We love South Africa and its people. That’s why we partner with others to help better the lives of more South Africans. Read more about the healthcare heroes in our community and how they’re changing the lives of others for the better.
Nuclear medicine physician and fashion designer Dr Dineo Mpanya is researching the use of machine learning algorithms to predict patients’ risk of heart failure.
Discovery usability analysts Ashnee Gounden and Magdalene Kamau spoke at the 2020 UX South Africa Conference in July about the successes and challenges of a design-thinking mentorship project they launched in 2018 at a high school in Orange Farm.
Specialist family physician, health educator, and PhD candidate, Dr Joleen Cairncross, pilots a patient-empowerment and healthcare worker education project in the disadvantaged communities of Cloetesville and Delft in the Western Cape.
Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Patricia Sebola initially self-funded her studies, but with her 2019 Discovery Foundation Sub-Specialist Award, she can sub-specialise in maternal and foetal medicine at the University of Pretoria in two years instead of four.
Where do rural women go when they need a pap smear, a mammogram, or suspect they may have breast cancer? In the town of Hoedspruit in Limpopo, they go to the Hlokomela Women’s Clinic, where professional nurse Sonja Botha welcomes them with open arms.
Dr Jithan Koshy, with the support of the Discovery Foundation, has invited two experienced cardiothoracic surgeons to teach cardiac surgeons at the Livingstone Tertiary Hospital and Port Elizabeth General Hospital how to do heart surgery on children.
In 2019, Dr Khulile Moeketsi received a Discovery Foundation Rural Institutional Award to help implement a project to train medical doctors in rural hospitals in basic cardiology skills and to give bedside teaching on cardiology clinical signs and symptoms.
In 2019, Malamulele Onward founder Dr Gillian Saloojee received a Discovery Foundation Distinguished Visitor Award to help improve the outcomes of people with disabilities at Manguzi District Hospital in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
In 2019, Professor Louis Jenkins received a Discovery Foundation Rural Institutional Award to help George Hospital implement a sustainable leadership development model based on the Academy of Business in Society’s Values driven Leadership in Action programme.
theforum@discovery has opened its kitchens and facilities to provide 800 meals a week to communities in the dire grips of hunger as a result of COVID-19. The executive events team has also started a second initiative to give essential items to people in need.
This Youth Month, we celebrate Umthombo Youth Development Foundation scholars who are determined to improve rural healthcare in their communities. From GPs and dentists to aspiring neurosurgeons and more, these young leaders are the ones to watch.
Mxolisi Xulu is a fifth-year medical student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, an ambassador for his family and community, and the founder of an NGO called Black Child’s Dreams Matter. It’s easy to see why this Umthombo scholar and future doctor is one to watch.
Discovery asked the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation to identify eight young doctors or medical students who they think will have a big impact in the future. That’s how we met Nokwanda Mathonsi, a student who wants to transform rural healthcare.
A young doctor to watch: Dumisani Mthembu, a sixth-year medical student at the University of Pretoria, hopes to specialise in neurosurgery, particularly paediatric neurosurgery, once he completes his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree.
Meet Simphiwe Phungula, a fifth-year medical student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal with big plans to improve healthcare in rural areas. She’s currently doing a study with an international university on how COVID-19 is affecting students’ behaviour.
Discovery asked the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation to tell us about doctors making a big impact in their communities. Meet Dr Sabelo Mngomezulu, a dentist who strives to improve the quality of life of the people of Ingwavuma, KwaZulu-Natal.
Dr Phelelani Dludla, a medical officer at Benedictine District Hospital in rural KwaZulu-Natal, is passionate about the mental wellbeing of his patients and improving healthcare in his community. His keen sense of purpose makes him a young doctor to watch.
Becoming a doctor was Dr Lungile Hobe’s way of giving back to her mother. Today, the young doctor has an impressive list of achievements and ambitious plans to improve the quality of healthcare in her rural community of Mseleni, where she grew up.
Discovery asked the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation to identify young doctors who are making an impact in their communities. That’s how we met Dr Mfanukhona Nyawo, a medical officer at Bethesda Hospital, Umthombo graduate and youth role model.
In 2019, Dr Zakariya Badat received a Rural Individual Fellowship Award from the Discovery Foundation to conduct a study on how to improve the management and outcomes of patients with heart attacks at Wentworth Hospital in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Diarrhoea is a leading cause of death in children under five, especially in under-resourced communities. That’s why Dr Mani Chiliwe applied for a Discovery Foundation Rural Fellowship Award to find better ways to treat children with prolonged diarrhoea.
Having been exposed to the high standard of research and care at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, trailblazing Discovery Fellow Dr Neliswa Gogela is determined to apply her learnings. She also wants to teach others to combine clinical practice with kindness and care.
Dr Boitumelo Pitso has received a Discovery Foundation Sub-Specialist Award to study Paediatric Pulmonology. She hopes to improve the quality of life of children with chronic lung diseases who often battle with coughing, sleeplessness and poor concentration.
Armed with a Discovery Foundation Rural Individual Fellowship Award, Dr Trenton Oliver is determined to raise awareness on hypertension, or high blood pressure, and to educate patients in KwaZulu-Natal on how and when to take their medicine.
Caring for his terminally-ill godmother in an underserved retirement home on the Cape Flats as an intern and helping his late Anglican lay-minister father give communion there as a child were seminal influences for internal medicine physician Dr Denzil Schietekat.
This International Nurses Day, we celebrate two of Umthombo Youth Development Foundation’s nursing graduates who are making a difference in their community: Nobuhle Menyuka, nurse and role model, and Zamani Dlamini, a leader in the fight against TB.
