UKZN Academic Elected to the American Dermatological Association
The Head of UKZN’s Department of Dermatology, Professor Ncoza Dlova, has been elected as an international honorary member of the American Dermatological Association (ADA) after being nominated by distinguished colleagues based in the United States and the Philippines.
According to ADA Executive Manager, Miss Julie Odessky: ‘Those elected for honorary international membership are dermatologists of distinction residing outside the United States, its possessions, and Canada, who are individuals of exceptional stature in their own country and in international dermatology.’
Dlova has always been fascinated by skin and hair disorders, particularly those prevalent in ethnic skin. After treating many African and Indian patients with irreversible damaged skin caused by illegal skin-lightening creams, she started researching the ingredients in these products and has published widely in this area.
In partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health and the private sector, Dlova is currently leading an Anti-Skin Lightening campaign in KwaZulu-Natal which will highlight the dangers of this common practice especially seen in the African and Indian communities.
2015 was a year of achievements for Dlova as she graduated with a PhD degree in Dermatology from UKZN, was identified as one of the Woman Achievers and Leaders in Dermatology by the American Women’s Dermatology Society, was appointed as Head of UKZN’s Department of Dermatology, is the inaugural President of the newly formed South African Women’s Dermatological Society and her Department received special recognition for service excellence through outstanding innovation and best practices in the public sector from KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
Currently Dlova is driving an initiative to teach basic dermatology to the primary health care practitioners in UKZN in an effort to address the shortage of Dermatologists in the country. Currently there are about 230 qualified Dermatologists in South Africa serving a population of more than 50 million. Empowering primary health care givers to recognise and treat common and basic skin conditions will prevent unnecessary referrals and travel for rural patients. R1 million has been secured from Direct Relief (USA based NGO) in partnership with Unilever USA for a week’s outreach programme which will take place in the Durban Metro, ILembe and PMB districts.
Dlova has 18 years of experience as a Dermatologist and has plans to advance scholarship in her Department and the Medical School at large. Initially when she qualified as a Dermatologist, there were only two African dermatologists in the country and none in KwaZulu-Natal. Currently, there are 20 UKZN graduated Dermatologists working in both the public and academic sectors.
Dlova was born in Mtyolo, in the Mount Coke area next to King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape. She enjoys reading, cycling, travelling and especially experiencing different cultures.
‘I’m humbled by this international recognition and eternally grateful to all my colleagues and nursing staff in the Department for their support, commitment and for embracing change. This would not have been possible without the amazing team spirit and interest to embark on new ventures for the sake of the Department and patients,’ said Dlova.