Press release -
Professor Salome Maswime wins Clinician-Scientist Award
Johannesburg, 27 July 2023: Discovery Foundation is pleased to learn that its recipient and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) fellow, Professor Salome Maswime, received the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) - South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Clinician-Physician Award. This award was for her contribution in the field of Global Surgery in Africa. The accolade recognised her resolute pursuit to drive greater equity, create access to care and find measures to reduce the maternal mortality for caesarean sections in South Africa.
Professor Maswime received the Discovery Foundation Massachusetts General Hospital Award in 2018 and has gone to achieve great success in obstetrics and gynaecology. A qualified obstetrician and gynaecologist, Prof Maswime, Head of Global Surgery at the University of Cape Town (UCT), presented at the recently held UCT Inaugural Lecture series. The title of her lecture topic was “From caesarean section related complications to global surgical systems strengthening”.
This key milestone presents an opportunity for Prof Maswime to share her research in her field of study with a diverse academic and non-academic audience. She has received numerous awards for her research contribution to maternal health including the Trailblazer and Young Achiever award by the President of South Africa in 2017.
As a strong advocate for women’s health rights and equity in surgical and maternal care, Prof Maswime is also the President of the South African Clinician Scientists Society, chair of the Health Systems Trust Board, and advises and consults for several institutions, including the World Health Organization.
She says, “I am incredibly humbled to receive this award and am proud to have the Discovery Foundation’s backing.”
“Professor Maswime’s research is about access to safe, timely obstetric surgery and birth outcomes. She is a global expert when it comes to maternal healthcare and has pioneered an academic programme in Global Surgery,” says Discovery Foundation Chairperson, Dr Vincent Maphai.
A World Health Organization global study reveals caesarean sections (C-section) have increased to more than 1 in 5 (21%) of all childbirths. While a C-section can be a lifesaving surgery for mother and newborn, due to complications that may arise during surgery, the maternal mortality rate following a C-section in Africa may be 50 times higher than that in high-income countries.
The Discovery Foundation is an independent trust that has invested over R300 million to support academic medicine through research, development and the training of mainly black medical specialists in South Africa, over a period of 17 years.
By supporting the training of specialists for rural areas, and the development of academic medicine and research centres, the Discovery Foundation hopes to increase the number of specialists available to adequately meet the country’s healthcare needs.
“We are immensely proud of the growing cohort of exceptional academic doctors and specialists such as Prof Maswime who form part of our Discovery Foundation Alumni,” says Dr Maphai. “The MGH Fellowship Award aims to develop the next generation of leaders in academic and clinical medicine in South Africa. The fellowship programme links medical scientists based in South African medical schools with leaders in clinical science at this world-class medical institution.”
The Discovery Foundation is committed to contributing to the future health and wellbeing of all South Africans to ensure affordable, quality healthcare is accessible to all. The Foundation will continue to fund medical specialists in its programme and has set a target of training and supporting 600 medical specialists and institutions by 2026, with over 400 awards granted to mainly black medical specialists in the public sector from 2006 to 2021. In August 2023, over 40 medical specialists will be recognised at the Discovery Foundation awards ceremony.
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Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, banking, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, active in 40 markets, impacting 40 million lives. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets including AIA (Asia), Ping An (China), Generali (Europe), Sumitomo (Japan), John Hancock (US), Manulife (Canada) and Vitality Life & Health (UK, wholly owned). Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY. Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA