Durban — One of the country’s most progressive young minds in the medical field, fifth-year University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) medical student, Mohamed Hoosen Suleman, bagged the 2023 Health Excellence Rising Star Award at the weekend.
Suleman was elated to be announced as the winner of the 2023 South African Health Excellence Rising Star Award by the Health Clinix Group together with the South African Clinician Scientists’ Society.
The announcement was made at an awards ceremony at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on Saturday, November 25.
Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was a special guest at the event alongside leading health experts countrywide who were invited to attend the ceremony.
UKZN said that from a pool of 150 nominees, including doctors, senior scientists, and clinicians countrywide, Suleman was shortlisted to the top three. He ultimately took the first position.
The second runner-up was from the University of Cape Town, and the third runner-up was from the University of Pretoria.
“I feel absolutely honoured and privileged to be announced as the winner,” Suleman said.
“I am truly humbled and I view it as a means that will motivate me to keep contributing to healthcare betterment in whatever way I possibly can.”
The award is given to emerging leaders in medicine who have distinguished him or herself academically, through research, or an important contribution to society with the aim of promoting teaching and advancement of medicine in South Africa.
The award recognises inspiring leaders who have served as visionaries and mentors in the medical community.
This individual must be exemplary, a role model to their peers, with evident talent and potential, either through academic, research, service or leadership.
Suleman was also nominated in the Emerging Leadership Award category.
Members of the university’s executive committee and heads of department at the UKZN Medical School congratulated Suleman on his award, saying that he embodies what the university seeks to instil in every student.
The university said that Suleman remains an inspiration to his colleagues and he embodies UKZN’s motto of Inspiring Greatness. The university is very proud of his countless achievements and accolades and he continues to fly both the country and university’s flag high.
A few weeks ago, Suleman was one of five medical students globally to represent their respective countries at the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) meeting in Muscat, Oman. The other medical students were from Belgium, Switzerland, Nigeria and Gambia.
Suleman gave a 90-minute presentation on the importance of ultrasound and related radiological advancements in regard to medical diagnostics.
His presentation focused on temporal trends in ultrasound utilisation within the public health sector, together with its increasing usage at point-of-care ultrasound in emergency medicine.
He was selected as a delegate for this accolade during his Psychiatry clinical rotation at the Townhill Hospital in Pietermaritzburg. He started his clinical rotation on October 9. He was granted leave by the School of Clinical Medicine and the Hospital to attend the meeting and completed his exams on his return.
UKZN said Suleman continues to fly the South African flag high at international health meetings.
Earlier this year, he represented South Africa at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the World Health Assembly held at the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Last year, Suleman received the prestigious World Health Organization (WHO) Changemaker Scholarship in Geneva, Switzerland, which is awarded to only three medical students globally.
Among other accolades, he was one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans in the 17th Edition and serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Medical Students (IJMS).
Suleman is widely known as a dedicated medical youth activist and is a recipient of multiple local and international awards and accolades in the medical field.
The aspiring medical doctor has been recognised by the WHO for his efforts in tackling antimicrobial resistance and many other public health threats with a core focus on resource-limited settings like sub-Saharan Africa.
UKZN has presented special awards to Suleman throughout his undergraduate medical career -- his colleagues and mentors describe him as a student who truly embodies the university’s core principles and ideals of Inspiring Greatness.
Suleman was also invited to attend the 2023 World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany, from October 15-17 but declined the invitation due to medical school commitments and clinical rotations in Pietermaritzburg.
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