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

The first female heart surgeon in South Africa is a Kovsie
2014-12-15


Dr Susan Vosloo is South Africa’s first female heart surgeon. She graduated from the University of the Free State (UFS) in 1980.

“Being a Kovsie student brings back great memories. I received great medical training at the UFS and have fond memories of my time at the university,” she says.

Dr Vosloo completed her internship in Pretoria and spent the following year in Critical Care Medicine at Universitas Hospital, Bloemfontein, before starting her surgical training in Johannesburg.

She is currently in independent private practice at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, having also worked from 1998 – 2012 at the Vincent Pallotti Hospital in the same city.

Dr Vosloo maintains close ties with our university and has quite a number of additional roles to that of surgeon:

• member of the Council of the UFS;
• UFS Council Representative in the Senate;
• member of the Standing Advisory Committee of the School of Medicine, UFS;
• Kovsie Alumnus of the Year (1989);
• member of the Provincial Department of Health;
• Africa representative for the Paediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society; and
• founding member of the World Society for Paediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery.

“I have always been proud of the medical training I received at Kovsies. I have worked and visited many institutions across the world and never felt less qualified. In fact, all the places I have worked and went to had high regard for the training I received and also accepted me in that way.

“I think the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the UFS does some ground-breaking research that the university can truly be proud of,” Dr Vosloo says.

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