Browsing by Author "Marais, M. L."
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- ItemAre the attitudes and practices of foodservice managers, catering personnel and students contributing to excessive food wastage at Stellenbosch University?(Co-published by Medpharm Publications, NISC (Pty) Ltd and Taylor & Francis Group, 2017) Marais, M. L.; Smit, Y.; Koen, N.; Lotze, E.Objective: The aim was to investigate factors contributing to food wastage by Stellenbosch University (SU) students in selected residences, and to determine the attitudes and practices of students and catering personnel impacting on food waste and a sustainable environment. Design: Cross-sectional, descriptive study. Setting: Stellenbosch University, Western Cape. Subjects: Six foodservice managers, 63 catering personnel and 517 students participated in the study. Outcome measures: A weighed-food wastage study was conducted at seven selected residences during lunch and supper on three non-consecutive weekdays. Food service managers (FSMs) and catering personnel completed interviewer-administered questionnaires, while SU students completed an electronic survey. Results: Ninety percent of students preferred the standard menu options, despite a relatively high average plate waste of 16.9%. More production waste was generated during lunch than supper. The male residence generated more plate waste. Even though students requested larger servings of vegetables, the wastage of these items was high. Factors contributing to wastage were the booking system, menus and serving style, meal plan stipulating the serving of dessert and serving of a large starch portion. All FSMs and 88.5% catering personnel considered it important to reduce food wastage to a minimum. Conclusion: Education of catering personnel and students regarding food waste reduction measures is crucial. A representative forum including students, catering companies and faculty management should be involved when seeking solutions to reduce food wastage and improve communication. By implementing these strategies, a university-wide culture of sustainability with a focus on food waste reduction can be developed and nurtured.
- ItemAssessing the utilization of a child health monitoring tool(Health and Medical Publishing Group, 2017) Blaauw, Renee; Daniels, L.; Du Plessis, L. M.; Koen, N.; Koornhof, H. E.; Marais, M. L.; Van Niekerk, E.; Visser, J.Objective: The study assessed the implementation of growth monitoring and promotion, immunisation, vitamin A supplementation, and deworming sections of the Road-to-Health Booklet. Caregivers and health care workers knowledge, attitudes and practices were investigated as well as health care workers perceptions of barriers undermining implementation. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on a proportional sample of randomly selected Primary Health Care facilities across six health districts (35%; n=143) in the Western Cape Province. Health care workers involved in the implementation of the Road-to-Health Booklet, children (0-36 months) and CGs were included. Information was obtained through scrutiny of the Road-to-Health Booklet, observation of consultations and structured questionnaires. Results: A total of 2442 children, 2481 caregivers and 270 health care workers were recruited. Weight (94.7%) measurements were performed routinely. Less than half (40.2%) of caregivers reported that their child’s growth was explained. Sixty-eight percent of health care workers correctly identified criteria for underweight, whereas only 55% and 39% could do so for stunting and wasting respectively. Road-to-Health Booklet sections were completed adequately for immunization (89.3%), vitamin A supplementation (94.6%) but not for deworming (48.8%). Most health care workers (94%) knew the correct regimes for vitamin A supplementation and deworming, but few caregivers knew when treatment was due for vitamin A supplementation (16.4%) and deworming (26.2%). Potential barriers identified related to inadequate training, staff shortages and limited time. Conclusion: Focussed effort and resources should be channelled towards health care workers training and monitoring regarding growth monitoring and promotion to optimize utilization of the Road-to-Health Booklet. Mobilisation of community health workers is needed to strengthen community awareness of preventative health interventions.
- ItemImplementation of the Road-to-Health-Booklet health promotion messages at primary health care facilities, Western Cape Province, South Africa(Health and Medical Publishing Group, 2017) Du Plessis, L. M.; Blaauw, Renee; Koornhof, H. E.; Marais, M. L.Background: Age-specific health promotion messages appear in the Road-to-Health-Booklet, an assessment and monitoring tool for child health in South Africa. Healthcare workers should communicate health promotion messages to caregivers at each clinic visit. Objective: This investigation, part of a larger Road-to-Health-Booklet survey, assessed the implementation of health promotion messages and identified barriers to its successful implementation. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study with analytical components was conducted in the Western Cape Province. Knowledge and practices of caregivers and healthcare workers were assessed at 143 randomly selected primary health care facilities. Information was obtained through questionnaires; direct observation of consultations and recording of health promotion material in facilities. Results: In total, 2442 children (0-36 months; mean age 6.26 ± 6.24 months.); 2481 caregivers and 270 healthcare workers were included. Caregivers' educational level varied, with only 24.3% completing Grade 12. Healthcare workers had a median of five years (0.5 - 37.0 years) work experience in primary health care. All healthcare workers indicated that health promotion messages are important, however, messages were only conveyed in 51% of consultations observed. If communicated, health promotion messages were age-appropriate in 97% of cases. Barriers to the implementation of health promotion messages hinged on time and staff constraints, workload and language barriers. Various forms of health promotion material were available in facilities. Conclusions: Sub-optimal implementation of the health promotion messages in the Road-to-Health-Booklet are apparent despite healthcare workers realising the importance of health promotion. Barriers to optimal implementation must be urgently addressed by the National Department of Health and healthcare workers in partnership with caregivers and supported by society to promote child health and care.
