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UJ Nursing Student participating in global programme in Chile

A third-year UJ nursing student will be attending a global programme in Chile focusing on interventions early in life that can fight chronic diseases later in life.

University of Johannesburg (UJ) undergraduate Ms Henriette Du Plessis was awarded funding to attend the Universitas 21 (U21) Health Sciences Summer School program held in Pontificia Catὀlica De Chile, Chile, from 11 July 2016 until 23 July 2016. Designed for undergraduate health science students, this year’s program focuses on insights about the existence of early critical windows of intervention in life development and strategies that can be implemented to improve the future health of individuals.

Ms Du Plessis studies B.Cur Nursing at the Faculty of Health Science.

The Faculty of Health Sciences at UJ is a member of the U21 Health Sciences Group which has about 14 member institutions.

“My participation during the Summer School will help me contribute efficiently towards my country’s efforts of achieving the World Health Organization declaration: “Health for all”, says Du Plessis.

“The Summer School aim’s to demonstrate how the use of preventative interventions early in life can be a powerful tool to fight chronic diseases later in life. For example, disorders such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic disturbances, osteoporosis, chronic obstructive lung disease, some forms of cancer and mental illnesses have been associated with unfavorable intrauterine and early life environments.”

“I am excited to be involved in such a competitive program, as I was able to demonstrate the role of early critical window of preventative interventions aligned to my field of study and linked it to the current health issues in South Africa,” says Du Plesisis. “I am pleased that my application made it clear how I want to make a personal impact and grow through attending the summer school,” she added.

During the two week course, students will engage in classroom work, clinical work and group projects. Students will first be provided evidence to support the learning objectives, then, through clinical observation in an outpatient antenatal care unit students will learn how to self-detect critical windows of intervention.

Universitas 21 (U21) is the leading global network of research-intensive Universities, working to foster global citizenship and institutional innovation through research-inspired teaching and learning, student mobility, connecting its students and staff, and wider advocacy for internationalization.

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