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Thokozile Thulo
Thokozile Thulo says the UFS has changed its focus in supporting students with disabilities.

The Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has recently opened a permanent office on the Qwaqwa Campus The centre aims to ensure that the University of the Free State increasingly becomes a universally accessible higher-education institution which embraces students with various disabilities.

Thokozile Thulo, CUADS Assistant Officer at Qwaqwa said: “Our focus has changed from ‘special’ accommodation for individuals to the creation of a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering to all students. Integrated learning and education methodologies and processes are being researched and developed to create more awareness among lecturing staff. This incorporates universal design, faculty instruction and curricula.” 

The CUADS office assists students to gain access to study courses, learning materials, various buildings and residences, computer facilities and specialised exams and tests. For visually-impaired students, study material and textbooks in Braille, audio, e-text or enlarged format are provided. 

The office also supports students with various psychosocial and chronic conditions such as epilepsy and panic disorder, as well as learning difficulties such as dyslexia and hyperactivity. “In addition, we support students with special arrangements such as extra time for tests and exams,” said Thokozile.



News Archive

UFS to monitor the use of ARV-drugs on pregnant women and children
2004-12-08

The University of the Free State (UFS) is to establish a Pharmacovigilance Centre that will monitor the effects of Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs on HIV positive pregnant women and children starting early in the new year.

The UFS is one of only two institutions chosen by the Minister of Health, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, to establish such an ARV monitoring centre.

The other centre will be based at Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA) and will concentrate mainly on monitoring the effects of the drugs on adults.

“The establishment of the UFS’s Pharmaconvigilance Centre forms part of government’s Comprehensive Plan on HIV and AIDS, often termed the roll-out plan for ARV drugs. The centre’s primary responsibility will be to specifically monitor the use of these drugs in pregnant women, and children under the age of 13,” said Prof Andrew Walubo of the UFS’s Department of Pharmacology.

“Although most of the side effects of ARV drugs have been identified in other countries, it has now become critical to identify the side effects amongst the South African population. This is important because many people will be exposed to the drugs within a short time. Our aim is so identify the most common side effects and make recommendations for the prevention thereof. The centre will help in detecting the risk of using anti-retroviral drugs in pregnancy and children, and prevention of adverse drug reactions,” said Prof Walubo.

According to Prof Walubo 12 drugs will be monitored – these drugs will be selected according to the patient’s profile.

The centre will comprise of two components: A pregnancy registry, which will focus on a new-born child up until two months and a pediatric registry, which will focus on children who are born of mothers who used ARV drugs and children using ARV drugs.

According to Prof Walubo, the Pharmaconvigilance Centre will also be responsible for offering relevant technical advice, training and selected research on ARV drugs in these patients.

The centre will be fully sponsored by the national Department of Health. It will be based in the UFS’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Pharmacology, and will be run in collaboration with experts from different departments in the faculty.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
8 December 2004

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