SSISA, UCT Jointly To Contribute For Education, Clinical Work

Dr. Moyo, who had joined SSISA in 2018 as head of finance, took over as organization’s leader in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown.

SSISA, UCT Jointly To Contribute For Education, Clinical Work

The Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) cooperate on research, education, clinical work, and sporting excellence, according to the institute’s chief executive officer (CEO), Dr. Mandla Moyo.

Dr. Moyo, who had joined SSISA in 2018 as head of finance, took over as organization’s leader in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown. His first priority was to ensure that they would survive the difficult period and handle the national emergency. He mentioned that our financial stability was another major concern.

“Despite the fact that COVID-19 was a major setback, it gave us the opportunity to start over and determine what we stand for and what matters to our customers in terms of the services we offer.” When we first started, our main goals were to improve South Africans’ overall health and athletic performance through science translation and dissemination. We returned to the original goal.”

The Faculty of Health Sciences, specifically the UCT Research Centre for Health through Physical Activity, Lifestyle, and Sport, is where SSISA conducts the majority of its work.

The funnel between UCT and SSISA was one of the main areas we focused on because that is how it is intended to operate: UCT conducts research through students who are hosted in the university’s portion of SSISA, and components of that research are translated into products and services that benefit the community. Academic research and commercial research are separated out of the research.

Students who develop novel approaches to eating, exercising, or training flow into the classroom. The commercial research, on the other hand, is “when a corporate comes with a problem or opportunity and they ask us, along with UCT to develop a solution.”

SSISA and UCT were practically joined at the hip when they erected the building [in Newlands] in 1994. Students of all academic levels—from honours to PhD—can use this area as a practical workspace. When the student completes their honours, they are welcome to complete their internship at SSISA, according to Moyo. The second pillar of education is “that model evolving into work-integrated learning.”

“We can see both new and old patient problems thanks to this relationship, and we can incorporate that knowledge into our research and education.” Clinical work, the third pillar, entails sports medicine practitioners who actively see patients at the building. As professors or associate professors at UCT, they also teach. Clinical encompasses 18 different fields of study in addition to sports medicine, such as physiotherapy, psychology, podiatry, and dietetics.

“Ideally, that relationship enables us to observe both new and ongoing patient issues, and we will increasingly integrate that into research and learning to deliver better clinical services.”

Excellence in sporting is another area of expertise. We aspire to be a centre of sporting excellence in a number of sports. When we were re-entering the global sports market after years of exclusion, the founders of the institute recognised a gap because there were no high-performance centres in the nation at the time,” Moyo said.

“The goal was to restore our nation’s sporting dominance. UCT was also interested in developing an academic facility where research on wellness, athletic performance, and health could be housed.”

Additionally, SSISA was built with a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility. Moyo, who has been running community programmes for 25 years, expressed satisfaction with the efforts made by those involved in such programmes in low-income areas. The institute supports primary school students in physical activity activities through the HealthNutz drive.

OptiFit Outreach concentrates on community-based young adults and adults. We put an emphasis on empowerment rather than trying to do the work ourselves. We want to empower a teacher or someone who is willing to help people lead healthier lives. As they roll out programmes, we instruct them and keep an eye on them,” said Moyo.

Our goal is to help all South Africans, not just those who live in Newlands, where we are based. Because of the favourable feedback we have gotten, the programmes have been running for so long.