Weekly News and Upcoming events

Sep
12
U.S. Air Force Birthday Sunday, Sept. 15, 11a.m.

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Heroes Hall will commemorate the U.S. Air Force’s birthday with cupcakes for the museum’s first 25 visitors of the day. There will also be a wreath displayed in honor of the birthday, which is actually Sept. 18.


Sep
12
Sep
12
May
24
AFRICAN HEALTH EXPERIENCE-May 25th, 2007

Today we visited Karl Bremer Hospital (KBH) located in Bellville, Cape Town in the Tygerberg Health District of the Metro Region. The facility was established June 1st, 1956 and named after a former Minister of Health, Dr. Karl Bremer.

There, the Delegates on Nursing were greeted by Miss WJ Nieuwoudt, Nursing Service Manager. According to Miss Nieuwoudt, funding comes through the Department of Health (Provincial Government of the Western Cape).

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Due to the financial constraints during the past years, KBH was induced to close wards and reduce the number of beds available, which has had a serious impact on the hospital’s ability to provide services to private patients.

In addition to the financial constraints faced by KBH, they also suffer from a nurse shortage. Again, the common theme that persists is that nurses are over worked and under paid. In most cases, they accept better job offers outside of South Africa because the working conditions and the pay are better.

The situation is problematic and it is compounded by the impending public servant strike due to take place Friday, June 1st, 2007. Service workers demanded a 12% increase in the salary, but the government only approved a 6% increase, which left the meeting deadlocked. The service workers plan to strike, which will affect hospitals and clinics all over the great nation of South Africa. What this means is that the nurses who are already overworked and doing more than they are qualified to do will now have to cook, clean, change bed sheets, run errands, mop floors, and all other tasks that would be done by a public service worker.

Currently, the emergency department at KBH is 258% occupied. Even with the high capacity of patients coming in, KBH, by law can not turn away any person seeking medical assistance. There only option is to contact surrounding area hospitals to take KBH patients, but often times they do not because they are overloaded and full to capacity themselves.

I have come to my own conclusion that the South African Healthcare System is in shambles and is on the verge of collapse, unless there is a Reform of the Healthcare Policy. At this juncture, I do not know the solution to the dilemma. Do you? Help is needed here in South Africa immensely.

KBH is in great need of all medical supplies, such as retractable needles. At one time they did use them, but they can no longer afford them in their budget. Currently, the healthcare professionals are at risk of having needle stick injuries – approximately 4 to 6 per month, according to Miss Nieuwoudt.


May
24
AFRICAN HEALTH EXPERIENCE –May 26th, 2007

ROBBEN ISLAND: Monument to the Freedom Struggle
Today the Delegates on Nursing visited Robben Island, located approximate 7.5 miles off the coast of Cape Town. Departure to the island is by ferry from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the Waterfront. The ferry ride is ~30 minutes; from there we embarked on a bus tour of the island that took us to historical locations.

In 1961, the Prisons Department built a maximum security prison on the island with the intent to exile, imprison, isolate and banish hard common criminals as well as political leaders against the Apartheid Regime, such as Nelson Mandela of the African National Congress (ANC), and Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) leader.

During the bus ride our tour gui...


May
21
AFRICAN HEALTH EXPERIENCE – 2007

Today we visited the University of the Western Cape (UWC), which is located in the City of Tygerberg, the northern suburbs of Cape Town. It is surrounded by natural beauty: a viable nature reserve, and the mountains of the Cape Peninsula and Stellenbosch.

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Based on my own observation, UWC campus is a place were cultural diversity is thriving. However, historical the university struggled with discrimination and oppression against the indigenous people of South Africa. UWC was a white school until the late 1950s when Parliament adopted legislation establishing UWC as a constituent college of the University of South Africa for people classified as "Coloured". The classification included all people of non-white heritage (excluding black Africans). Not until 1987 did the school implement its open admissions policy to black Africans seeking a higher education. During the Presidency of Nelson Mandela, UWC received accolades from the president for transforming the university “from an apartheid ethnic institution to a proud national asset."

UWC received over 2500 applications for the nursing program. Only 300 were accepted based on the universities criteria and first come first server basis. There are currently 30 lecturers at UWC. The ratio of teacher to student is 1 to 50. During the meeting, UWC nursing students were invited to sit in with the Delegates on Nursing to assist the lecturers in the discussion and to answer our questions. Afterwards, we had an opportunity to eat lunch together and further interact with the students.

9:30am

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May
21
AFRICAN HEALTH EXPERIENCE – 2007

I arrived in Cape Town at 8:10pm (11:10am Pacific time) on May 22nd, Tuesday, with the rest of the Delegates on Nursing. Once we arrived at Cape Town Lodge (our hotel) we were ushered in to the dining area for a small dinner and then debriefed on the upcoming events for the following day. Later, all of the delegates retired to their respective rooms to rest before our 6:00am wakeup call for breakfast. By 8:30am, orientation began.

8:30 am

Our Faculty Advisors, Lillian Barron and Margaret Bassett, discussed the educational goals, learning objectives and educational outcomes of the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP). The success of the delegates experiencing a life changing outlook on life and humanity as a whole is primal.

Some...


May
21
AFRICAN HEALTH EXPERIENCE - 2007

The opportunity to go to South Africa came as a surprise. I was finishing my bachelors degree in Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton when I received news of my nomination. The Golden Key Honour Society (GK) nominated me to represent my university and community by traveling to South Africa on behalf of the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) – Delegation on Nursing. The ISLP brings exceptional college and university students from around the country to an experiential educational program.

I joined GK because I was invited to do so because of my academic achievement. However, I also joined because GK encourages leadership, scholastic achievement in diverse academic disciplines, personal growth, and the oppo...


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