Kumeren Govender

Medical student

Kumeren Govender, a 23-year-old finalyear medical student at UKZN, has achieved recognition for the publication of his first author paper titled: “Clinical Risk Factors for In-Hospital Mortality in Older Adults with HIV Infection”. He has co-authored a further two peerreviewed articles and also presented at the 6th South African Aids Conference. He is currently the only undergraduate simultaneously undertaking a master’s degree in a special dual-track programme at UKZN.

His honours include being placed in the Top 5 ‘intellects’ of the International Science Competition in Abuja, Nigeria; receiving a medal from the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering and Environment Project Texas; being awarded the Dean’s Commendation for every semester 2012-2017; the VC Scholarship 2013 and the Golden Key Chapter Award 2014.

Govender also started the South African Medical Students Association branch at UKZN two years ago to ensure collaboration among medical schools nationally and also is the president of the Golden Key Society at UKZN’s Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine. He also speaks five languages and plays the violin.

Govender, who grew up in Durban and was schooled in Pinetown, completed school with 12 distinctions in matric. He initially aimed to study engineering on the strengths of his excellence in Maths and science. However, he was also drawn to careers that could make a positive difference, so he opted to study medicine.

“When I started studying, I saw the potential for analytics in medicine, which has fueled my interest in medical research,” he says. Govender plans to continue his studies and hopes to specialise in internal medicine and research activities in future. His particular interest is HIV-positive patients over the age of 50 — a growing community with unique risk factors.

— Tracy Burrows

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ kumeren-govender-9521784a