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Campus Health Service

The new Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University was established in January 2005 due to the merger of the former University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) (VISTA incorporated in January 2004) and Port Elizabeth Technikon (PET). This new campus health service has been active in establishing a new identity and service profile. The NMMU campus health service pride themselves in that they can truly say that no student or staff member will be sent away without some form of assistance.

The Ex UPE campus health service was established in May 1994. The service was rendered by only one full time professional nurse, Sr. Antoinette Goosen. A total of 23 patients received care in that first month.

A vast amount of services, achievements and contributions to both staff and students were seen during these past years. During the first year time and energy was devoted mainly to establishing the service, obtaining legal permission from the local and national department of health to provide needed primary health care services and finally to market the service as widely as possible.

Although our permit was not in place we negotiated a working relationship with a local general medical practitioner to provide a service to students once a week for an hour only.

As the patient numbers increased we obtained special permission from the local authority to start a female reproductive and sexual health program. They also provided us with the services of an additional professional nurse once a week to render these services.

In 1996 the University received a permit issued by the Director General of Health enabling staff to obtain and dispense medication.

It was also during this year that the first student was diagnosed with the HI virus. No support structure, policy or management program was in place regarding HIV and AIDS. I utilized the services of a very passionate volunteer staff member, Ms Juanita Terrogosa, to assist me with counselling of this particular student.

HIV/Aids testingTogether the two of us started HIV/AIDS campaigns and awareness programs amongst the students. As no funds were available for any HIV related activities very limited testing took place. Private funds were obtained for campaigns and to expand this particular area of our service.

In 1997 the staff increased with the appointment of a second professional nurse on a part-time basis, i.e. Sr. Linda Dalton.

In September of 1997 staff took occupancy of the new health care facility. Not only has the good reputation of quality care brought numerous visitors but ensured that the UPE facility was known country and world wide for having one of the most modern, well equipped and sophisticated tertiary primary health care facilities. This has been evident in visits and comments from institution such as RAU, UCT, and University of the North and as far as the Health Care Centre of the University of Minnesota, USA.

The sick bay areas proved to be a long overdue facility as we were able to take care of the residence students after hours.

Staff extended their involvement in other areas of university activities, the sexual harassment committee is but one, and we were able to contribute to the establishment of a policy for the institution.

Locally we were involved with the Planned Parenthood Association of S.A. in providing talks to students regarding reproductive and sexual health care.

1998 saw the appointment of the medical administrative assistant. During this time Reverend Diana Nkesiga joined the health service on a part-time volunteer basis to provide pre and post test counselling and where needed follow-up services for all students. The health service was instrumental in assisting with the formulation of the HIVAIDS policy for our institution.

In 1999 UPE co-hosted the annual national conference of the S.A. association of Campus health services. This was a first both for our institution and region.

To ensure that staff members retain their skills and stay competent the health service offered monthly first-aid up date courses to all staff.

Due to the ever increasing number of patients the need for extended doctor's hours led to the implementation of added dr’s time per week. With the new millennium dawning various new services were implemented such as monthly in-service training sessions and the first formal co-operation agreement between U.P.E campus health service and PET health unit. Security staff was trained as Basic ambulance assistants in this way the security staff could provide a medical service after-hours.

Due to various transport problems and a change in student profile a need arose for medical transport. UPE management decided to utilize an old UPE combi and adjust it to be used for medical transport.

The need for occupational care of staff members led to the utilization of locum professional nurses to render this service.

HIV services were extended in the provision of funds via SAUVCA and the formal establishment of an HIV\AIDS unit. The health service liaised further with national bodies such as SACENDU, to ultimately benefit the student population..

In April 2002 the need for formal occupational services were extended in the appointment of a professional nurse, Sr. Margaret Coetzee, to render part-time occupational services. Various areas of occupational health care were addressed e.g. biological monitoring, hearing conservation programs, establishment of formal Injury on duty processes and prevention programs.

