CEO of Vula Mobile, Dr William Mapham was awarded the Emerging Leader Award at the inaugural South African Health Excellence Awards that was held over the weekend at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.

The awards, which were co-hosted by the Clinix Health Group and the South African Clinician Scientists Society, aimed to celebrate scientists, researchers, practitioners and administrators in the medical sector for their leadership, innovation and service to the country. The event was attended by business and government representatives as well as leaders and practitioners from the South African medical sector.

During her keynote address, South Africa’s First Lady, Dr Tshepo Motsepe acknowledged the contribution of the winners and runners up, in particular to the country’s agenda for a healthy nation, and reflected on the importance of building human capital with the right blend of skills, compassion, perseverance and dedication.

Building on this, CEO of Clinix Health Group, Dr Khamane ‘Kop’ Matseke said: “We received 260 excellent nominations for the seven categories and it was very difficult to decide on the winners. Each nomination represented an individual who had overcome great odds to realise their dream to practice medicine, the sacrifices of families who believed in their children and the time and effort of the medical practitioners themselves who want to make South Africa healthier. It is very inspiring that our winners and runners up are in public and private practice as well in academia.”

The Emerging Leader Award aims to encourage the ongoing development of leadership in the South African healthcare sector. Dr Mapham received the award in recognition of his work in creating a digital medical referral platform that improves the referral systems by putting primary healthcare workers directly in touch with specialists on call. Dr Mapham has an international reputation for bridging the divide between healthcare and technology to improve healthcare delivery.

“It was humbling to receive the Emerging Leader Award, at the inaugural South African Health Excellence Awards,” said Dr Mapham.

“In my many years in practice I have increasingly seen the value of combining traditional medical tools and knowledge with technology and innovation. The fourth Industrial Revolution brings the ideal opportunity for us to think differently about how we practice and deliver services to people, particularly the most vulnerable who sometimes do not have the resources to seek medical attention. It is an exciting time to be in medical practice and the opportunities for innovation are endless,” continued Dr Mapham.

Other award categories and winners are:

  • The Dr Nthato Motlana Lifetime Achiever category: Dr Jiyana Mgojo Mbere, a gynaecologist and obstetrician practicing at Dr SK Matseke Memorial Hospital in Diepkloof
  • Leadership Excellence Award: Professor Koleka Mlisana, former Head of the School of Laboratory Medicine & Medical Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and current member of the ministerial advisory committee on anti-microbial resistance and Trustee of the South African National AIDS council
  • Scientific Excellence Award: Professor Keertan Dheda, a GP and Head of Pulmonology at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town
  • Research Excellence Award: Professor Mike Sathekge, Head of Nuclear Medicine at the South African Medical Research Council, the President of the Colleges of Medicine South Africa and Chair of the Medical Research Council
  • Clinical Excellence Award: Dr Gregory Calligaro, a Consultant in the Respiratory Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital and a Research Co-ordinator at the Lung Infection and Immunity Unit at the University of Cape Town.
  • South African Clinicians Award: Dr Phumla Sinxadi, a Clinician Scientist and Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Cape Town.

During her closing address, Chancellor of Wits University and Chairperson of the Mbekani Group, Dr Judy Dlamini, congratulated each of the winners, runners up and the nominees for their contribution.

“We are pleased, proud and humbled, to have had the opportunity to celebrate each of you. With you in the service of our country, we are confident we will achieve a generation of healthy citizens. We salute each of you and wish you more success as you continue to serve our people and work to transform the healthcare sector,” concluded Dr Dlamini.

For more information contact, like us on Facebook or tweet us @eHealthNewsZA.