Dr Nofemela, left and Dr Mnculwane

Partnerships between universities and communities are crucial in spreading the COVID-19 awareness message, if we are to win the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr Fundiswa Nofemela, Director of the Department of Cooperative Education.

In contributing to limiting the spread of the Coronavirus, MUT, through its Co-operative Education and Community Engagement and Development directorates, as well as the Department of Environmental Health, embarked on a mission to raise awareness within the church community on how they could keep the COVID-19 curve flat. For this reason, these MUT divisions partnered with the Anglican Church, Parish of Umlazi. Dr Nofemela said that this was part of the University’s Anchor Strategy.

Through the MUT-Parish of Umlazi Covid-19 Education project, the 2020 Environmental Health WIL class has developed a series of COVID-19 educational videos under the theme: Keeping the COVID-19 curve flat in the church and in the community.

On 30 November 2020, the videos were handed over to the Rector of the Anglican Church, Parish of Umlazi, Dr Vikinduku Mnculwane. Dr Mnculwane expressed gratitude at the project and indicated that the videos would be shared not only within the church in Umlazi, but with the entire clergy in the Diocese of Natal.

“Through this project, we have managed to ensure that the Environmental Health WIL class of 2020 class was not left behind,” said Dr Nofemela, as she handed over the videos to Dr Mnculwane. The Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Dr Manyane Makua commended the Co-operative Education directorate for spearheading the project.

Reflecting on what they have learned, students said that it was exciting to be part of the project; they learned to work with the community and developed an understanding that as future Environmental Health practitioners, they would always need to be in the forefront of the fight against pandemics.