September 2020

NWU – research with impact!

Welcome to 2020's sixth edition of the North-West University's newsletter, Research@NWU. The aim of the newsletter is to showcase research projects, researchers and related events. This newsletter is one of seven, distributed to academic staff and researchers during the year.

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NWU heads South African core team in fight against neuromuscular diseases

The social and economic impact of neuromuscular diseases (NMDs) is staggering.

These diseases, which include motor neuron disease and muscular dystrophies, can cause premature death or lifelong disability and are believed to affect one in every 400 people – meaning about 20 million children and adults across the globe.

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NWU academic advances environmental justice

Environmental justice, writes senior lecturer and researcher Dr Kesolofetse Lefenya, entails social transformation directed towards meeting basic human needs and enhancing the quality of life, environmental protection and democracy. She writes that, despite the latter, South Africa is experiencing intensifying public interest litigation between state organs, private entities and civil environmental awareness groups.

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Preventing is better than treating substance abuse

Prevention is better than cure, and the NWU's Prof Leepile Sehularo is at the forefront of seeking solutions to adolescent substance abuse through prevention programmes. Illegal substance use among adolescent learners is a global concern for government policy-makers, researchers and mental health care practitioners, according to Prof Sehularo from the School of Nursing Science in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

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Abduction and forced marriage still happen in South Africa

Even in 21st century South Africa, a constitutional democracy, forced marriage is a reality for some young girls. Ukuthwala, the customary practice where girls under the age of 18 years are abducted and married off to older men, still occurs in the rural Eastern Cape. According to master's graduate Bridget Joyce Machaka, such marriages are usually arranged by the groom and the girl's family without the bride's consent.

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Space law specialist lands top fellowship

Prof Wian Erlank has been awarded a prestigious research fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

This internationally renowned foundation sponsors scientists and scholars across all disciplines and nationalities. It provides researchers with the opportunity to do research in Germany through international research exchanges, and this is an opportunity for Prof Erlank to research space law, a field which is becoming increasingly relevant as more manned and unmanned missions head for the stars.

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Please share your comments and input by sending an email to the newsletter editor, willie.duplessis@nwu.ac.za