After matric, I pursued a BSc degree (Chemistry and Zoology). My ultimate desire was to pursue a degree in medicine. I obtained both my degrees from the University of the Transkei (UNITRA), which is now known as the Walter Sisulu University (WSU). I also did two Diplomas, Diploma in Child Health (DCH) and Diploma in HIV Management with the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa.
I have always been interested in Paediatrics, so it was no surprise that I followed my heart and specialized in Paediatrics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Afterwards I worked at King Edward VIII Hospital. In 2013, I became part of the newly created District Clinical Specialist Teams, part of re-engineering of Primary Health Care, as a District Paediatrician at OR Tambo District in the Eastern Cape. This was a way for me to give back to the rural community as we were supporting the Primary Health Care Centers and the District Hospitals. I did outreach to the District Hospitals by doing the ward rounds, thereby identifying critically ill patients that needed to go to the next level of care, training them on Paediatric Programs and providing them with relevant guidelines and protocols. More importantly, it was advocating for their patients to be accepted to the local Central Academic Hospital when the consultants refused to accept their patients. That was the ultimate DCST function-the glue that held the Health system together. The community service doctors were grateful for the support, coaching and mentoring as it was their first time being responsible for the decisions and actions they took. It was while I was a District Paediatrician that I enrolled for the Postgraduate Diploma in Community and General Paediatrics with the University of Cape Town.
Due to political interference, I left the post in June 2015 and returned to Durban and I was the first African Head Clinical Unit: Paediatrics at Addington Hospital. I have always been an academic, which is why I am glad to be back in an environment that nurtures and teaches medical students, registrars in Paediatrics and guides and supports medical officers who want to specialize in Paediatrics.
My plans for the future include pursuing a postgraduate Diploma or Master’s Degree in Palliative Care. Giving support and care to parents and children faced with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions, is what I am also passionate about. Facing life-changing uncertainty is something that I have experienced. My mother died from breast cancer two weeks before my matric exams. I am an ovarian cancer survivor-having been free of cancer for more than 10 years.
I am also a blessed and highly favoured child of God.