continue to look for more efficient measures to best treat the disease, and hopefully bring about a change in mortality levels in South Africa.

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