This new division of the health service has also enabled us to participate in the Occupational society of S.A

The campus health service was approved and appointed a designated site for the department of health to provide free HIV testing and in May 2002 the official VCT program of the University was launched.

A formal proposal submitted and approved by the Vodacom foundation led to establishment of a health service on the Vista campus. A professional nurse provided the much needed care to staff and students on that campus.

Regionally co-operation was extended in that Rhodes University joined the PE area for staff in-service training. The health service extended their training opportunities by utilizing the registered counsellors from the Psychology department to provide counselling services within the health service.

Due to big changes in health legislation regarding the dispensing of medication staff within the health service had to personally apply for an dispensing license. These were obtained by the end of 2004.

The EX PET UNIT FOR HEALTH SERVICES was established in the early 1990s when the number of ˜non-white" staff and students started to increase dramatically. Suddenly the institution started to experience an increase in the number of people who needed primary health care. There were also people who were on TB treatment but who were defaulting or non - compliant. The Dept of Health contacted the institution to ask if we could not supply the treatment at the institution (DOTS program) ourselves. Prof. Cobus Zeelie, then a lecturer in the pharmacy department was tasked with the job to start a very modest primary health care and TB treatment service. This was done from his office as no proper clinic was available at the time.

In 1993 the Registrar contacted him and asked that he do some research into the possibility of establishing a proper primary health care clinic. A number of years passed before such a service was formally/officially introduced at the PET.

The workload with respect to primary health care and TB became quite a problem. Many of the treatments e.g. STIs and family planning could not be rendered at the PET and Prof Zeelie provided personal transport for these students to the Rose Street clinic (municipal) on specific days of the week. Finally in 1995 a room was provided for the service and the professional nurse was appointed and established the first official, structured PHC service. At the time the PET consisted of two campuses. The Summerstrand campus and the 2nd Avenue campus. The latter soon complained about their own needs and a second clinic was soon opened on this campus in the same year. The nursing sister (Sr. Essie Ricks) had to spend certain days of the week at each campus e.g. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on the Main campus and Tuesdays and Thursdays at Second Avenue campus. These services continued to function in this manner with one registered nurse and a sessional medical practitioner who did an afternoon session per week. A year later the first secretary was appointed.

In 1997 Prof. Cobus Zeelie an academic from the Faculty Applied Science and pharmacist by profession was appointment as full time Head of Department: Unit for Health Services.

The primary health care services was officially named the Unit for Health Services and it now resorted under the division Student Affairs.

The service grew dramatically from here on and the need for a second full time professional nurse became evident. The staff compliment for the 2nd avenue campus was then appointed. When the PET acquired the Saasveld campus in George, another clinic had to be opened This took place in 1998 with the appointment of a professional nurse. A number of years later the Hurteria campus was opened. The present professional nurse spends one morning per week at Hurteria and the rest of the time at the Saasveld clinic.

In 2001 all higher education institutions were requested by the then SAUVCA and HEAIDS program to appoint a person to co-ordinate all HIV activities on their campuses. Prof Zeelie was appointed in this position.

In 2004 a clinic was opened at the newly acquired Algoa Campus. The professional nursing staff from the PET main campus provided a service to these students once per week. This year saw the start of discussions regarding the merger to take place in 2005.

In 2005 the University of Port Elizabeth, Vista University and Port Elizabeth Technikon amalgamated into the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

 

2005

Staffing

  • Secretaries trained as Basic Ambulance Assistants

  • Changes in legislation for primary health care clinics

  • All nurses obtain dispensing licences

Operational

  • New Standard operating procedures drafted for new merged NMMU CHS

  • Improve service delivery & appointment system implemented

Community engagement & Student success

  • Nutrition project (provide Morvite only)

  • Free eye screening for students

Academic contribution

  • First student counsellor interns (RC’s) start

  • NMMU to host annual SAACHS conference for first time

 

2006

Staffing

  • First official counsellor employed

Operational

  • After hours ambulance service established
  • Personal counselling offered at CHS

Community engagement & Student success

  • Foschini clothes project
  • Nutrition project (provide Morvite only)

