The Head of the Campus Health Clinic at the University of Zululand UNIZULU, Sister Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, has recently been appointed as Deputy Chairperson of the esteemed South African Association of Campus Health Services SAACHS.
SAACHS was formed in 1978 with the aim of making a significant contribution to medical and paramedical fields at tertiary education institutions. Among the body’s objectives is striving to initiate, promote, encourage, organise and foster a liaison between members for campus health care in effect to promote and facilitate comprehensive primary health care using patient-centred, multidisciplinary approach and making academic contribution using research findings. The body’s national executive committee is elected at its annual general meeting which takes place at the annual congress of the association every January. Sister Mkhwanazi will be the Deputy Chairperson for two years.
“I feel honoured to be appointed to this position. I hope to serve the association with merit and I hope to use this opportunity to learn various methods that could further improve our health services offered at the university” she said.
Her appointment comes after the success of the Universal Test and Treatment programme campaign, which the Campus Health Clinic launched to promote the use of antiretroviral medication in 2017. The clinic broke new ground as the first tertiary clinic in KwaZulu-Natal to offer ART medication following a memorandum of understanding signed with the Department of Health.
Sister Mkhwanazi joined the UNIZULU Campus Health Clinic as Acting Head in 2013 and became its Head in 2017. She began her career as an assistant nurse in 1984. In 1995 she worked as a staff nurse at Montebello Hospital, but it was at Ngwelezane Hospital where her passion for working with schools and young adults developed. The same passion motivated her to continue with her studies in the early 2000s, seeing her conferred with a BCur degree in Nursing in 2005. She is now studying towards her Master’s degree.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to be a medical practitioner. Even my family knew that I had the necessary qualities to become one. This field is not suited for everyone; it requires someone with a calling for it. It needs a person who has empathy, compassion and a burning desire to improve the lives of others,” she said.
Sister Mkhwanazi’s excellent work performance did not go unnoticed, especially within the institution. In December 2017, she was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Appreciation Award for her continued commitment in improving health services. Sister Makhwanazi strongly believes that the only way to make an impactful contribution to society’s health issues is with compassion and a consistent dedicated mind set for improving health services.
– Hlumelo Nyikana
Pictured: Sister Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, the UNIZULU Campus Health Clinic Head, who was recently appointed as Deputy Chairperson of the South African Association of Campus Health Services. Here, she is pictured with a certificate of appreciation which she received during the UNIZULU Vice-Chancellor’s Appreciation Awards last year (2017).