Strength In Unity

The ASAIPA National Medical Awards (NMA) have been created as a prestigious platform of honour for independent private health practitioners within South Africa. This prestige event is hosted annually by ASAIPA and once again will be made possible by the generosity of dedicated sponsors. There are five practitioner associations participating in the NMA, each association nominating and selecting its own candidate(s) internally.

Through the NMA, ASAIPA recognizes Primary Healthcare Practitioners in altogether seven Award Categories, each designed collectively to exemplify the individuals’ highest values of volunteerism, community engagement, leadership, innovation and dedication to their profession, community and patients.

ASAIPA will also be using the platform to realise its ambition of encouraging Young Doctors, to continue to make a difference in medical practice. To this end a category for our Young Doctors has been established to specifically recognize the selfless sacrifices they have made during the surge of the coronavirus pandemic and in completing their studies at the same time.

While we look forward once again to the fulfilling experience of hosting and presenting the National Medical Awards, ASAIPA takes this opportunity of expressing a collective sadness over the loss of colleagues and healthcare workers at large due to this dreaded pandemic and as such, extends sincere condolences to loved ones, friends and patients. At the same time ASAIPA must use this occasion to accolade colleagues and healthcare associates for the tremendous effort they have been putting into caring for our COVID patients and for the exceptional manner in which they have been conducting themselves in this regard.

NMA 2021 Is Proudly Sponsored by

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This prestigious award is given to an individual who has made, and continues to make, an outstanding contribution to improving health and healthcare for all South Africans. An individual who has given a productive lifetime of distinguished service to medicine.

Dr. Visser had an illustrious career as an IPA leader in South Africa.  He worked as a gynaecologist in Bloemfontein, and it was during this time that he became interested in the welfare of family practitioners in private practice.  He was CEO of Asaipa after starting the alliance with a few national leaders in 2006.  It soon grew to have 2000 members and had the biggest national footprint of all the IPA’s in South Africa.  He later co- formed the IPA Foundation with the SAMCC, ASAIPA, SPNet and CPC Qualicare and became its first CEO.  Dr. Visser was an innovative and industrious leader in the healthcare industry and was widely respected by all his peers and all key opinion leaders in South African healthcare.

Healthcare Leadership Award

This award recognizes organizations, groups or individuals, who exemplifies the qualities of dedicated leadership, to inspire impactful solutions within South Africa’s healthcare system that positively affect both patients and colleagues.

Health Science Student Award

This award is given to a Health Science student each year for exemplary dedication, commitment and leadership.

Community Service Award

This award is given to an organisation, group or individual dedicating their time, skill and expertise to assist community advancement by making a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of the community.

Digital Healthcare Innovation Award

This is awarded to pioneers, innovators and influencers advancing Digital Healthcare in South Africa.

HCP Excellence Award

This award recognises private practice practitioners  contributing significantly to improving Primary Health Care (PHC) delivery.

Young Doctors Merit Award

This award recognises final year students within South Africa who excelled in Academics, Leadership and their passion for serving in the community.

Award Categories

The Alliance of South Africa Independent Practitioners Associations (ASAIPA) is a National Network and
Representative Organisation, representing the interest of 14 IPA’s, throughout South Africa.

Our purpose is to represent all primary healthcare practitioners in independent private practice to be part
of a multi-disciplinary group and/or referral network of practitioners.

In ASAIPA independent practitioners form an alliance with other practitioners with similar interests in their
area to mutually benefit from the union that they form locally and nationally.

Prof. Morgan Chetty

Lex Visser Lifetime Achievement Award

Late Dr. Abe Nkomo

Lex Visser Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof. Glenda Gray

HCP Excellence Award

Dr. Neven Govender

Digital Healthcare Innovation Award

Dr. Unben Pillay

Healthcare Leadership Award

Dr. Samuel Manthata

Community Service Award


The Science of Movement and the application of exercise in rehabilitative treatment of performance.

Biokinetics’ primary function is to improve physical functioning and health care through exercise as a modality.

Biokinetics is the profession concerned with health promotion, the maintenance of physical abilities and final phase rehabilitation, by means of scientifically-based physical activity programme prescription.



Graham Bentz

HCP Excellence Award

Aimee Barrett-Theron

Health Leadership Award


Digital Healthcare Innovation Award

The South African Association of Audiologists (SAAA) is an interest group originally formed by South African Audiologists in private practice, but since 2002, SAAA also represents and is supported by South African Audiologists employed in all fraternities.

The aim and purpose of SAAA is to develop and promote AUDIOLOGY to the public, medical and educational fraternities and other related healthcare professions. In the quest to promote audiology and in striving towards professional service excellence, SAAA actively liaises with statutory institutions e.g. HPCSA, medical aids, related professional associations / bodies etc.

