Latest updates – Monday, 27-May-2013 11:39

CAPTION: American exchange students being trained on how to conduct quantitative diabetes based research methods, as well as blood sampling at the WSU Economic Development Centre.



Walter Sisulu University (WSU) and the United States’ Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) have joined in a collaborative effort to combat diabetes in communities of the Eastern Cape.

A first for the Eastern Cape, this study is set to alleviate the crippling effects of diabetes on patients through what Professor Ephraim Gwebu from ECSU refers to as “diabetes self-management” which is aimed at educating patients on how to treat their diabetes effectively in the comfort of their own homes.

The research will focus on diabetes self-management, waist circumference and insulin resistance – the inability of the body to use the insulin that it has.

. “Our goal is really to provide ammunition to the ability for individuals to be able to manage their diabetes so that the loss of limbs through amputation, loss of eye sight or heart diseases are minimised.”

“We also want to help nurses manage their patients with diabetes. Secondly we want to look at those individuals who are pre-diabetic, and assist nurses be able to identify patients who are pre-diabetic so they can begin to educate them in order to prevent the full blown onset of diabetes,” Said Gwebu.

The research will be conducted at three health centres around East London which include the Day Clinic in Duncan village, Empilisweni Gompo Health Centre, as well as the Dimbaza Health Clinic.

WSU’s Centre for Community and International Partnerships Director, Mzolisi Payi said the outcome of the research will benefit those communities and the health sector of the province as a whole.

“It’s always good for various academics to collaborate on research and projects and co-publish. Also, the students participating in this partnership are able to interact with each other. The exchanging cultures is very important too because it’s not always just about books,” he said.

WSU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Elizabeth City State University in 2011. The focus of the MOU is: Student, staff exchange and Research. WSU academic departments involved in this MOU are the Department of Nursing (Faculty of Health Sciences) and the Department of Chemistry (Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology).

The research will also focus on two other components namely; Chemistry (nano-chemistry) and natural products.


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