KZN partners with India's Manipal University
Pictured (l-r) MPL Lizzie Shabalala, Acting Consul General of India Harsh VS Negi, KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu, First Lady and Mayor of uThungulu District Municipality Cllr Thembeka Mchunu, KZN MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and the 30 students that will be studying at the MANIPAL University in India.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu says the 30 students who will pursue pharmaceutical and ultrasonography studies in India marks the first phase of the partnership with Manipal University.
“India has remained partner during the most difficult period in our history. India through the force of inspiration shared its colonial oppression and made our desire for a free democratic dispensation even stronger.”
“Our focus therefore today is no longer about political liberation but about economic liberation. We must deepen the friendship the friendship between the two countries through exchange programmes focusing on economic and skills development.”
“Statistics show that India has approximately 484 million skilled people between the age group 18-58. I have also been informed that the country has an ambitious plan to reach a target of 780 million skilled people by 2022 in order to achieve the ‘Skill Capital’ status.”
“Africa and KwaZulu-Natal in particular will benefit immensely from India’s skills development programme because the continent’s underdevelopment has for many years been caused by the hemorrhage of talent.”
“On the 13th November 2013, the Provincial Executive Council endorsed the proposed establishment of a medical higher education institution and training hospital here in this province in partnership with the Manipal Group.”
“We have established a Task Team comprising of the Provincial Department of Health (convener); Provincial Treasury, UKZN Medical School; the National Department of Health; National Treasury to develop detailed terms of reference and project proposal for the proposed medical higher education institution and training.
“Public records show that the Manipal Group has a rich legacy in India, boasting 60 years of service in the education and healthcare sectors. Today, the Group has six universities, eleven campuses, six medical colleges, amongst other constituent colleges, affiliated teaching hospitals, offering a multitude of programmes in clinical and non-clinical fields/disciplines.”
“The university offers Bachelors’, Masters’ and Doctoral degrees in over 20 specialities. It has 26 000 students from over 54 countries with campuses in Bangalore, Mangalore, Sikkim, Jaipur, Dubai, Malaysia and Antigua.”
“Regarding our envisaged institution, I want to state that the work and consultations with the national government is still underway. We are encouraged by the robust discussions and guidance we are receiving from the national government. This will enable us to ensure that we adhere to the entire regulatory framework.”
“We want KwaZulu-Natal to produce the best healthcare professionals, scientists and clinicians. We want KZN to deliver the world class education and research in science and medicine programmes with particular regard to their application in healthcare.”
“As government we have identified the health status of the people of this province as a priority, particularly because of the deteriorating health outcomes, largely as a result of increasing burden of disease creating a strain on the health services.”
This institution will therefore be a symbol of light and ensure improved health status of the people of KwaZulu-Natal. Apart from working in various public health institutions, the students we are sending to India will come back and act as champions of health education by being at the forefront of health awareness campaigns.
“While it is true that the prospects for health of the average citizen in KZN (life expectancy) have improved, there nevertheless remains a major challenge of “health illiteracy”. Various forms of preventable diseases continue to undermine the health and quality of life of many people in KwaZulu-Natal as a result of health illiteracy.”
Issued by the Office of the Premier of KZN
Photo: Reinhardt Hartzenberg