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07 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Noko Masalesa
Noko Masalesa, Director of Protection Services, in conversation with students and stakeholders to plan a safe way forward.

Safety and security are human rights that constitute social justice. At the centre of the agenda at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Social Justice Week held on the Bloemfontein Campus from 17-22 April 2019 were discussions about off-campus safety. Stakeholders agreed on an upgrade to security measures in order to ensure the success and wellbeing of the student population.

A call to students

Prof John Mubangizi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, in his capacity as representative of the UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, expressed his view on institutions of higher learning no longer functioning as ivory towers. “For any initiative to succeed, collaboration is necessary between key roleplayers,” he said.

He aptly pointed out that: “We cannot underscore the importance of safety and security, not only for the university but also for the communities around us. What the university does benefits the community and vice versa. I pledge the university’s commitment to play a leading part to ensure that the collaboration works,” said Prof Mubangizi.

Beefing up security: Who is involved?

In view of the collaborative effort Prof Mubangizi alluded to, the engagement was twofold. First was the roundtable discussion facilitated by Protection Services which then escalated into a public dialogue where students had the opportunity to interact with external delegates.

The South African Police Services, Community Police Forum, Private Security, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Provincial Commissioner, and Deputy Minister of Police were well represented in this critical conversation. Internally, members of Protection Services, Housing and Residence Affairs, Student Affairs, Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Student Representative Council, and the Department of Criminology heard the plight of off-campus safety faced by students.

Changes in the horizon

The discussions culminated with recommendations which will see the future of student safety take a different direction. According to Skhululekile Luwaca, former SRC president, these include “the municipality’s commitment to immediately address issues such as street lights and enforcing by-laws, ensuring an integrated accreditation system, and drafting a policy for off-campus accommodation, running more crime awareness campaigns, and giving police patrols more visibility.”

In addition to resolving to set up a student safety forum with all the stakeholders, the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has invited the UFS to join Reclaim the City – a safety forum where practical solutions to crime are devised and implemented on a weekly basis.


News Archive

Haemophilia home infusion workshop
2017-12-17


 Description: haemophilia Tags: Haemophilia, community, patient, clinical skills, training 

Parents receive training for homecare of their children with haemophilia.
Photo Supplied


Caregivers for haemophilia patients, and patients themselves from around the Free State and Northern Cape attended a home infusion workshop held by the Clinical Skills unit in the Faculty of Health Sciences in July 2017. “It felt liberating and I feel confident to give the factor to my son correctly,” said Amanda Chaba-Okeke, the mother of a young patient, at the workshop. Her son, also at the workshop, agreed. “It felt lovely and good to learn how to administer factor VIII.” 

Clinical skills to empower parents and communities

There were two concurrent sessions: one attended by doctors from the Haemophilia Treatment Centre, and the other attended by community members including factor VIII and XI recipients, caregivers and parents. The doctors’ meeting was shown informative videos and demonstrations on how to administer the newly devised factor VII and XI kit, and discussed the pressing need for trained nurses at local clinics. Dr Jaco Joubert, a haematologist, made an educational presentation to the community members.

The South African Haemophilia Foundation was represented by Mahlomola Sewolane, who gave a brief talk about the role of the organisation in relation to the condition. Meanwhile, procedural training in the simulation laboratory involved doctors and nurses helping participants to learn the procedures by using mannequins and even some volunteers from among the patients.

A medical condition causing serious complications
Haemophilia is a medical condition in which the ability of the blood to clot is severely impaired, even from a slight injury. The condition is typically caused by a hereditary lack of a coagulation factor, most often factor VIII. Usually patients must go through replacement therapy in which concentrates of clotting factor VIII (for haemophilia A) or clotting factor IX (for haemophilia B) are slowly dripped or injected into the vein, to help replace the clotting factor that is missing or low. Patients have to receive this treatment in hospital.

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