Pictured (L-R): Imtiaz Mohamed (CEO Pharmachem), Yusuf ‘Tara’ Seedat (SANZAF), Bashir Carrim (Chairman Pharmachem), M. Hoosen Essof (SANZAF)
SANZAF and Pharmachem Pharmaceuticals partner in health sciences bursary project
The South African National Zakah Fund and Pharmachem Pharmaceuticals, a generics drugs manufacturing company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will benefit tertiary students. The R500,000 bursary fund, established through the Pharmachem Foundation, will favour pharmacy students but is open to all branches of the health sciences.
The R500,000 pledge will go towards SANZAF’s R6 million annually budget, thereby making SANZAF the largest Muslim bursary provider in South Africa.
The rationale of bursaries dedicated to the health sciences is the seriousness of the 2011 health statistics relating to South Africa released by the World Health Organisation. The following are selected statistics that call for intervention from government, the private sector and NGO’s like SANZAF:
- under 5-year-old mortality rate: 62 per 1000 live births
- maternal mortality ratio: 410 per 100 000 live births
- neonatal mortality rate: 19 per 1000 live births
- unmet need for family planning: 13%
- prevalence of HIV among adults aged 15-49 years: 17.8%
- tuberculosis mortality rate among HIV-negative people: 52 per 100 000
- no improved sanitation: 33%
SANZAF has dedicated 25% of its national income to bursaries, which underscores a visionary approach to addressing the challenges in the health services as one of the root causes, namely suitably qualified health professionals dedicated to serving communities at grassroots level.
Whether it is health problems related to youth, women, children, the aged, families or people with disabilities, all such health issues need the expertise of suitably trained professionals in order to restore health and dignity to society.
The partnership of SANZAF and Pharmachem is a major step in this direction not only because of the significant amount of money that is invested in this project, but also because the MOU is specifically geared to target prioritised health care needs in our communities.
The cheque to value of R500,000 was officially handed to SANZAF by the group CEO Imtiaz Mohamed and Bashir Carrim, the group’s Chairman, on 30 November 2011 at a small function held Pharmachem’s offices in Pretoria. The bursary programme is officially launched on 1 December 2011 and applications for these bursaries are open until 10 January 2012.
One of the requirements for eligibility is that applicants should qualify for Zakah. However, an independent selection panel of professional volunteers will interview candidates in order to determine the final list of beneficiaries.
SANZAF generally pays a minimum of 75% towards the cost of tuition fees and R3,000 towards textbooks and other incidental costs. The contribution made by Pharmachem is intended to inspire other businesses and corporations to follow suit. Such businesses also qualify for a tax deduction in respect of donations given exclusively for public benefit organisations or institutions in terms of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act. SANZAF is also a BBBEE beneficiating organisation, which means that contributions to SANZAF add to the company’s BBBEE scorecard.
The SANZAF Bursary Programme has recorded a 90% success rate, which is a further incentive for sponsors to invest their philanthrophy with this NGO.
For details log-on to www.sanzaf.org.za or call SANZAF on 0861 SANZAF / 0861 726 923 0861 726 923.
To contribute to the SANZAF Bursary Fund please deposit into:
S.A. National Zakah Fund
FNB (Fordsburg Branch 252505)
Account # 6217 604 8653
Ref: Bursary + (Your Name)