UKZN’s Professor Shenuka Singh has received an international award at a dentistry summit organised by the International Venus Foundation in Chennai, India, for her contribution to dental public health.
Singh got the Excellence in Dental Public Health Award and was also a guest of honour and keynote speaker at the summit.
Her presentation titled: Self-Reported Oral Health Status: Perspectives of Patients Undergoing Therapy for Cancer of the Head and Neck Region, in the eThekwini District, was co-authored with her master’s graduate, Dr Saleenna Nujoo-Bauluck.
Singh shared the platform with other award winners from India, Saudi Arabia, Australia and France.
She described the experience as: ‘Exhilarating yet humbling. As a guest of honour, I was asked to light the lamp of goodwill and I had a shawl placed over my shoulders. This cultural and social gesture signifies the immense respect for and dignity given to a guest in India.’
Singh started research supervision in the field of dental public health at UKZN in 2011 and is still actively involved in it. She published papers in local and international journals and has presented papers at both local and international conferences. Apart from dentistry, she carved a niche in research ethics both within UKZN and at a national level.
Singh is an appointed member of the National Health Research Ethics Council in South Africa (2016-2019) and Chair of the Norms and Standards Committee within NHREC. She was appointed Research Ethics Chair: Council for Science and Industry Research in South Africa (CSIR REC R&D: 2015-2018) and was the appointed Research Ethics Chair for the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee at UKZN (2014-2018).
Singh is also very involved in teaching and learning and believes that ‘life-long learning and research requires learning the unknown and unlearning the known’.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini