Message from School:Women’s month, which focused on prevention of violence against women, has come and gone and yet, we continue to be confronted daily with escalating levels of horrific violence across our society – against police, foreign nationals, men, women and children. A young women student at UCT was tragically murdered. People were burned to death in front of onlookers in an episode of xenophobic violence. This constant exposure to inhumane behaviour has a huge negative impact on our society. Victims of violence become patients in our already overburdened health system, Chronic mental stress causes disease. As clinicians, we have to deal with the long term consequences of the violence – the post- traumatic stress of families who lose loved ones, the long process of healing from burns and other trauma. This all adversely affects our own mental health, resilience and ability to cope with the daily challenges of practicing medicine and delivering the academic program. Our society can ill afford the cost of this ever increasing violence – there are significant losses in reputation, investment and growth opportunities for the country.-
Violence begets violence. This behaviour has to stop. As the School of Clinical Medicine, we call on all societal leaders –academic, religious, civil and governmental-to urgently seek peaceful solutions to this ongoing crisis.
University of the Witwatersrand Clinical Medicine Department Contact