- ItemMalnutrition in older persons : underestimated, underdiagnosed and undertreated(Medpharm Publications, 2017) Marais, M. L.The right of older persons to enjoy optimal health and live in a dignified manner is protected in various international documents and national legislation.¹⁻⁴ The South African government embraced this obligation by embedding these socio-economic human rights in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996).⁵ Cognisant of the poor socio-economic status of individuals from various vulnerable demographic groups, the South African government implemented a social protection system to improve access to food and provide for living expenses.⁶ It is possible that this grant system contributed to the reported decrease in food insecurity in the last decade,⁷ since social grants have been reported to contribute to 42% of the household income for poor families.⁸ Yet, single interventions such as cash transfers, on their own, are not adequate to ameliorate malnutrition amongst older persons and children.⁹
- ItemThe NOMA track module on nutrition, human rights and governance: part 1. perceptions held by master's students(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2016-10) Marais, M. L.; McLachlan, M. H.; Eide, W. B.ENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: A module on nutrition, human rights and governance was developed and presented jointly by academic institutions in Norway, South Africa and Uganda, under the NOrway MAsters (NOMA) programme, for their respective Master’s degree programmes in nutrition. Consisting of three study units, it was presented consecutively in the three countries, with each study unit building on the previous one. Objectives: To document the perceptions of participating students on various aspects of the module, informing future curriculum endeavours. Methods: A mixed methods approach was followed. A module evaluation form completed by students for each study unit was analysed. In-depth telephonic interviews were voice recorded and transcribed. Through an inductive process, emerging themes were used to compile a code list and content analysis of the unstructured data. Results: An overall positive module evaluation by 20 participants (91% response rate) can be ascribed to the module content, enlightening study visits, expertise of lecturers and an interactive teaching style. Logistical issues regarding time management and administrative differences among the academic institutions caused some concerns. Students experienced some resistance against qualitative research in natural science faculties. Students benefited from being exposed to different teaching styles and education systems at universities in different countries. Constructive alignment of teaching and learning activities could be optimised through involvement and empowerment of all relevant lecturers. Conclusion: Successful implementation of the module not only provides nutrition Master’s students with knowledge to operationalise a human rights-based approach during future interactions in their professional practice, but also serves as an example of the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary and transnational collaboration in module development.
- ItemThe NOMA track module on nutrition, human rights and governance: Part 2. a transnational curriculum using a human rights-based approach to foster key competencies in nutrition professionals(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2016-10) Marais, M. L.; McLachlan, M. H.; Eide, W. B.ENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: In response to the challenge of the global health needs of the 21st century, four academic institutions in Norway, South Africa and Uganda, each offering a Master’s degree in nutrition, collaboratively developed the NOrwegian MAsters (NOMA) track module on nutrition, human rights and governance, integrating a human rights-based approach into graduate education in nutrition. Objective: To capture students’ perceptions about the NOMA track module, focusing on the development of key competencies. Methods. Employing a qualitative approach, 20 (91% response rate) in-depth telephonic interviews were conducted with participating students, voice recorded and transcribed. Through an inductive process, emerging themes were used to compile a code list for content analysis of the transcribed text. Relevant themes were reported according to the professionals’ roles described by the CanMEDS competency framework. Results: Participation in the module enhanced key competencies in the students, e.g. communication skills and the adoption of a holistic approach to interaction with people or communities. Their role as collaborator was enhanced by their learning to embrace diversity and cultural differences and similarities. Students had to adapt to different cultures and educational systems. They were inspired to contribute in diverse contexts and act as agents for change in the organisations in which they may work or act as leaders or co-ordinators during interaction with community groups and policy makers. Higher education institutions offering transnational modules should support lecturers to manage the inherent diversity in the classroom as a way of enhancing student performance. Conclusion: The development of future transprofessional modules will benefit from the inclusion of desirable key competencies as part of the module outcomes by following a competency by design process.
- ItemWhat do dietetics students think professionalism entails(Health and Medical Publishing Group (HMPG), 2012-07) Marais, D.; Marais, M. L.; Visser, J.; Boome, C.; Taylor, D. C. M.Background. Members of a profession are committed to codes of ethics and professionalism. The aim was to determine which professionalism attributes dietetics students deem important and relevant to their profession. Methods. A total of 109 dietetics students from two universities in the Western Cape, South Africa, completed a demographic questionnaire and were required to sort a pack of cards containing 90 attributes of professionalism into 11 piles, ranging from ‘least agree’ to ‘most agree’. An element of forced choice was introduced by restricting the number of cards in each of the 11 piles (Q-sort). PQMETHOD 2.11 was used for data analysis, ranking items by their mode score and giving an indication of which items were most consistently favoured. Results. Professionalism attributes considered most important included Protect confidential information, Trust, Respect patients’ right of shared decision making, Honesty, Good clinical judgment, Communication skills and Carry out professional responsibilities. Interpersonal professionalism attributes were considered more important than intrapersonal or public professionalism. Conclusion. This study suggests that professionalism attributes are not attained continuously for dietetic students. The findings should form an integral part of dietetic and other health sciences curriculum planning to ensure that the assessment of these attributes is relevant and consistent with development over the years.