Academic contribution

  • Student counsellor interns (RC’s)-continue

 

2007

Staffing

  • One additional occupational nurse appointed
  • Occupational Health nurses post upgraded
  • 2nd additional primary health care nurse appointed
  • 2nd additional counsellor appointed

Operational

  • MOU – Budget sponsored vehicle

Community engagement & Student success

  • HIV/AIDS - EU project
  • Foschini clothes project
  • Nutrition project (provide Morvite only)

Infrastructure

  • 2nd Ave clinic extended

Academic contribution

  • Student counsellor interns (RC’s) continue

 

2008

Staffing

  • Professional nurses post upgraded

Operational

  • Staff wellness project

Community engagement & Student success

  • Foschini clothes project
  • Nutrition project (Tigerbrand’s MOU)

Infrastructure

  • George and MV clinic’s extended

Academic contribution

  • Student counsellor interns (RC’s) continue
  • HECOH conference (1st HE OHN conference)

 

2009

 

Staffing

  • Two professional nurses permanent appointments
  • Clinic staffing structure upgrade – appointment of site managers
  • EQ course

Operational

  • Staff wellness project
  • Lunch time health talks for staff (Lunch and learn)

Community engagement & Student success

  • Tigerbrand Nutrition project

Infrastructure

  • North campus clinic upgrade

Academic contribution

  • Student counsellor interns (RC’s) continue

Ms Tanya Symons - HIV counselor passed away

 

2010

 

Staffing

Operational

  • MOU George DOH
  • Counsellors trained in finger pricking
  • NMMU accredited  became first ART site at HE
  • NMMU accredited became first TB site at HE
  • Staff wellness project in collaboration with BESTMED

Community engagement & Student success

  • Tigerbrand Nutrition project
  • Missionvale Community Clinic

Academic contribution

  • Student counsellor interns (RC’s) continue

Prof Kobus Zeelie passed away

 

2011

Staffing

  • HOD selected for 1st Future leaders program

     

Operational

  • MOU IYDSA
  • FTF HIV campaign

Community engagement & Student success

  • Nutritional project expanded to agriculture dept. – vegetable garden
  • SPAR/UAH project support nutrition project
  • Tigerbrand project
  • Aberdeen primary school outreach – staff wellness

Academic contribution

  • CHS accredited by SANC as training facility – PHC & OHC student nurse accompaniment start
  • RC student placement continue
  • Host national SAACHS conference

Cam

2012

 

Staffing

Operational

  • FTF HIV campaign
  • Daily on- campus ambulance
  • MOU Lifeline
  • MOU ECDOH
  • VMMC start on campus

Community engagement & Student success

  • Nutritional project with Agriculture dept.
  • Tigerbrand project

Academic contribution

  • HIV/AIDS Collaborative research project – nutrition related
  • PHC and OHC student nurse accompaniment continue
  • RC student placements- continue

 

2013

   

Staffing

  • First CHS member elected to attend HERS academy
  • HOD First Future leader graduate from CHS

Operational

  • First Things First Campaign
  • VMMC on campus - continue
  • External project – NACOSA LGBTQI

Community engagement & Student success

  • Nutritional project with Agriculture dept.
  • Tigerbrand project

Academic contribution

  • SETA student placement – Marketing and HR
  • PHC and OHC student nurse accompaniment-continue
  • Student nurses trained and evaluated 
  • RC student placements- continue

 

2014

 

 

Staffing

  • OH staff member 2nd person in Future Leader program

     

Operational

  • FTF HIV campaign
  • Minister of Health launch FTF campaign at NMMU
  • Global fund project
  • LGBTI project continue
  • SASOL drug and alcohol project
  • VMMC on campus continue

Community engagement & Student success

  • MOU Transnet
  • Tigerbrand project
  • Newton Technical high school HIV project
  • TVET college outreach
  • International female condom dance off campaign

Academic contribution

  • PHC & OHC student nurse accompaniment continue
  • Professional nurses trained & Evaluation of student nurses start
  • RC student placements continue

 

2015