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.
Despite working extra shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Emma Gardiner remains cheerful and takes things in her stride - such as when she decided to continue rheumatology services at Livingstone Hospital despite her senior colleague's departure.
Traditional initiation rites can sometimes lead to traumatic outcomes for young men. Prof Zukiswa Zingela and her team are finding innovative ways of bringing mental healthcare to communities in far-flung regions of the Eastern Cape.
At the time of writing in 2020, Dr Dylan Gibson was in his final year of the family medicine postgraduate programme through Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha. He received a Discovery Foundation Rural Individual Award to fund his research on contraceptives.
The dental department at Van Velden Hospital in Tzaneen provides basic dentistry for patients in Limpopo. It is also the only place in the region where patients can get dentures. These travelling dental healthcare workers have learned how to improvise.
Dr Ismail Banderker had made a final decision: if his application to the Discovery Foundation Awards had been unsuccessful, he would see it as a sign that he shouldn't sub-specialise in nephrology. And then he received the good news.
With international gynaecological health day around the corner, we're spotlighting Professor Mfundo Mabenge, a 2020 Discovery Foundation Award recipient who says saving women's lives is a public health issue in South Africa.
A youth exchange programme to a rural hospital in Liberia in 1987 inspired German-born Dr Isabel Michaelis to study medicine. Today, she is a paediatric neurologist who shares her expertise with patients and colleagues at Frere Hospital in East London.
This Women's Month, we say thank you to Dr Veena John, a Discovery Foundation Award recipient whose decision to become a paediatrician is now improving the lives of children in communities in the Eastern Cape, her home province.
This Women's Month, we pay tribute to Dr Faith Ngambu, an obstetrician and gynaecologist sub-specialising in maternal foetal medicine. She received a Discovery Foundation Award in 2020 to pursue this much-needed specialisation.
Who takes care of women after they have had an abortion? Dr Kwakombe Ndjondo's research on women's experiences after voluntary termination of pregnancy at a rural hospital aims to support women and reduce pressure on public healthcare services.
Being in an intensive care unit and receiving critical care can be a harrowing experience. Psychiatry registrar Dr Sarah Boshoff is investigating how doctors and nurses can help to prevent triggers of post-traumatic stress disorder in patients.
A collaboration between the University of the Free State, the Mother and Child Academic Hospital Foundation and the Discovery Fund has led to hearts being touched across the Free State - quite literally.
Until now, children, babies and adults have all had to use the same outpatient facilities at Estcourt Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, but a Rural Institutional Award from the Discovery Foundation is set to change that in the near future.
Dr Sihle Nhlabathi's grandmother scared her as a child. So, she studied geriatrics to understand the mental health of the elderly. Her research seeks to increase knowledge and address the dire need for geriatric psychiatrists in South Africa.
Prof Kathryn Chu's stellar career stretches across 30 countries, yet she has chosen to help strengthen the surgical system at a hospital in Upington in the Northern Cape. A Distinguished Visitor Award from the Discovery Foundation will help fund her visits.
Dr Kaylem Coetzee's parents could never have guessed the impact of buying their son his first Lego set. Many years later, a harrowing personal experience was the final piece of the puzzle that made him decide to study orthopaedic surgery.
Working at a hospital in a remote rural setting has its own challenges, says Dr Adam Asghar, who has a special passion for rural healthcare. His mission is to find ways of delivering high-quality obstetric care in this challenging environment.
Healthcare workers in remote rural areas of the Northern Cape will soon be able to use technology to get a specialist's advice or to talk them through a procedure, thanks to a new project at a hospital in Upington.
Patients with kidney conditions may never meet the doctor who could have the most impact on their health. Dr Siyabonga Khoza works behind the scenes in a laboratory and his research focuses on identifying the risk of chronic kidney disease sooner.
It is difficult to recruit and retain specialist doctors in rural areas. A new programme, based at Pietersburg Hospital in Polokwane Mankweng Hospital Complex, aims to grow the number of specialists in Limpopo by training young doctors who already work there.
