Oncologist to Give Back to UKZN
UKZN alumnus Dr Sithembile Ngidi says she will offer oncology training to undergraduate Medical students at no cost to the University or the students involved.
Based at the Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital in Johannesburg, Ngidi said she planned to visit Durban once a month as an honorary lecturer providing a day of teaching in various oncology modules.
Due to the ongoing oncology crisis in KwaZulu-Natal, UKZN lost its accreditation to train registrars in oncology with a major hurdle being the shortage of State oncologists to provide training in Durban.
Ngidi is passionate about the field and committed to growing oncology as a specialisation in the city.
‘The Oncology department has collapsed as there are no state oncologists left in Durban,’ said Ngidi. ‘I want to give back and be part of the change that will develop UKZN’s reputation once again as a powerhouse in training the country’s best oncologists. I also want to be at my alma mater and help the University that helped me reach my goals in Medicine.’
Ngidi was born and raised in Gamalakhe, a township on the outskirts of Port Shepstone on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast. She grew up in a large household with four siblings. ‘Medicine has always fascinated me. Being able to explore, heal and fix is inspiring. I was a sickly child so I want to help prevent others from suffering the way I did,’ said Ngidi.
A Clinical and Radiation Oncologist, she completed her undergraduate degree, fellowship and Master’s degree in Oncology at UKZN. In 2015, at the age of 31, she qualified as KwaZulu-Natal’s first Black female Oncologist and only the country’s second.
‘UKZN has produced South Africa’s finest clinical and radiation oncologists. We were the leading university when it came to technology and knowledge in Radiation Oncology. Graduates from UKZN’s Radiation Oncology departments were respected and sought after both in the public and private sector.’
Ngidi has offered UKZN her expertise with no salary but will pursue her love for research and publish through the Institution. She also intends to register for a PhD through UKZN and become UKZN’s first doctoral graduate in Radiation Oncology.
Dean of the School of Clinical Medicine, Professor Ncoza Dlova, was ecstatic to hear about Ngidi’s plans to give back to UKZN. ‘I would like to encourage all UKZN alumni to give back and make a positive difference to our University.’
Words: MaryAnn Francis