Associate Professor in the Discipline of Physiotherapy, Saul Cobbing is spending his sabbatical as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto (UofT) in Canada.
During his three months in Toronto, Cobbing, who is a fellow of the UKZN College of Health Sciences’ DRILL programme, has focused on building collaborative partnerships between UKZN and UofT, and more broadly between the Global South and the Global North.
UofT academic staff gave Cobbing a warm welcome despite the freezing weather. ‘I have worked with some of the academics previously, specifically on research projects related to the rehabilitation of people living with HIV,’ he said.
He has presented lectures to Physical Therapy students and was asked to facilitate the UofT inter-professional training module on chronic pain management.
Cobbing was a keynote speaker at the Canadian National Summit on Episodic Disabilities and Employment in March, with his presentation titled: How Episodic Disability Impacts Employees: An International Perspective.
The UofT International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation invited him to participate in an online panel discussion on Exploring the Delivery of Rehabilitation in Global and Rural Contexts on 30 March, where he shared his experience of working on the UKZN Decentralised Clinical Training Programme.
At the end of April, Cobbing participated in a webinar hosted by the University of Toronto Rehabilitation Sciences Institute monthly Leadership Rehab Rounds. His presentation, titled Lessons from Africa: giving rehabilitation a more human face, described how African philosophies such as Ubuntu and Seriti can benefit global health care via a focus on the collective and community rather than solely focusing on the individual.
For the remainder of his sabbatical, Cobbing plans to continue to build bridges between UKZN and UofT and to work on a collaborative research projects involving both institutions.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini