OWSD SA NC Members and Covid-19

Ms Caroline Pule

Our  OWSD SA NC vice-chair, Caroline Pule who is also a Medical Scientist doing research on Tuberculosis (TB) drug resistance at Stellenboch University has joined the CrowdFight COVID-19 team in response to COVID-19 pandemic. She joined because of her passion for global health, medical research and ensuring we have a disease-free nation.

“COVID-19 pandemic hit me very hard and I could not stop myself from shedding tears of sadness and having an urge to come forward, bravely volunteer towards contributing in any way possible to mitigating COVID-19 effects. As a skilled Medical Scientist and a South African citizen with a background of working with one of the deadliest communicable diseases, Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (TB), serving in multiple health and sciences organizations and having following the WHO, SABC news and global news about the damage COVID-19 continues to do and the lives being claimed, it just made good sense to do something, by volunteering to help our country and the world to combat COVID-19. I’m happy to assist as CrowdFight COVID-19 initiative local contact in our country (South Africa), which is one of the countries affected badly by COVID-19.”

“If we all work together we can beat COVID-19 or reduce spread while other scientists are working on the vaccine.”

CrowdFight COVID-19 Initiative

Ms Pule is currently a local contact and a volunteer scientist for CrowdFight COVID-19 Initiative in South Africa. This is a global organization bringing all-volunteer scientists from different countries to work together by helping where possible with their field expertise to support the fight towards COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Natisha Dukhi

Dr Dhuki is a collaborator on two studies. The first, “Street talk” – South African Communities’ Responses to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) Outbreak; the study aims to investigate the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa and secondly, #Coronavirus: Representations of the Corona Virus Epidemic in Social Media and in Newspapers. This study takes an initial dive into social media to assess the volume of material available, the themes that are suggested below, the extent to which past posts can be collected, to test various search strings and to which social media to follow. The focus will remain on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube; but an assessment will be made on other potential social media used in South Africa, such as Tictok, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Dr Dukhi is also a co-author on a review paper, put together by a few African Academy of Science Affiliates (title to be finalized): The paper comments on the following: 

a. Nature and biology of the virus

b. Epidemiology and transmission dynamics

c. Health systems and epidemic preparedness d. Socio-anthropology and risk communication 

OWSD SA NC is pleased to have our members involved in such initiatives, and look forward to receiving more information regarding supporting work in this regard. Please share what your involvement is with elzarie@assaf.org.za

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