UFS centre will help train students

2016-03-09 06:00
THE University of the Free State’s Faculty of Health has opened a community-based education centre in the small town of Trompsburg. Photo: Selloane Khalane

THE University of the Free State’s Faculty of Health has opened a community-based education centre in the small town of Trompsburg. Photo: Selloane Khalane

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THE University of the Free State’s (UFS) Faculty of Health has opened a community-based education centre in the small town of Trompsburg.

According to René Botha, coordinator of community-based education and rural health, the facility can accommodate 60 students within the medical field for training in intervals.

Botha said fourth-year Medical students participating in the outreach programme would also service Trompsburg’s neighbouring town Springfontein.

Students will spend a week or more at the facility, providing medical assistance in local clinics, schools, home-based care programmes and the newly-built Albert Nzula District Hospital.

Botha said the vibrant, dynamic and innovative environment centre would help students to apply their medical knowledge in the district and also improve the lives of locals.

“The centre will promote health in the community and also boost the local economy through job creation,” said Botha.

Botha explained that the centre had only employed locals for the building of the students living quarters and would also absorb more locals for cleaning, security services and drivers.

“We want our students to have a deeper understanding of social responsibility through this programme,” he said.

Over the past five years the health faculty has intensified its community-based education programme in rural areas to bridge the widening gap of access to health facilities for people residing in rural areas.

The faculty held a two-day seminar recently with various stakeholders in the district to create relationships and establish the needs of the community.

Botha said one of the concerns raised by locals was the lack of a permanent medical doctor in the district.

The local clinics are run by nurses, which results in many referrals to health facilities in Bloemfontein.

Trompsburg is 115 km north of Bloemfontein.

The acting dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Santie van Vuuren, said the centre would also provide formal training to nurses in the local clinics to empower the community.

In addition, a large and highly-skilled administrative staff team will ensure effective operational management of the training courses and provides an optimal experience for the students during their time studying at the centre, said Van Vuuren.

Students will be placed in the centre at the end of March.

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