February 2021

NWU takes research to new heights!

Welcome to 2021's first 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.


NWU researcher investigates role of traditional medicine in skin disorders

Many people rely on traditional plant remedies to treat skin disorders, and now an NWU researcher has investigated why these plants are effective, paving the way for further research by the pharmaceutical industry.

"The use of indigenous knowledge in providing primary healthcare, especially in most indigenous African communities, is as old as human history," says Dr John Awungnjia Asong, researcher and recent PhD graduate.

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Behind the scenes of a pandemic – a learning experience

"A learning experience like no other." This is how Prof Petra Bester, director of the NWU's Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR), describes the unit's exposure to the inner workings of the North West province's efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.In the early days of the pandemic, AUTHeR embarked on a unique journey with the North West Department of Health.

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Study investigates root of violence in schools

Teaching is often seen as a calling rather than a career. But that calling quickly turns into a nightmare when teachers are attacked by the very people they are trying to educate. Over the past few years, there have been numerous reports in the media of learners physically assaulting, stabbing and even shooting their teachers. Dr Michael Nhambura conducted his PhD study on this.

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Children benefit from physical activity in the classroom

When children are physically active, their brains and bodies benefit. This has again been demonstrated by an eight-country Brain Breaks® study in which the NWU participated. From the university's side, Prof Dané Coetzee at the School of Human Movement Sciences led the charge. The collective research was published in an article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

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New book highlights migrants' mental health challenges

Horrific scenes of migrants who have perished on the high seas while in search of a better life is a too-familiar sight on television screens, online and in newspaper pages. Extreme hunger, repressive governments and ethnic and religious conflicts are cited as among the contributory factors for the crises.

Prof Erhabor Idemudia has traversed six European countries to highlight the plight of this vulnerable group and to seek solutions.

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