Travel Grants

Dr Yumna Albertus

Dr Yumna Albertus and her team received a 2020 SCI Collaboration Grant to attend ISCoS 2020:Virtual.

Dr Albertus is an emerging researcher and her team has recently completed the only randomised control trial on Robotic Locomotor training in Africa. This conference will thus provide much needed guidance and support for her future research projects.

The research group – which includes Dr Sacha West, Exercise Physiologist; Claire Shackleton, PhD candidate; and Robert Evans, PhD candidate – share their experiences from the conference.

Dr Yumna Albertus and research group

“Our group thoroughly enjoyed attending the ISCoS Conference this year. Being a virtual conference didn’t take away our ability to interact and converse with other attendees, the fact we were able to speak directly to the presenters during their presentations was unique. By having this virtual platform we were able to reach out to other researchers and discuss possible projects. One project that really stood out for us was the COPE project led by Ms Nishu Tyagi (Indian Spinal Cord Injury Centre) and Prof Krassioukov (University of British Columbia). In this workshop, the researchers highlighted the aims, preliminary survey data  and challenges faced, which are applicable to the spinal cord injury (SCI) population in South Africa.

The COPE project aims to provide better community inclusion support for people with SCI by delivering comprehensive health living skills, video-image based training of patients, caregivers and professionals. COPE could possibly assist people with SCI in South Africa, as we face similar barriers to SCI rehabilitation as in India; with low resources, limited human capacity and transport issues, and therefore Telehealth could benefit our patients. The Southern African Innovative Rehabilitation Network is currently being formed, where we aim to set the framework for designing and implementing low-cost innovative equipment into our limited resourced rehabilitation facilities. The COPE project could be implemented on this platform, and Dr Albertus will be meeting Nishu and her team soon to discuss the possible collaboration for 2021-2022.”


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