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An interdisciplinary approach to healthcare is required to reach SA development goals, says UJ researcher

“We believe that South Africa needs an interdisciplinary ‘team’-based approach to health care, with an emphasis on both preventive and curative interventions, if we’re to achieve our millennium development goals for health in South Africa,“ says Dr Craig Lambert at the University of Johannesburg.

Dr Lambert is Head of Department, Department of Emergency Medical Care.

Training the Team​

A good example of the interdisciplinary approach at UJ is the establishment of the first African integrated health care simulation laboratory. The laboratory was launched in September 2014 at the Doornfontein campus of the University.

The entire patient journey from the initial prehospital site of injury or illness to the Emergency Department and then on to the Ward or ICU can now be simulated with multi-disciplinary teams from different professions.

Driving innovation forward

Continues Dr Lambert: “It’s the real-world problems faced by people in our country that drive the direction of research and innovation in our Department and Faculty. A good example is the specialised water bottle developed by one of our water health researchers designed to help store safe drinking water, which remains a challenge faced across the continent. “The water research unit has also developed a new rapid- screening system for identification of the type of bacteria involved in cholera outbreaks; this will allow us to speed up the initiation of interventions that could save many lives.”

Training the next generation

Young graduates entering the health care system are the very people who will be driving transformation of our health care system from the coalface, says Lambert. They need to be equipped not only with the necessary clinical skills, but also the knowledge, attitudes, insights and value systems that enable them to critically reflect on their work environments and
become leaders and advocates for change.​​


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