Dr Steven Mufamadi is one of 100 doctors and 34 research graduates (PhD and masters) who have been absorbed into the health-care system as a product of the Public Health Enhancement Fund (PHEF).
A resident of Mashau-Bodwe village, Dr Steven Mufamadi, is one of 100 doctors and 34 research graduates (PhD and masters) who have been absorbed into the health-care system as a product of the Public Health Enhancement Fund (PHEF).
The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Dr Lwazi Manzi, said in a media statement that the fund had contributed over R200 million through various programmes that tackled the critical national agenda of Human Resources for Health.
PHEF is a public-private partnership between the Department of Health and a cohort of 22 top companies from the private sector. The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, lauded the demonstration of positive co-operation between the government and the private sector. In the media statement he adds that “the fact that we created such an opportunity, working together, saying we are one sector, is really important. No one individual has the monopoly of wisdom on the direction we should be taking. If people looked at us from the outside, they would never guess that the private and public industry could work together in this manner. We have our own issues, but at the same time, there are things that we hold important and dear as South Africans.”
Meanwhile, Dr Mufamadi had seen an advert in Wits Medical School's newsletter and responded by sending in an application for the Public Health Enhancement Fund. “I started getting the funding from 2013 until 2015, and I was among the first 13 recipients of the National Health Scholars Programme,” he said. “The scholarship meant everything to me, since I had no other funding from elsewhere to assist me to further my PhD. My mother was unemployed, and my father had just passed away when I was still doing my graduate studies. So, the funding had come at the right time.”
Mufamadi graduated with a in PhD in Pharmaceutics at Wits University in 2015. He is the founder and director of Nabio Consulting, which deals with nanomedicine, biotechnology and pharmaceutics.
Of the 100 doctors trained, the vast majority are young black aspirants from severely under-resourced areas.
Meanwhile, a further 78 post-graduate students are currently being funded under the Bongani Mayosi National Health Scholars Programme, named after the late leading physician as an ode to his legacy of excellence in academia.
“This programme supports individuals studying towards their PhD and masters programmes and also ensures that the vacancies left by those doctors who are pursuing their post-graduate studies are funded,” Dr Manzi said.
The PHEF has also intervened in some of the challenges facing the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA), particularly in terms of the turnaround time for approval of new medicines. “As a result of these interventions, the turnaround time improved from around six months to 24 hours, which meant that patients now have access to critical life-saving drugs at the time that they need them,” Dr Manzi said.
The PHEF and Department of Health renewed their commitment to the projects in pursuit of strengthening the capacity of human-resource capitalisation and knowledge economy. “We are all here to build a better South Africa. The country will be built together, irrespective of the differences that we have,” Mkhize said.
Date:07 March 2020 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.