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UKZN Epidemiology Unit Holds Retreat



UKZN Epidemiology Unit Holds Retreat

UKZN Epidemiology Unit Holds Retreat. UKZN Cancer and Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Research Unit (CIDERU) recently concluded a transformative four-day Project Transition Retreat amidst the serene backdrop of the Drakensberg. Spearheaded by Professor Themba Ginindza, this retreat marked a pivotal moment in the journey of the Multinational Lung Cancer Control Programme (MLCCP), transitioning its operations into the dynamic realm of CIDERU.

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A Vision of Collaborative Excellence

CIDERU vision is grounded in fostering excellence in health research, with the overarching goal of generating transformative scientific breakthroughs. Professor Ginindza’s personal motivations, stemming from professional experiences and personal loss to cancer, underscore the unit’s commitment to combating diseases that claim numerous lives across the African continent.

The scope of CIDERU’s mission extends beyond research; it aspires to establish effective partnerships between researchers and decision-makers. By translating research findings into actionable strategies, the unit aims to contribute significantly to policy formulation and program implementation aimed at improving health outcomes.

Academic Mission and Social Responsibility

Dr. Khumbulani Hlongwana, Co-Principal Investigator of CIDERU, elucidated how the unit aligns with UKZN’s academic mission. By producing intellectual capital and driving research publications, CIDERU aims to enrich the university’s academic landscape while fulfilling its social responsibility through continuous community engagement.

Sustaining Excellence Through Collaboration

Integral to CIDERU’s sustainability strategy is the pursuit of research grants from both local and international sources. Additionally, the unit plans to provide commercial services and seek government support to secure its financial footing.

Enhancing Team Dynamics

The Project Transition Retreat also served as a platform for enhancing team effectiveness. Dr. Michael Cloete and Ms. Nonjabulo Zondi led engaging workshops aimed at fostering a conducive work culture. Through insightful team-building activities, participants gained a deeper understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses, laying the groundwork for a more cohesive and efficient workforce.

Nurturing Future Leaders

Nkosinathi Mncwabe, a project officer and PhD candidate, highlighted the invaluable mentorship and professional exposure provided by MLCCP and CIDERU. The retreat not only offered participants an opportunity for self-reflection but also facilitated personal and professional growth.


The convergence of expertise and resources at CIDERU signifies a pivotal step forward in the fight against cancer and infectious diseases in Africa. With a strong emphasis on collaborative research, community engagement, and capacity building, CIDERU is poised to make significant contributions to healthcare delivery and policy formulation, both locally and globally.

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