NWU Mafikeng Campus introduces new niche area

Issued by
Mafikeng, Jun 10, 2015

In striving to maintain and increase its research activity and sustain its relevance to the various communities it serves, the NWU Mafikeng Campus has introduced a new niche area called Lifestyle Disease. The new niche area will be in the Faculty of Agriculture, Science and Technology in the school of research and postgraduate studies. The niche area embraces disciplines across Inter-professional education and practice of Health Sciences, Nursing, Agricultural Sciences and Technology, and Human and Social Sciences.

Some of the themes that will be researched are non-communicable diseases (NCD), violence, injuries, trauma and psychological intervention and social aspects, and the management of disability and inter-professional care.

The niche area will focus strongly on violence against women and children which is a significant public-health problem globally. Statistics show that one in three women in their lifetime experience some kind of assault on a sexual, physical or psychological level and between 20% and 40% of women have experienced sexual assault by men other than their partners during their lifetime.

The management of HIV and AIDS is another aspect that will be researched through the niche area and will focus on the inter-professional care and the management of the social aspect of HIV and AIDS.

It is widely known that lifestyle conditions related to smoking, nutrition, weight control, physical activity, sleep patterns and stress are largely preventable. There is clear evidence that the combination of a healthy lifestyle at a social level and health education at an individual and family level would largely prevent and in some cases reverse these conditions. NCD are significant contributors to the increased morbidity and mortality of South Africans. These aspects will to a large extent be addressed through the research done by the Lifestyle Disease niche area.

This is a clear indication that the NWU research effort is focused and strives to contribute to supplying innovative solutions to challenges in the country and beyond.