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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

Otorhinolaryngology research hopes to decrease morbidity
2016-10-04

Description: Prof Riaz Seedat Tags: Prof Riaz Seedat

Prof Riaz Seedat, Head of the
Department of
Otorhinolaryngology at the UFS

Prof Riaz Seedat, Head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the UFS is a world-renowned ear, nose and throat specialist and researcher. He is also a National Research Foundation C3 rated scientist.

He is conducting his research in ear, nose and throat (ENT) pathology in a developing world setting, particularly focusing on recurrent respiratory papillomatosis and other ENT conditions. “This condition is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), infective conditions as well as allergic rhinitis,” said Prof Seedat.

Current research is aimed at further describing the epidemiology of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, identification of the HPV variants responsible for causing the condition and markers of disease aggressiveness.

The research has led to various international partnerships such as the multicentre collaborative studies, “Genetic Susceptibility to Papilloma-induced Voice Disturbance” at the Centre for Genomic Sciences at the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute in Pittsburgh, United States, and the HPV6/11 Global Diversity Consortium at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.

Although most head and neck squamous cell carcinomas are caused by excessive tobacco and alcohol use, there is an increasing body of evidence to show that HPV causes a subset of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. However, there are few studies on the role of HPV in head and neck neoplasms in developing countries.

“Through the research we have shown that recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, caused by HPV, is not as rare in South Africa as it is in developed countries and that patients usually present respiratory papillomatosis at an advanced stage when the condition is life-threatening,” said Prof Seedat.

“It is hoped that this research will help us to address the morbidity caused by ENT conditions common in developing countries,” said Prof Seedat.

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