Skip to content
Tribute to South Africa’s healthcare professionals: Discovery Health releases moving nine-episode video docu-series

Press release -

Tribute to South Africa’s healthcare professionals: Discovery Health releases moving nine-episode video docu-series

  • Discovery Health launches nine-episode video Doctor Appreciation docu-series
  • Each episode of this nine-part, documentary-style series tells a South African healthcare professional’s story and shares behind-the-scenes, real-life accounts from the COVID-19 frontline.

Johannesburg, 12 November 2021: South Africa’s healthcare professionals have worked at the COVID-19 coalface for the past 18 months. And, without end in sight, they have courageously risen to meet the unprecedented demands of treating COVID-19 patients and managing succussing waves of infection. All this, at ongoing and significant risk to their own lives.

“For almost two years, our healthcare providers have placed their wellbeing second to the wellbeing of those they have cared for,” says Dr Ryan Noach, CEO of Discovery Health. “In doing so, they have overcome enormous challenges and saved lives. They’ve shown such resilience and bravery that we might forget that they also experience fear, doubt and stress along with ongoing pressure on and risk to their safety.”

“Without the resilience and dedication of South Africa’s healthcare professionals throughout the pandemic, many more lives would have been lost. We applaud every healthcare provider and support staff in the healthcare system for their lifesaving efforts in going above and beyond the call of duty, in the fight against COVID-19.”

Their commitment and sacrifice has inspired Discovery Health’s Doctor Appreciation docu-series - a tribute to our country’s exceptional healthcare professionals working in both the public and private healthcare sectors.

Dr Noach adds: “Through this nine-part series we share individual providers’ unique experiences of the pandemic, and showcase the astounding effort that our country’s medical professionals and their support teams make daily in this context.”

“All in all, we created this series to share our gratitude to our healthcare providers for their service and sacrifice. Our aim is to capture and immortalise their compelling stories, so that we might always remember their contribution.”

 Nine stories of courage and resilience in the face of a pandemic

Discovery Health’s docu-series includes the nine episodes (featuring videos of up to five minutes in length each), as follows:

1. Discovery Health’s tribute to healthcare workers:

    CEO of Discovery Health, Dr Ryan Noach, and key members of his clinical team share their reflections on the innovation, tenacity and selflessness shown by healthcare workers in their response to the pandemic and in overcoming significant obstacles in adapting to working on the COVID-19 frontline.

    2. Homegrown innovations (Part 1 of 3):

      Meet Quintin, the Tygerberg Hospital bot that proved game-changing in protecting healthcare workers in the course of their daily work, and enabling ICU patients to connect with family members through virtual calls over the course of the pandemic.

      3. Homegrown innovations (Part 2 of 3):

      Featuring OxERA, a device designed by a team of East London-based volunteers that provided life-giving oxygen to patients being treated for COVID-19.

      4. Homegrown innovations (Part 3 of 3):

      Hot one, two, three – the development of an internationally recognised COVID-19 protocol that kept healthcare workers and patients safe in the context of ventilating patients in hospital.

      5. The role of SA researchers (Part 1 of 2):

      We explore the fascinating and critical role that South Africa’s research teams have played in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

      6. The role of SA researchers (Part 2 of 2):

      Meet the inspiring South African genomics scientists responsible for the discovery of the Beta variant, a global variant of concern.

      7. Healthcare Workers Care Network:

      COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on the metal and emotional wellbeing of healthcare workers. Seeing the impact of the pandemic, Anaesthesiologist, Dr Caroline Lee quickly set up the Healthcare Workers Care Network to offer free training and counselling to healthcare workers in need of assistance, providing life-saving mental health support when it was most needed.

      8. Rural Encounters (Part 1 of 2):

      Madwaleni Hospital serves 130 000 impoverished rural people in the Eastern Cape. When the pandemic hit South African shores, doctors and nurses at Madwaleni dug deep to help as many patients as possible using the limited resources at their disposal.

      9. Rural Encounters (Part 2 of 2):

      The Hlokomela programme in Mpumalanga features a small clinic that provides primary healthcare services to a number of farmworkers and community workers in the surrounding area. When COVID-19 hit South Africa, Hlokamela pivoted in a remarkable way to offer support in the form of mobile clinics, food parcels and screening to the area’s residents.

      View each of these episodes, and read related articles on our website:

      Being vaccinated for COVID-19 is the best way to thank healthcare workers on the pandemic frontline

      "Last week we released our latest data insights on vaccine effectiveness and safety. The evidence is unequivocal: vaccines work, are incredibly safe and reduce individual risk; and represent the most reliable route to fast-tracking our return to normality. Strikingly, relative to members fully vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech, the unvaccinated member population has a five times higher risk of COVID-19 infection; and 20 times the risk of dying from the complications of a COVID-19 infection," says Dr Noach.

      You can find out more about the insights on

      “Indeed our nine-part video series, is a small way of paying tribute to our healthcare providers. However, the most powerful thanks we can all give, I believe, is to be vaccinated for COVID-19, and to play our part in slowing the spread of the pandemic and related impact on healthcare workers and the healthcare system at large.”

      “In closing, I invite the public to watch the nine powerful stories in our series, accessible on our website, and to be reminded of the exceptional calibre of people who have given their all, for us all.”


      COVID-19 total individuals vaccinated at 26 Oct 2021 Slide 3, 5, 9 of 13



      Discovery information

      About Discovery

      Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, 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 27 markets with over 20 million members. 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


      Karishma Jivan

      Karishma Jivan

      Press contact Senior Reputation Management Consultant Healthcare & Sustainability
      Nthabiseng Chapeshamano

      Nthabiseng Chapeshamano

      Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Invest, Cogence, Long & Short Term Insurance, and Sustainability