PHASA Special Interest Groups: Registrars and Dental Public Health

On the 28th of November 2011, the PHASA Special Interest Groups (SIGs) had meetings at the conference. The Registrars SIG and the Dental Public Health SIG present themselves here.

Registrar SIG

The meeting was chaired by Heinrich Volmink, out-going Chairperson (Wits University) and minutes of the meeting were prepared by Molapane Shabangu, in-coming Chairperson (University of Pretoria).

Key messages from the meeting:

  • The new SIG committee was selected: Molapane Shabangu (Chairperson), Tladi Ledibane (Communication), Tumisho Malatji (Secretary) and Gina Bernhardt (Mentorship).
  • Establishment of a mentorship programme for the undergraduate students as an attempt to encourage them to pursue a career in Public Health Medicine in future.
  • Tladi Ledibane has been elected to join the PHASA editorial team (newsletter / website).
  • The role of Clinical Prevention Medicine in Public Health Medicine curriculum was discussed.
  • There is a concern about the exclusion of Public Health Medicine specialists from the district clinical support teams. As this will limit career opportunities for the Public Health Medicine graduates and specialists in the field.

Dental Public Health SIG

It is with excitement that we welcome the addition of the newly formed Dental Public Health (DPH) SIG as one of PHASA SIGs.

Dentistry has been marginalised for a great while yet we face public health challenges of high prevalence of oral diseases with huge negative impacts on the individuals (especially children) and the community at large. Early childhood caries is a serious public oral health problem with huge cost implications for the country.

The DPH–SIG is a new interest group that started late in 2011. It is an organised network with shared common professional areas in Dental Public Health which are Oral Health Promotion, DPH programmes, Academic expertise & experiences, Oral Health Systems Management, and Biostatistics & Epidemiology.

We look forward with enthusiasm to the valuable networks and partnerships that will follow on in future. It is anticipated that various public oral health concerns will be discussed including the recent NHI reform which will have an impact on health in general.

We call on all public oral health/community dentistry specialists, training specialists within the discipline, dental practitioners, oral hygienists, and dental nurses with interest in dental public health to be part of this interest group and make the goodwill of the profession to grow. Kindly send a message to Yolanda Kolisa yolanda.kolisa@up.ac.za or Pumela Gwengu pgwengu@yahoo.co.uk

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