Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
04 June 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Prof Cathryn Tonne
Air pollution not only costs lives, it costs money too. Pictured is Prof Cathryn Tonne presenting a guest lecture on air pollution at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Health effects associated with ambient air pollution (AAP) have been well documented. Subsequently, the relationship between pollution and financial outcomes have also become a focus for case studies globally. An Environmental Research journal article revealed that “low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the global burden of adverse health effects caused by AAP”. 

A high price to pay

In 2012, high concentrations of air pollution caused 7.4% of all deaths, costing South Africa up to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product. According to the recent International Growth Centre study conducted by senior University of Cape Town researchers, this is a direct consequence of the country’s heavy dependence of fossil fuels, a source of health-damaging air pollution and greenhouse pollutants.

Stunted human and economic growth

These South African statistics are attested to by Prof Cathryn Tonne who recently presented a guest lecture on air pollution which was hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS) Business School.

“Air pollution can affect economic development through several pathways, and health is an important one. Air pollution is linked to shorter life expectancy, chronic disease, asthma exacerbation and many other health outcomes that result in absenteeism from work and school. These have large direct costs to the health system.” 

Prof Tonne says that air pollution exposure in children is linked to reduced cognitive development, with important impacts on human capital. As a result, children are not reaching their full potential in terms of neurodevelopment, which has an effect on their income prospects and the economy as a whole. 

Resolving a looming disaster

Technology may be employed to radically clean the air. Cities need to lead in the reduction of air pollution by promoting renewable energy, using active transport such as walking or cycling, and investing in infrastructure to make this safe and attractive. 

With researchers playing a major role in strengthening the case for aggressive air pollution control, the government needs to implement policies in order to control sources of air pollution. This global health and economic issue also requires individuals and communities to play their part to improve air quality.

News Archive

First M degree in Sport Medicine commences at the UFS
2006-02-03

Some of the guests that attended the launch of the M degree in Sport Medicine were from the left Dr Derik Coetzee (senior lecturer at the UFS Department of Human Movement Science and one of the tutors of the programme); Dr Sorita Viljoen (a student from Bloemfontein); dr Stephan Pretorius (a student from Pretoria) ; Dr Louis Holtzhausen (Programme Director:  Sport Medicine at the UFS) and Prof Teuns Verschoor (Vice-Rector:  Academic Operations at the UFS).
Photo: Lacea Loader


First M degree in Sport Medicine commences at the UFS   
 

The classes of the first group of nine students registered for the M degree in Sport Medicine at the University of the Free State (UFS) commenced at the School of Medicine this week.

This is the first degree of its kind presented by the UFS.  Only two other universities in South Africa are presenting the course, namely the University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria.

“It is an important new subject field for medicine in South Africa and is aimed at medical doctors,” said Dr Louis Holtzhausen, Programme Director of Sport Medicine in the School of Medicine and head of the UFS Sport and Exercise Medicine Clinic.

The course focuses on the wellness and healthy lifestyle of patients and also intercepts the growing need for a specialized medical service for sportsmen,” said Dr Holtzhausen.

Athletes’ needs for specialised medical care have increased dramatically during the past ten years.  “The primary health care practitioner has already surrendered a great deal of the athletics community to disciplines such as physiotherapy, bio kinetics, homeopathy, chirology and other alternative disciplines because of a lack to provide for these practitioners,” said Dr Holtzhausen.

“The course is especially in demand with general practitioners because they want to deliver a more specialized service to patients.  With this course a student can call him/herself a sport doctor and will then not only be able to present patients with scientifically funded exercise, food supplements and advice on their lifestyle, but will also be able to help with the rehabilitation of patients with chronic illnesses,” said Dr Holtzhausen.

“The greatest medical care expense in South African stems from lifestyle bound illnesses such as depression, strokes and obesesiveness.  The M degree in Sports Medicine at the UFS will intercept some of these problems,” said Dr Holtzhausen.

According to Dr Holtzhausen the duration of the degree is three years and it comprises of three legs.  In the first leg, attention is given to an athlete’s performance and how it can be improved with the correct methods and supplements.  In the second leg attention is given to the wellness of patients and the reversibility of the risk of illness and the exercise rehabilitation of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hart problems to assist patients to exercise in a scientific way in order for them to start living optimally again.  In the third leg attention is given to a healthier lifestyle as a precautionary measure. 

The course also includes a lecture part (four attendance sessions of seven days each) and a thesis.  

“The new course is important for the UFS as the whole tendency in medicine is to move into a direction of a more affordable precaution.  There is no other qualification or programme with as much detail as this course,” he said.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
3 February 2006

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept