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Sunday, 09 December 2018

The Gift of Giving

GIVING GRADUATE: Lecturer and graduate Mustafa Zalgaonker. GIVING GRADUATE: Lecturer and graduate Mustafa Zalgaonker.

Growing up Mustafa Zalgaonker would often hear his mother say: “the giving hand is better than the receiving hand.”

The message resonated with the Emergency Medical Sciences lecturer who has dedicated much of his time assisting those in need, not only at home but in disaster-struck areas in different parts of the world.

Earlier this year when a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia, Zalgaonker was part of a team from the Gift of the Givers organisation who assisted with humanitarian aid and care.
He has worked with Gift of the Givers on several occasions since 2015 when Nepal was hit by an earthquake.

“It has been an eye-opener to see how people survive around the world and how we take things for granted. We have challenges in our health care system but it was humbling to see how elsewhere in the world people get by with a lot less, no running water and poor infrastructure.”

The EMS Department has a close relationship with the organisation and also assisted them during the Knysna fires.

“As academics, we teach rescue, disaster management and rescue incident management. So having the opportunity to go to a real-life disaster setting is an invaluable learning experience. We can convey the risk and the experience to our students.”

Despite his busy schedule, Zalgaonker will be among the hundreds of graduates at today’s graduation ceremony for the Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences.

He has earned his Master’s degree and this thesis is titled Intravenous fluid resuscitation: surveillance of penetrating injury in the pre-hospital environment.

“You learn so much about yourself while completing such a degree, about your own resilience, how to manage your time and how to juggle what life throws in your path. So, if you’re wondering how to juggle it all, you will find a way.”

Giving back defines Zalgaonker’s life and he is involved in a range of charities from animal welfare to work with the disabled.

“There is a sense of happiness you get from helping people. If you help people without them knowing you get a sense of enlightenment.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za