Pub­lic health ed­u­ca­tion, in­no­va­tion her vi­sion


Queen­stown Girls’ High School Old Girl, pub­lic health medicine spe­cial­ist and global pub­lic health ad­vo­cate Dr Flavia Senkubuge has been an­nounced as the pres­i­dent of the Col­leges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA).

Senkubuge made his­tory as the first black wo­man and only the third wo­man to hold the po­si­tion in the CMSA’s 64 years of ex­is­tence.

She is also the youngest pres­i­dent in its his­tory and the first spe­cial­ist in pub­lic health medicine to hold the po­si­tion.

“CMSA is one of the most pres­ti­gious bod­ies of medicine in SA. It is the cus­to­dian of the qual­ity of med­i­cal care in SA and is unique in the world in that it em­braces 28 con­stituent col­leges rep­re­sent­ing the dis­ci­plines of medicine and den­tistry,” Senkubuge said.

Senkubuge grew up in Ca­cadu, where she at­tended Lady Frere Ju­nior Sec­ondary School. She fin­ished her pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion at Bal­moral, ma­tric­u­lat­ing from GHS and then com­plet­ing her med­i­cal de­gree at the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria.

She said she had al­ways wanted to work in the field of pub­lic health medicine.

“Pub­lic health is so dy­namic and ex­cit­ing, you get to see your work im­pact on pop­u­la­tions in­stead of just one per­son. You work with tal­ented in­di­vid­u­als across the health space and across the world. “You see the world!

“It is a grat­i­fy­ing and hum­bling feel­ing.”

Her vi­sion for CMSA’s Agenda 2022 is to ed­u­cate, in­no­vate and make an im­pact. She has called for a dy­namic CMSA that lever­ages and har­nesses the col­lec­tive ex­cel­lence of its mem­bers and stake­hold­ers.

Senkubuge plans to lead a CMSA that is re­spon­sive and cre­ates value for its pro­fes­sion, health sys­tem and so­ci­ety.

She was the chair of the health pol­icy and man­age­ment di­vi­sion and is the act­ing chair of the School of Health Sys­tems and Pub­lic Health (SHSPH) at the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria. She was also a 2018 fi­nal­ist in the Women of Stature Award in the women in health­care cat­e­gory.

At heart she is a phi­lan­thropist who is pas­sion­ate about men­tor­ing young peo­ple.

Her mes­sage to the young peo­ple of Komani is: “You come from a won­der­ful town. I walked and played in the same town as you. Dream big, and do what you are sup­posed to do. Be pa­tient, God will guide you.

“Trust God and put him first. There is noth­ing that you can­not achieve.”


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