Helping students from rural KwaZulu-Natal qualify as healthcare professionals is about more than providing scholarships. At Umthombo, dedicated mentors empower students to overcome challenges, build resilience and take care of their mental health.
In 2018, Discovery volunteers taught 60 learners from Aha Thuto Secondary School in Orange Farm how to solve problems using design thinking. This year, Discovery visited 10 learners who had come up with innovative solutions to address food security.
Dr Vishesh Sood, a final-year radiology registrar working at the Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, received a Discovery Foundation Award to investigate the value of using an abdominal ultrasound to diagnose TB in children.
Like any hero's journey, the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation faced many challenges in its quest to create a community of healthcare workers. Read this inspiring story of a community investing in each other to reshape the future of rural healthcare.
Dr Joy Summerton is so passionate about providing excellent care to mothers and their newborn babies in Limpopo that she received a Discovery Foundation Award in 2019 to train healthcare workers on respectful maternity care.
When 2019 Discovery Foundation Sub-Specialist Award recipient Dr Nontsikelelo Gubu-Ntaba was still in high school, her mother completed a Bachelor of Education degree. Seeing her mother pursue her dreams has inspired Dr Gubu-Ntaba to study further.
In March 2019 Discovery hosted a conference aimed at encouraging fellow corporates to join in pooling resources for social impact. In this series, we look at the transformation that occurs when companies and organisations become partners for social good.
The Hlokomela programme, built around the passion of Christine du Preez, a nursing sister married to a Limpopo fruit farmer, is an impressive demonstration of the power of strategic partnerships for social good.
Dr Brian Allwood, a senior pulmonologist was granted the Discovery Foundation MGH award and recently returned to South Africa to share his year-long learning in the United States
Back home a year since returning from 12 months of Discovery Fellowship-funded training in America, Dr Allwood is thrilled that his new skills are saving lives. His mission: to raise the bar of medical excellence in SA.
It took a year abroad for Dr Salome Maswime to grasp the value of global health advocacy: participating is key to representing African interests at an international policy level. And, making us all proud this #WomensMonth, that’s just what she intends to do.
The Discovery Foundation MGH Fellowship Award – valued at R2.1 million – enables a specialist clinician to experience Harvard Medical School’s largest teaching hospital for a year. We caught up with our five Fellows here to learn what impact they’re making.
Millions of childbearing women in SA are HIV-infected, but there is hope. The return of Dr Salome Maswime after a Discovery-funded year in America studying placental pathology with the world’s best clinicians will no doubt save even more lives.
Since arriving in Boston on June 2019 to study pain management, anaesthesiologist Dr Sean Chetty is slowly settling into the new way of life - and is excited about what his Discovery Fellowship-funded year has in store.
Sometimes a single carefully focussed intervention – like funding the training of an intensivist for an under-staffed, under-equipped intensive care unit at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha – can be the catalyst for dynamic change.
Megan Schultz’s research on the nutritional state of mentally ill patients could significantly improve the lives of many people, especially if bolstered by evidence-based policies and changes in nutrition-related laws.
Dr Nokwazi Mtshengu’s Discovery Fellowship Award is helping her translate to isiXhosa a globally accredited psychiatric tool to assess postpartum depression, which will benefit depressed mothers, the infant, family and broader community.
Psychiatric registrar Dr Carmenita Groves says her analysis of arguably the largest cohort of patients diagnosed with catatonia in South Africa, observing their presentation, management and outcomes, is already boosting referrals at Dora Nginza Hospital.
Since its inception, the Discovery Foundation has invested in doctors and academics who are making a positive contribution to mental healthcare in South Africa. These mental health heroes are striving to make mental health more accessible for all.
To wrap up Mental Health Awareness Month, we honour a few of our mental health heroes – five Discovery Foundation Awards alumni and one supervisor whose positive contribution to mental healthcare has had a ripple effect across South Africa.
Dr Nyaweleni Tshifularo’s 2019 Discovery Foundation Distinguished Visitor Award allows him to help improve the knowledge and skills of all clinicians in both general surgery and paediatrics at the Polokwane Mankweng Hospital Complex.
While believing that education is one of the key strategies in addressing poverty, disease and crime in South Africa, specialist physician and pulmonologist Dr Donald Simon says experience has taught him that knowledge is not necessarily power.
Dr Tumiso Malatji has received a Discovery Foundation Rural Institutional Award to fund a project that will evaluate and improve the management of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes at primary healthcare level at selected clinics in Limpopo.
It was during her paediatric department rotation at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in 2003 that South Africa’s first black female paediatric oncologist, Dr Vhutshilo Netshituni, fell in love with children.
Dr Yandiswa Mnyanda, armed with her Discovery Foundation Rural Individual Fellowship Award, is determined to make a difference in her community by finding out why survivors of sexual violence in the Eastern Cape report so late for care.
With his Discovery Foundation Rural Individual Fellowship Award, Dr Andrew Oyemwimina investigated the prevalence of HIV infection among paediatric patients who were admitted to hospital in 2016 – the first study of its kind in the Eastern Cape.
Dr Natasha Blanckenberg is using her Discovery Foundation Rural Individual Fellowship Award to study the impact of the Vula app, which enables faster, more efficient specialist advice and referrals for patients in remote rural healthcare facilities.
How can nuclear medicine change the way doctors detect and treat prostate cancer? This is the question at the heart of nuclear physician Dr Thabo Lengana’s PhD research that earned him a Discovery Foundation Academic Fellowship Award.
Dr Kershinee Reddy has received a Discovery Foundation Sub-Specialist Award to study Paediatric Oncology at Stellenbosch University. She’s determined to return to KwaZulu-Natal after her training to help children fight cancer.