On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.102 n.6 Cape Town Jun. 2012
Centenary of the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences
Janet L Seggie (Guest Editor); Graham Fieggen; Jacqueline Greenberg; Harsha Kathard; Lesley Henley
This special edition was mooted at a meeting of our Dean, Professor Marian Jacobs, and colleagues to discuss ways to mark the Centenary of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) of the University of Cape Town (UCT). We volunteered to seek and edit articles from colleagues to showcase the work of the Faculty.
The themes are: reflecting on the past, celebrating the present, and building the future. The articles aptly reflect these themes. The material is diverse, as expected from an FHS that encompasses a Medical School and a School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Nursing).
Historical contributions mirror South Africa's history since 1912 and, in particular, the hardships of the apartheid years. Two former medical superintendents emphasise the relationship with Groote Schuur Hospital in the life of the Faculty. Changes in undergraduate health professional education are reviewed. The evolution of psychiatric services, public health services, paediatric surgery, medical genetics and the research culture are documented. Stuart Saunders, a former Vice-Chancellor of UCT, captures the potent clinical and basic scientific research achievements.
Research articles showcase current original research, highlighting work aimed at ameliorating South Africa's burden of the communicable diseases of HIV/AIDS and TB and the non-communicable entities of heart disease, liver disease, hypertension, cataract, stroke, cancers, psychiatric illness and inherited disorders.
Forum articles deal with the National Health Insurance scheme, childhood trauma, drug development for TB and the future of medical research at UCT. Papers from authors who are/were senior students include the development of the Student Health and Welfare Organization (SHAWCO) and its significant contributions to the citizens of Cape Town.
Papers are leavened by artwork of Faculty members - past and present - showing creativity beyond their working lives.
As editors, the production of this Centenary volume was exciting and enriching and we enjoyed selecting the contributions. We wish you many hours of absorbing reading.