Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
6 minute read
17 Mar 2021
1:00 pm

University running short of cadavers for medical students

Sipho Mabena

Some universities have an abundance of cadavers, while others have up to 29 students sharing a single body, Covid-19 also affected donors.

Cadavers are essential for the training of medical students in human physiology and preparing them for death. Picture: iStock

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) continues to grapple with a shortage of cadavers or corpses for dissection by medical students, pinning its hopes on increased public awareness to encourage donations. The medical school’s battle to get enough cadavers, seen as a medical student's “first patient”, date back as far as 2015. Bodies accepted by the Department of Clinical Anatomy are from donors that have consented and are fully informed of the dissection process by UKZN. In the past, a shortage of donated corpses has resulted in anatomy lessons being compromised and medical students struggling to complete their studies, as they...