Prestigious Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship awarded for eighth time

One of a number of Netcare initiatives to advance medicine and healthcare in South Africa

Wednesday, February 11 2015

The prestigious Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship, which was established to contribute to the development of South African leadership in all branches of academic medicine, was recently awarded for the eighth time. The latest recipient is a Johannesburg vascular surgeon, Dr Ismail Cassimjee.

(Pictured: Dr Ismail Cassimjee, a consultant vascular surgeon at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, has been awarded the prestigious Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship. This is the eighth time that the scholarship, which was established to contribute to the development of South African leadership in all branches of academic medicine, has been awarded.)

Dr Cassimjee, a consultant vascular surgeon at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, plans to use the scholarship to read towards a DPhil in surgical sciences at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. His area of interest is thrombus within an aneurysm and its relation to the complications of the endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Dr Cassimjee worked in teaching hospitals in Johannesburg from 2006 to 2011, when he completed his general surgery training through the University of the Witwatersrand. In May 2014, he attained his certificate in vascular surgery after having completed a two-year sub-speciality fellowship.

Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare, says “The Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship was launched on 3 December 2007, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first heart transplant. The scholarship is awarded under the umbrella of the Physician Partnerships Trust which forms part of Netcare’s Health Partners for Life programme. The scholarship assists South African specialists to undertake doctoral or post-doctoral training and research at leading local or overseas institutions for three or more years.”

Candidates of high academic calibre, who have demonstrated their commitment to making a difference to academic healthcare in South Africa and who would like to further their studies, are invited annually to apply for the scholarship via the national press and through the Deans of the Faculties of Health Sciences at South African universities. Applications are evaluated by members of the Physician Partnerships Trust selection committee under the chairmanship of Professor Bongani Mayosi, head of the Department of Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town. All the medical schools in the country are represented on the committee.

Recipients have to commit to returning to and remaining in South Africa for three years after completing their scholarship in order to pass on the benefits of their training and to advance local academic medicine to help in improving the quality of life of all South Africans.

The scholarship is a fitting tribute to Hamilton Naki, who was a member of Dr Christiaan Barnard’s team at Groote Schuur Hospital and who made a major contribution to medical education in South Africa, even though he only had a primary school education.

 “Mr Naki learned surgical techniques in the surgical laboratory of Professor Christiaan Barnard at Groote Schuur Hospital. As a demonstrator in the laboratory, he assisted in training scores of surgeons who came from around the world to learn from the world- famous heart transplant unit. This clinical scholarship honours Mr Naki’s memory and recognises his continued commitment to learning,” explains Dr Friedland.

“It is immensely rewarding to note how the past recipients of the Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship are excelling in their respective fields of specialisation. Their research and clinical leadership are making a meaningful contribution here in South Africa and abroad,” Dr Friedland observes.

Past recipients of the Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship

Dr Cassimjee is following in the footsteps of the remarkable past recipients who are doing our country proud. They are:

2007 - Dr Carol Hlela and Dr Bonginkosi Chiliza
Dr Hlela is head of the dermatology department in the paediatric unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. She attained a DPhil from the University of Oxford in the UK in 2010, and has since completed her third year of study towards a DPhil in Cutaneous Immunology at Green College, University of Oxford. Dr Hlela, who has a tenured post at UCT, has published 10 times and achieved a Y2 rating by the National Research Foundation in 2014.
Dr Chiliza, a psychiatrist, took up a tenured post at Stellenbosch University after his one-year scholarship. Dr Chiliza has published 21 times since the scholarship, and his doctoral degree in medicine is in the process of submission to the university.

2009 - Dr Mushi Matjila
Dr Matjila’s PhD, which deals with gynaecology and obstetrics, is currently under examination at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Dr Matjila has published four times to date, registered one patent and has a tenured post at UCT.

2010 - Dr Deliwe Ngwezi
Paediatric cardiologist, Dr Ngwezi, is making excellent progress in her study of environmental causes of congenital heart disease. She is in the fourth and final year of her PhD at the University of Alberta in Canada and has had one publication and one high impact abstract since the award.

2011 - Dr Rudzani Muloiwa
Dr Muloiwa, a paediatrician, is researching the causes of whooping cough in children, and is making excellent progress towards completing his doctorate at UCT in 2015. Since being awarded the scholarship, Dr Muloiwa has published five times.

2012 - Dr Liesl Zuhlke
Dr Zuhlke is a paediatric cardiologist who is studying rheumatic heart disease and is on track to complete her PhD in 2015. She has been published 10 times since the award.

2013 - Dr Itumeleng Taunyane
Dr Taunyane is a cardiothoracic surgeon who is researching the effects of cardiac surgery on the brain function of pigs. Dr Taunyane is based in Germany, where he is currently a second year PhD student at the University of Freiburg.



Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Wilson or Jillian Penaluna
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]