Staff members from the discipline of
Occupational Therapy.

The academic year kicked off with the appointment of a Professor Kitty Uys as the new Academic leader for UKZN’s discipline of Occupational Therapy (OT).

Making great strides in the often subtle profession, academics from the OT discipline presented  a total of 10 papers in seven international conferences held in the USA, Finland, Japan, Australia, Spain and South Africa.

They also had a strong presence at the National Occupational Therapy Conference held in Cape Town where a total of 13 papers were presented by 10 staff members in addition to representation at the Rural Health Conference titled: Building Resilience in Facing Rural Health Realities in Worcester.

Staff have also secured a number of grants, scholarships and been involved in capacity building initiatives. Two staff members received Medical Research Council’s National Health Scholarships, one a National Research Foundation Sabbatical and Thuthuka Grants; three are currently on the MEPI-REMETH programme; one secured and Teaching and Learning Grant and one member of staff accepted onto the SAFRI FAIMER programme.

Ms Pragashnie Naidoo who lectures in the discipline said: ‘This generation of research is critical in advancing the profession of OT and in ensuring viability of the profession at large. Occupational therapy embraces research across paradigms; as a profession, not only are our colleagues contributing to new theories and philosophy, but also to evidence-based practice and in-depth inquiries into the experiences of the clients under our care.’

Naidoo said whilst the profession had in the past, lagged behind many other professions, academics were seeing a shift in this trend with many emerging OT researchers in the global South.

‘The discipline here at UKZN, has also embraced the call to become relevant researchers and have begun to contribute to the pool of knowledge both locally and internationally,’ she added.

A total of eight papers were accepted into respected journals, with four published and four in press.

Seven other staff members were involved in writing up of two chapters which are currently under review for an international student textbook. These chapters focus on Caregiving within an African context and Refugee lessons from the field. One chapter on severe disability was also reviewed for a new edition of a textbook.

The discipline was visited by Professor Nathan Vytialingam from School of Occupational Therapy at Perdana University in Malaysia; a group of academics from Virginia Commonwealth University; Professor Rachel Thiebault from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy discipline; and is also in communication with Zambia to assist them with developing a curriculum for a new occupational therapy programme.

Personal successes of staff members: Ms Gina Rencken, Mr December Mpanza and Ms Andiswa Mbatha welcomed bouncing new babies into the discipline while Naidoo and Mrs Deepa Sing got married. 

The academic year kicked off with the appointment of a Professor Kitty Uys as the new Academic leader for UKZN’s discipline of Occupational Therapy (OT).

Making great strides in the often subtle profession, academics from the OT discipline presented  a total of 10 papers in seven international conferences held in the USA, Finland, Japan, Australia, Spain and South Africa.

They also had a strong presence at the National Occupational Therapy Conference held in Cape Town where a total of 13 papers were presented by 10 staff members in addition to representation at the Rural Health Conference titled: Building Resilience in Facing Rural Health Realities in Worcester.

Staff have also secured a number of grants, scholarships and been involved in capacity building initiatives. Two staff members received Medical Research Council’s National Health Scholarships, one a National Research Foundation Sabbatical and Thuthuka Grants; three are currently on the MEPI-REMETH programme; one secured and Teaching and Learning Grant and one member of staff accepted onto the SAFRI FAIMER programme.

Ms Pragashnie Naidoo who lectures in the discipline said: ‘This generation of research is critical in advancing the profession of OT and in ensuring viability of the profession at large. Occupational therapy embraces research across paradigms; as a profession, not only are our colleagues contributing to new theories and philosophy, but also to evidence-based practice and in-depth inquiries into the experiences of the clients under our care.’

Naidoo said whilst the profession had in the past, lagged behind many other professions, academics were seeing a shift in this trend with many emerging OT researchers in the global South.

‘The discipline here at UKZN, has also embraced the call to become relevant researchers and have begun to contribute to the pool of knowledge both locally and internationally,’ she added.

A total of eight papers were accepted into respected journals, with four published and four in press.

Seven other staff members were involved in writing up of two chapters which are currently under review for an international student textbook. These chapters focus on Caregiving within an African context and Refugee lessons from the field. One chapter on severe disability was also reviewed for a new edition of a textbook.

The discipline was visited by Professor Nathan Vytialingam from School of Occupational Therapy at Perdana University in Malaysia; a group of academics from Virginia Commonwealth University; Professor Rachel Thiebault from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy discipline; and is also in communication with Zambia to assist them with developing a curriculum for a new occupational therapy programme.

Personal successes of staff members: Ms Gina Rencken, Mr December Mpanza and Ms Andiswa Mbatha welcomed bouncing new babies into the discipline while Naidoo and Mrs Deepa Sing got married.