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UWC IP Wellness Centre Opens its Doors in Mitchells Plain

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) continues to find innovative ways to connect students to communities that can positively benefit from their research and practical experiences. 

The Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU) at UWC has opened the doors of its Interprofessional (IP) Wellness Centre at the grounds of the Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital, which will benefit both UWC students and residents in Mitchells Plain.

While these students will be able to put their theoretical knowledge into practice, at the same time, they are alleviating some of the pressure from the government health facilities in Mitchells Plain. 

Fieldwork Coordinator, Sakeenah Abrahams said: “The aim is to collaborate with all stakeholders within the Mitchells Plain community. For now we are focusing on health stakeholders to form an interdisciplinary practice.” 

She added: “Government services are inundated with patients, they don’t have all the resources. So we are alleviating that pressure from them, taking referrals from them and seeing some of their patients, which then means that it reduces patient waiting times at state facilities.”

Dr Luzaan Africa will assist and supervise students at the IP Wellness Centre and said it’s a practical extension of teaching and learning. 

“At UWC we have an interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum. Our focus is mainly on the theory component and there are very few real life situations where students can practice what they are taught in the undergraduate courses. This IP Wellness Centre is that opportunity to create a real life example of what interprofessional practice would look like,” said Dr Africa.

Students will be able to collaborate and provide holistic care to patients with the aim of improving health and social care services in the Mitchells Plain District. The IP Wellness Centre concept is in its infancy, but the IPEU plans on rolling out more such services across Cape Town in the near future.

Chairperson of the IPEU, Dr Gérard Filies, said having the IP Wellness Centre in Mitchells Plain will benefit patients who can save on traveling costs and taking time off work to get the medical care they need. 

He said: “Our role as the IPEU is to create opportunities for our students to learn with, from and about each other to improve the services and the health outcomes for clients and patients. We are all in the caring profession and therefore we want to make the patient experience as positive as possible.”

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