Poetry in action at the 2014 JuPHASA student symposium

Provocative calls to action were the threads running through the second Public Health Association of SA (PHASA) student symposium. The event, hosted by their student wing, the Junior Public Health Association of SA (JuPHASA) unfolded on 6 September 2014 at the Protea Hotel Ranch Resort in Polokwane.


Former PHASA Vice President and JuPHASA guardian, Dr Flavia Senkubuge, revived Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Less Travelled- encouraging students to take the road less travelled as she did when investing in a public health career.

Similarly, educational consultant in higher and medical education and symposium speaker, Dr George Lueddeke’s presentation concluded poetically with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s saying: ‘Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.’

More specifically, Lueddeke left students with progressive, take-home messages. Here are seven:

  1. Create the world you want to live in.
  2. The next 15 years needs to address broader concepts: equity, governance, human rights, democracy …
  3. Think beyond health and embrace a broad notion of sustainable development. Such as education, water, food, energy, environment, production and consumption patterns, the commercial determinants of health, and the role of transnational companies.
  4. Exponential growth is unsustainable on a finite planet; inevitable change looms.
  5. A new paradigm is required- a new worldview…compatible with our needs as human beings but also an outer world that’s compatible with the needs of our ecosystem. 
  6. We need to adapt a ‘Public health, fifth wave of thinking’- ‘complex adaptive systems thinking’ which entails a largely holistic view of reality.
  7. Insert yourself into large groups with movements to make the change you want to see.

JuPHASA JEC elections

Each year’s symposium marks the re-election of JuPHASA’s Junior Executive Committee (JEC).The 2014/2015 JEC are:

Poetry in action
Left: Ambassadors, Pam Harirari, and Shehnaz Munshi, Vice President, Inge Kleinhans, President, Mandu Mguli, Treasurer, Melikhaya Soboyisi, Communications and Public Relations Officer, Megan Harker, Secretary, Nsovo Mayimele and Ambassador, Carita Van Rooyen. In absence, David Goldschagg was elected as the campus ambassador.

Posters and Oral Presentations

Poster and oral presentations were presented to a piqued audience. Students took the opportunity to mingle, to network and share notes on the complexities of their research findings.

Sterling poster and oral presentations emulated promising, future young leaders. Moreover, prizes were awarded for exemplary research to:

Post graduate diploma student, Melikhaya Soboyisi from Monash University (South Africa) for best poster. Soboyisi presented his research on The HOPE Centre: A community based non-communicable disease program in Zandspruit, South Africa.

Pharmacist, part-time lecturer and Masters in Pharmacy in Public Health and Medicines Management student, Nsovo Mayimele from the University of Limpopo’s Medunsa campus. Mayimele was awarded for best oral presentation for her research presentation on Management of ward medicines: baseline assessment for a quality improvement project in a public sector hospital.

Second year medical student Anleo Jansen from the University of Pretoria who was awarded second prize for his presentation. Jansen  presented on Reproductive health profiles and health-seeking behaviour of women aged 15 to 49 years around Thembelisha health post.

In closing, JuPHASA’s JEC appealed to Public Health university students across SA to enrol as campus ambassadors. If you’re keen on leading, join our community. Then for more information, please contact the JuPHASA Campus Coordinator, David Goldschagg at u13178343@tuks.co.za.

For student symposium photographs, send your email address to Megan at juphasa.communications@gmail.com  

Consider becoming a member of our group on Facebook and or like our page on Facebook and or follow @JuPHASA on Twitter.

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