CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: RURAL DOCTOR OF THE YEAR

The time has come to celebrate another unsung hero who makes a difference in a rural context. The Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA) inaugurated an annual award for the rural doctor of the year in 2002.

The award is presented to a rural doctor, working at the coal face, who is judged by the RuDASA Committee to have made a significant contribution towards rural health in the previous year. It is intended to be awarded to a practicing rural doctor rather than to someone who has made achievements in the academic arena. It is also awarded for a specific contribution within the previous year rather than for long service. The nature of the contribution is not defined given the great variety of work and activities of rural doctors.

The award was named after Dr Pierre Jaques, a founder ember of RuDASA and a doyen of rural practice in South Africa.

He spent most of his working life at Elim Hospital in rural Limpopo province and has been a tireless advocate for rural health and the role of the rural doctor in South Africa.

The first recipient of the award, in 2002, was Dr Thys von Mollendorf, previously medical superintendent of Rob Ferreira Hospital in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. Subsequent recipients of the award have been as follows:

2003: Dr Victor Fredlund, from Mseleni Hospital in northern KwaZulu-Natal

2004: Dr Hermann Reuter, from MSF in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape

2005: Dr Nigel Hoffman from Rietvlei Hospital in the Eastern Cape

2006: Dr Vanga Siwisa from Taung, North West Province

2007: Dr Gert Marincowitz from Tzaneen, Limpopo Province

2008: Dr Munyadziwa Kwinda, from Donald Fraser Hospital, Limpopo Province

2009: Dr JJ Ogole from Piet Retief Hospital, Mpumalanga

2010: Dr M Kekana from Hlabisa Hospital, KwaZulu-Natal

2011: Dr KR Adigun from Bethal Hospital, Mpumalanga

2012: Dr Kelly Gate from Bethesda Hospital, KwaZulu-Natal

2013: Dr Ben and Taryn Gaunt from Zithulele Hospital, Eastern Cape

2014: Dr Jenny Nash from Amahlathi District, Eastern Cape

 

2015: Dr Ndiviwe Mphothulo from Taung District in North West Province.

 

2016: Dr Nomolindo Makubalo from Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape  

 

2016: Dr Victor Fredlund Lifetime Achievement in Rural Health

 

2017: Dr Lushiku Nkombua from Nkangala District, Mpumalanga

 

2018: Dr Mikhail Gurland from Tintswalo Hospital Mpumalanga

 

2018: Special Recognition Award for the doctors of North West for Courage in times of Adversity

 

2019: Dr Andrew Miller from Madwaleni Hospital Eastern Cape

  

The RuDASA Committee calls for nominations for the Pierre Jaques Award every year.  Any interested person may nominate a rural doctor working in Southern Africa for consideration of the Rural Doctor of the Year.  Nominations should be submitted to JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

Nominations should be accompanied by details of the nominee, including his/her place of work and contact details, as well as a clear motivation as to why the nominee should be considered for the award. Nominators should also provide all their contact details in case more information is required. Please note that current members of the RuDASA committee are not eligible for nomination.

The closing date for nominations is 1 July.

 

The award winner will be announced at the Gala Dinner at the Annual Rural Health Conference 

 

 

 

 

Print Email

SA needs Rural Doctors - Opinion Piece

Although working conditions are tough in rural areas, doctors need to go where they are most needed, says a medical student.

Although working conditions are tough in rural areas, doctors need to go where they are most needed - writes medical student. (AFP)

I am a medical student; one of a mere 1 200 that will graduate each year in a country besieged by challenges in delivering health care to a primarily disadvantaged population.

It is not hard to imagine that medical students (and the doctors into whom we are moulded to become) have an inherent social conscience. As students, we want to help and heal people. All of us have worked incredibly hard to access one of the most sought-after study programmes in the country, and continue to work hard to graduate after six intense years of non-stop exams, clinical rotations, skills-building sessions, and hours spent in teaching hospitals around the country.

Continue Reading

Print Email

No Mountain Too High for the 2013 Rural Doctors of the Year

RuDASA Press Statement: 

In a context where there are many bad-news stories, it is important that we recognise and celebrate good news. The stories of many dedicated rural doctors who provide amazing care to communities in need are seldom told. The Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA) inaugurated an annual award for the rural doctor of the year in 2002, to acknowledge some of those unsung heroes.

The award is presented to a rural doctor, working at the coal face, who made a significant contribution towards rural health in the previous year. The award was named after Dr Pierre Jacques, a founder member of RuDASA and a doyen of rural practice in South Africa. He spent most of his working life at Elim Hospital in rural Limpopo province and was a tireless advocate for rural health and the role of the rural doctor in South Africa. The award is presented jointly by RuDASA, the HIV Clinicians’ Society and the Rural Health Advocacy Project.

The award was again presented at the 17th Annual Rural Health Conference in St Lucia on 9 August 2013.

Dr Ben and Dr Taryn Gaunt: Teamwork and Outstanding Local Leadership
The Pierre Jacques award for 2013 was awarded to a doctor couple, Ben and Taryn Gaunt, from Zithulele hospital in the Eastern Cape.

Continue Reading

Print Email

Update: Ending Circumcision Deaths, Mutilations and Abuse (support letter)

On 13 August 2013, the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa, in conjunction with the Junior Doctors Association of South Africa, issued a letter of support for National and Provincial Task teams to end the unnecessary deaths, mutilations and abuse that are associated with traditional circumcisions each year. 

The letter may be viewed here

In addition, an analysis of the root causes, conducted in Pondoland, is available and may be viewed here

Print Email

Rural healthcare is crying out for a good plan and a real budget

Madwaleni is one of those rural hospitals that has managed to attract and retain health professionals. Currently the hospital has 10 doctors with pharmacy, radiology, nutrition and rehabilitation health professionals as well," said the 2009 report of the integrated support team appointed by Barbara Hogan, then the minister of health, to investigate the severe overexpenditure of provincial health departments. Madwaleni hospital emerged as a shining example of good rural healthcare. By 2012, however, Madwaleni, deep in the Transkei, was "running" on a skeleton staff of only one doctor and one health professional. Nurses, under enormous pressure, were left to run the maternity ward without doctors'' support – this in a district with the highest maternal mortality rate in the country. Pregnant women needing Caesarians had to go elsewhere. The causes of the Eastern Cape health crisis are well known: the provincial health department's chronic inability to manage its resources and the historical underfunding of rural health has brought the provincial health system to its knees. In 2012, misguided attempts to deal with the department''s snowballing debt led to a moratorium on the filling of vacant posts. This has meant that, despite a number of applicants for positions at the hospital, these remain unfilled.

Continue Reading

Print Email

More Articles ...