Erika Bostock

Healthcare Leadership Award

Alida Naude

Healthcare Leadership Award

Dr. Natalie Buttress

Healthcare Leadership Award

Tersia de Kock & Tara Odendaal

Community Service Award

The SA Optometric Association is a Professional Association registered as a Non-Profit Company (NPC) representing optometrists and dispensing opticians in South Africa. Membership of the SAOA encompasses all forms of practice modalities in the private sector including independent practice, group practice and franchise models, as well as optometrists employed in the public sector, academia, and industry.

The main objective of the Association is to promote and protect the collective interests of its membership in good standing, and in so doing, promotes the interests of the professions, generally, as well as the public.

Prof. Paul Ramkissoon

HCP Excellence Award

Dollars Boloka

Healthcare Leadership Award

Ntombi Zitha

Community Service Award

Kayla Gerber

Health Science Student Award

The SASP is a voluntary professional membership organisation committed to equal opportunities and inclusivity, and striving to support the demographic profile of South Africa in terms of race and gender. The SASP is Non-Profit Organisation, and part of our mission is to assist Government with the social and development needs of the country (SARS, 2014). The SASP is also a Public Benefit Organisation. We therefore strive to use our funds responsibly and solely for their stated objectives, without any personal gain being enjoyed by any person including the founders and the fiduciaries (SARS, 2014).

Dr. Ina Diener

Healthcare Leadership Award

Lorraine Jacobs

Healthcare Leadership Award

The SASP Communications Team

Community Service Award

Timoreta Gray - NMSPG Chairperson

Digital Healthcare Innovation Award

The Young Doctors Merit Award, has for the first time in 2021, been awarded to the top 5 final year
Medical Students in South Africa.

Azhar Nadkar

Young Doctors Merit Award

Christine Ile

Young Doctors Merit Award

Paula Edwards

Young Doctors Merit Award

Robyn Kamau

Young Doctors Merit Award

Savannah Verhage

Young Doctors Merit Award



Prof Morgan Chetty is a registered Specialist Family Physician and the current Chairman of the IPA Foundation of SA and Chairman of Kwazulu-Natal Doctors Healthcare Coalition.

Prof. Chetty serves as visiting Professor to the Department of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology.  He was awarded the Fellowship of Family Physicians by the College of Medicine of SA – 2013 – FCFP(SA) as well as with a PhD from the Nelson Mandela University of South Africa.

He was awarded the Fullbright – Humphrey Scholarship to the USA in 1993-1994 and completed his MPH in the USA. He wrote two books on Managed Care and is a speaker at National and International Conferences on a regular basis. Prof. Chetty also received the Titanium Award by the BHF for Leadership in Healthcare and the Discovery Health Life Time Achievement Award for work on Quality of care.

Prof. Chetty acted in the following positions:

2018 – Appointed as the Interim Chairman of African Health Federation – South Africa.

2020 – Appointed onto the Minister`s Advisory Committee on Covid and invited to serve in the Presidential War Room on NHI – Stream 4 on Quality.  Prof. Chetty was also invited to join the Council of Medical Schemes Advisory Committee on Fraud Waste and Abuse.

2021 – Appointed to serve on the Service Delivery Platform at B4SA (Covid Vaccine Distribution).

Prof Chetty is involved with Peer Reviews for 25 years.


Dr. Nkomo was one of the most admired physicians in South Africa and the African continent and was Honoured with the esteemed Nelson Mandela Health Award. He was an active community leader in the health and wellness field. The honourable Dr. Nkomo also served as a Member of the National Assembly, where he was Chairperson of the Health Portfolio Committee. He also served as Ambassador to Malaysia and Canada. We thank Dr. Nkomo for his enormous contribution to his patients and community.


Professor Glenda Gray, President & CEO: SAMRC

An NRF A1 rated scientist, CEO and President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Professor Glenda Gray is a qualified pediatrician and co-founder of the internationally recognised Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa. Prior to her appointment at the SAMRC, she was the Executive Director of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, an affiliate of Wits University.

Glenda’s global profile includes a role as Co-PI of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), a transnational collaboration for the development of HIV/AIDS prevention vaccines. She is also Director of International Programmes for HVTN and Chairperson of the Board of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, USA.

She received South Africa’s highest honour - the Order of Mapungubwe - for her pioneering research in PMTCT. Other prestigious accolades include the Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award for significant contributions in the field of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Selected as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Glenda is a recognised leader in her field. Her qualifications include an MBBCH, FCPaeds (SA), DSc (honoris causa SFU), DSc (honoris causa SUN), LL.D (Rhodes).