It's been a long and winding road for family medicine registrar Dr Kartik Naidoo, who is now trying to understand unplanned pregnancies in the Mossel Bay area by researching the experiences of nurses and clients in family planning at local clinics.
While working as a gynaecologist, Dr Khatija Kadwa recognised the heavy burden that social stigma causes for women dealing with infertility. It became her mission to help women by treating infertility in under-resourced communities in South Africa.
Having a high-risk pregnancy if you live far away from an urban centre is a terrifying experience. Many women in Mpumalanga are thankful that Dr Sibusiso Nhlapo, obstetrician and gynaecologist, didn't listen when his parents suggested he become a teacher.
Nothing in Dr Jeff John's life happens in singles. He comes from an extended family of doctors, he is working on his second book, and he was the only person in 2020 to receive both a Rural Individual and Institutional Award from the Discovery Foundation.
Seven of the world's top 10 causes of death are non-communicable diseases, according to the WHO's 2019 Global Health Estimates. Discovery Foundation Award recipient Dr Zamanci September believes education is key to making South Africans healthier.
When principal Zanele Tjiana discovered that the computers at her school were stolen, she worried about her learners completing their lessons for 2020 - until she called Discovery's Dr Lerato Khatle, who found a sponsor in 24 hours.
If Dr Nozipho Nyakale - a nuclear medicine specialist from the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University - has her way, more patients at Pietersburg Hospital in Limpopo will have access to the enormous advantages this patient-targeted medicine can offer.
A new micrographic surgery for the treatment of skin cancer is proving to have an almost 100% cure rate. Dr Johann de Wet, dermatologist and skin cancer specialist, aims to make this surgery a reality for more South Africans with skin cancer.
The recipient of the prestigious Discovery Foundation MGH Fellowship Award for 2020, Dr Sumy Thomas, will travel to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, US, where she'll explore how HIV and antiretroviral medicine affect the endocrine system.
Despite a challenging year marked by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Discovery Foundation continues to support cutting-edge clinical research and medical training in South Africa's public and academic medicine sector.
Dr Karl le Roux received a Discovery Foundation Rural Institutional Award in 2019 to strengthen the capacity of the Zithulele Training and Research Centre in training healthcare workers and doing research that benefits rural medicine in South Africa.
Every year since 2013, a South African doctor working in the public sector is chosen for a year-long fellowship to Massachusetts General Hospital, the largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School based in Boston in the United States.
On 12 November 2020, we observed World Pneumonia Day, an annual event that aims to raise awareness and demand action in the fight against pneumonia. In South Africa, Dr Murimisi Mukansi is leading a unique study on community-acquired pneumonia and HIV.
In 2019, Professor Brent Tipping received a Distinguished Visitor Award from the Discovery Foundation to improve grassroots geriatric care by teaching doctors and nurses at Tintswalo District Hospital the skills they need to care for older persons.
Every woman has the right to affordable and accessible healthcare - and public-private partnerships can make that possible. The Breast Health Foundation and the Discovery Fund have joined forces to give all women access to quality breast health services.
In the Western Cape, scholar drivers transport over 80 000 children to and from school every day. Find out how Safe Travel to School, a collaboration between Discovery and Childsafe, gave the drivers on its programme protection from COVID-19.
There are common mental health conditions associated with HIV, but doctors do not always screen patients in mental health units for the virus. Dr Illana Links hopes that her research will help patients in mental health units and in community and HIV clinics.
Dr David Stead received a 2019 Rural Institutional Award from the Discovery Foundation to support and train district clinicians in central Eastern Cape. He plans to put in place a rural training and support programme for doctors over three years.
Discovery executive events manager Shamim Pierre-Eugene has inspired Discovery employees to help give essential goods to vulnerable communities. Staff members also donated blankets to Stretford Clinic and knitted scarves and beanies for orphanages.
To help treat patients with keratoconus, a condition that affects the cornea, Dr Bayanda Mbambisa received the 2019 Discovery Foundation Rural Institutional Award to expand the corneal transplant service at the Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital.
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.