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Honour the 'brave': Celebrating the next generation of healthcare professionals

Season 2 of 'Sponsors of Brave' is still open for nominations. So far, seven inspirational nominees have been chosen out of 10 and the campaign is calling all aspiring, current, or recently graduated and community service healthcare students who are boldly and bravely changing the world around them to enter.
The 2020 Sponsors of Brave campaign – a partnership between Adcock Ingram OTC and News24 – aims to celebrate the unsung heroes and brave professionals in healthcare. In particular, season 2 recognises that pursuing a career in healthcare during the height of a pandemic is the definition of a Generation of Brave and aims to shine a spotlight on the succession of healthcare heroes.

Meet the first seven nominees:

Nominee one, fifth-year medical student Sibongumenzi Mtshali (Menzi), says she has seen first-hand what access to medical healthcare providers can do for people, for communities. This rising star from Stellenbosch University has been paired with Dr Liana Roodt, a surgeon and founder of Project Flamingo, a breast cancer-focused NGO.

Originally from a rural town in KwaZulu-Natal, at the age of eight, Menzi lost her grandmother to sepsis after an arm injury turned septic. Years later, Menzi and her family experienced another trauma, receiving very little support at the time. Consequently, she made the decision to dedicate her life to helping others.

Nominee two PHD candidate from the University of Cape Town, Veneshley Samuels is from Atlantis in the Cape Flats, and says that many families, living in close quarters together, contracted tuberculosis and this experience has driven her to want to specialise in TB research.

Veneshley was paired with mentor Dr Andani Mulelu, a biochemist and research scientist at the University of Cape Town's Drug Discovery and Development Research Unit. Dr Mulelu's field of study is molecular biology, protein engineering and structural biology which he is harnessing towards developing a rapid test to diagnose tuberculosis.

Nominee three Julian Sheldon is a Masters student in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, who loves learning in order to help those around him. His friends applaud him for the perseverance and determination he has shown in his studies and life, and for the commitment he has shown in the frontlines against Covid-19.

With his eagerness to learn, comes his appreciation for learning from others. "Mentorship is valuable for young and new healthcare professionals because we are novices in this field," Julian says. "Mentorship provides this form of guidance."

Julian found his mentor in Essential Health Pharmacy in Kuilsrivier pharmacist Leon Brits for whom he worked for three years — sharing a close bond and great respect for one another.

Nominee four Vivian Chengalroyan says, “Bravery isn't just doing. It's courage with action. It's persevering when there's resistance."

Vivian is a PhD candidate in Pharmacy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She says that being a healthcare professional during these trying times has changed her outlook on the future and heightened her passion for helping others.

Her mentor, leading pharmacist Dr Sham Moodley from Care Naraj Pharmacy in Durban, highlighted Vivian's commitment and dedication, "What Vivian brings to the table is a loving personality which I think is critical for patient care," Dr Moodley says.

Nominee five is MbChb student, Cameron Joseph, who understands that a good doctor treats a disease, but a great doctor treats a patient.

Growing up with two parents in the healthcare industry, Cameron Joseph has always seen medicine as his home and the place where he belongs. "It's always been the niche where I wanted to make a difference," says this fourth-year MbChb student.

With his passion for paediatrics and community health, Cameron was paired with mentor Professor Liesl Zühlke. An award-winning leader in her field of paediatric cardiology and a research and global health advocate, Zühlke is the associate Professor in Paediatric Cardiology at the Red Cross Children's Hospital.

Nominee six, Luvo Ntayiya, is a qualified Pharmacist Technician from a rural town in the Eastern Cape and currently a first-year B. Pharm student at Nelson Mandela University. Since the global pandemic hit and universities closed, Luvo felt like he couldn't just sit at home, so he decided to step up and help where he can as a frontline worker.

Luvo was paired with his mentor pharmacist Ntutu Sibango. Ntutu believes that mentorships are important because the next generation can learn from both the mistakes and the skills of more experienced professionals. "I think the most important thing is empathy," Ntutu says. "It's not only tablets that heal, but empathy for patients."

Nominee seven is Tebogo Monogo, a second-year Pharmacy student at North-West University who has a passion for psychopharmacology and neuroscience. Originally from a small village in Limpopo, Tebogo moved to Potchefstroom in 2016 to further her studies and first did a BSc degree before pursuing her second degree in Pharmacy.

Tebogo recently received mentorship from Dr Stephan Steyn, a senior lecturer in pharmacology at North-West University. "People in general don't like being taught anything purely because we cannot acknowledge what we do not know," Dr Steyn says. However, Tebogo is not like most people. "She is open-minded and proud to say what she does not know." Tebogo also values mentorship because she believes it can guide students and give them a pathway.

Are you part of the Next Generation of Brave? Nominate and Win.

Are you an aspiring, current or recently graduated healthcare student or currently completing your community service year? Adcock Ingram OTC and News24 are encouraging you to nominate yourself or a deserving candidate and you could win one of 10 x R5,000 weekly prizes.

In addition, featured nominees could also stand a chance to win an impactful mentorship and two lucky students will walk away with R25,000 towards their studies.

Mentors will also be in line to win a trip to an overseas medical conference of their choice to the value of R50,000 and the opportunity to pay-it-forward by donating R25,000 to any registered NPO charity they wish to support.

Visit https://partners.24.com/SponsorsofBrave/ website for more entry criteria, and to nominate yourself, a worthy candidate or to become a mentor.

The SpaceStation
The SpaceStation offers a wide range of digital marketing solutions including native advertising, video, mobile, programmatic, social, app, DMP and content marketing. Part of 24.com and the Media24 Group, The SpaceStation is Naspers' lead digital media sales house in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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