Dr Sivuyile Madikana

Medical officer, Gauteng department of health and brand ambassador, Brothers for Life

Medical doctor and health advocate Dr Sivuyile Madikana is passionate about public health in South Africa, especially raising awareness among the youth about communicable diseases. Having recently completed his MBA, focused on using social media as a health awareness tool throughout southern Africa, Madikana will travel to New York in September to complete a master’s in public health. But he’s adamant his future lies here, and that he’ll return to continue combining his medical knowledge with his interest in media for health advocacy.

With youth being his primary focus, Madikana became an ambassador for the Brothers for Life campaign in 2016, playing a crucial role in promoting positive health norms in men in respect of HIV. “There are 13-million South Africans on Facebook and 9-million on Twitter, and a further 3-million on Instagram. So last year we moved our focus from traditional media to a social media messaging campaign for health education purposes.

“Using these everyday tools utilised by the youth, I’ve created an open platform for discussion on issues around HIV/Aids in a bid to destigmatise the topic, and to see young people engaging openly,” he explains. His research for his MBA stemmed from that campaign, examining how health organisations can use social media to help change behaviour. “It’s something that hasn’t really been done previously in South Africa, and I’ll continue the work while I’m in New York, with tuberculosis the next focus area,” he says. Madikana is currently working as a medical officer at the Hillbrow Community Health Centre, as well as in the private sector.

“I see the discrepancies between the two systems, seeing two to three patients an hour in private as opposed to 10 to 15 patients an hour in the public sector, due to the sheer volumes of people. “I have always been passionate about changing the state of healthcare in South Africa, and I see my future in healthcare management to help ensure good healthcare is not only available to those who can afford it,” he says. Madikana is also the Gauteng regional representative of the Junior Doctors’ Association (Judasa), working hard to advocate for junior doctors and senior medical students. Something of a fashionista, Madikana was named one of GQ’s Top 10 Best Dressed Men in South Africa last year.

— Di Caelers

Twitter: @thesivu