Medical students visit food gardens in George

20 Jan 2016 - 11:00

The students with Prof. Steve Reid (director of primary healthcare,UCT, overseeing this project) are from left: Zama Volmink,Tsholofelo Malaka, Nthabiseng Motumisi,Kgotso Sekwati,Ntoetse Lerotholi (half hidden), Bongeka Madlala, Masego Moema, Moba Lelahane, Precious Dimba, Siphosethu Ntshinga and Liesl Roos.


Fifteen sixth year medical students from the University of Cape Town arrived in George on 3 January to complete their final year in the Eden District, the first group to do their whole final year in the region.

They will receive clinical training at George Hospital, Oudtshoorn Hospital and associated clinics.

The group visited several Kos en Fynbos food gardens in Blanco as part of a tour of George to introduce them to the local community.

Kos en Fynbos coordinator for Blanco Eve Stoffels guided the students through a number of gardens, telling them more about food security and no-dig compost generating vegetable gardening.

According to Hermann Reuter, academic coordinator of UCT in Eden, students will follow a new model of teaching called the Longitudinal Integrated Model in which they will have more exposure to the community they serve than in the traditional model.

"Research has shown that students that follow this model in clinical training have better outcomes in terms of teamwork, communication, patient advocacy and empathy, and rural career choice, with equivalent and sometimes better academic outcomes compared to the traditional model" said Reuter.

The students also visited the Garden Route Botanical Garden where the curator of the herbarium, Priscilla Burgonye, talked to them about the different vegetation biomes that meet in George and Dr Richard Kutela and Dr Frank Mueller enlightened them about medicinal plants he uses in his traditional medicine practice.

Other places that they visited during their introduction to George include the George sub-district health office at Harry Comay Hospital, the Ithemba Lobomi project in Thembalethu, and the George Youth Café. They also enjoyed a short excursion into the Outeniqua Mountains where indigenous peoples activist Neil Dikwe X and Klintin Whitehead showed them some pools that they believe have healing properties.

Article courtesy:  George Herald

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