As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, she was among the first to lead public discourse on the issue, and to move quickly to establish COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa, utilizing the experience and network developed over the years for the HIV vaccine work. When the South Africa`s national vaccine roll-out faltered, her international stature enabled her to negotiate a donation of 500 000 doses of the Ad26.CoV.2 vaccine before any emergency use authorization was available and conduct a phase 3B open-label study in health care workers, called the Sisonke Study.


Dr. Neven Govender qualified at the University of Natal MBCHB. He interned at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital. Thereafter he worked in Cape Town and Ireland as Emergency Medicine Registrar. Back in South Africa Dr. Govender started his career as General Practitioner in 2010.

Dr. Govender`s special interest is in the fields of HIV, Diabetes and integrating technology into healthcare. He served on the board of the NDPG and is currently Deputy Chair and CEO of KZNDHC.

Dr. Govender started V4HCW this year together with Dr. Unben Pillay to vaccinate all Healthcare Workers within South Africa. He is also the recipient of the 2021 KZNDHC Award for Excellence in Healthcare.


Dr. Unben Pillay qualified as a medical doctor (MBBCh) from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1995. He has been practicing as a General Practitioner in private practice for over 25 years, and has a special interest in Chronic Disease Management, Digital Healthcare solutions and Outcome Based Healthcare. Dr. Pillay was appointed as the CEO of ASAIPA in August 2016 and under his leadership ASAIPA has become one of the most innovative and forward-thinking healthcare organizations in the country.

In 2021 Dr. Pillay earned tremendous respect and recognition for his dedication and commitment to promote and assist in the vaccinations of all healthcare workers with his V4HCW initiative.  He was also a founder of the R4HCW Initiative to provide much needed financial assistance to those doctors who were severely affected in the recent riots.

Dr. Pillay`s current positions:

Practitioner Associations:

  1. CEO: IPAF – Independent Practitioners Association Foundation (2020)
  2. CEO: ASAIPA – Alliance of South African Independent Practitioners Associations (2018)
  3. Vice Chairperson of the UFFP – United Forum of Family Practitioners (2019)

Digital health organizations:

  1. Founder and Chairperson: DHCA – Digital Healthcare Association of South Africa (2018)
  2. Founder and Co-Chairperson: ATC – Africa Telehealth Collaboration (2021)

Advisory Boards:

  1. SYNTRO-P Health Advisory Board (2020)
  2. Discovery Health Family Practitioner Advisory Board (2017)

Dr. Sammy Manthata qualified as a General Practitioner at Medunsa in 1988. He completed his Internship at Ga-Rankuwa Hospital at George Mukhari Hospital and worked at Thomas Medical Centre in Rustenburg for 1 year. Dr. Manthata was a General Practitioner for 31 years in Mankweng next to University of Limpopo.

Dr. Manthata completed the following qualifications: - M.B. Ch.B. (MEDUNSA), MBA(MANCOSA), CERT Travel Medicine (SASTM), CERT Evaluation of permanent medical impairment rating (FDP), (GP focused ultrasound (FDP). He was an Occasional Medical student of the University of Pretoria and University of Cape Town family medicine block rotating some of Community activities Involvement includes among others.

  • Sponsor pharmacy ball annually
  • Support Links Football Club (university of Limpopo student league club) and annual four club university spectacular involving top four teams)
  • Sponsored National Blind Cricket Club in 2002
  • Donated Doasho High School Choir with uniform in 1999
  • Donates annually sanitary towels to various schools around Mankweng Community and etc.

Dr. Manthata has a passion for his patients as well as his community.


Harry Wiltshire is a Biokineticist in Good Standing and has been at the forefront of clinical rehabilitation and practice-based research of the young athlete during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Wiltshire has been at the forefront of relating clinical research and creation of return to sport protocols post Covid-19 infection for young athletes in the school sport and competitive environment using objective assessment and prescription. Harry Wiltshire also leads by example in performing endurance trail runs and display of a physically active lifestyle modelling good health.

Mr Wiltshire is a regional Chairperson for the Biokinetics Association of South Africa (BASA), Chair of the Mpumalanga Committee, and has provided access to sourced research journals, articles and provided information and equipping resources to fellow Biokineticists in the Biokinetics Association SA membership group. Mr Wiltshire has also provided Marketing material, and advertorial articles for the SA Sports Magazine requiring evidence based clinical guidance on ‘Return to play protocols post Covid-19) for protocols developed and monitored for young athletes, presenting as a leader in these new protocols and on-the-ground, in-practice objective research.

Please refer to the below:

Featured Article: Biokinetics SA's updated guidelines on returning to playing sport at school. @BiokineticsSA

Ultra marathon trail run

Cycle race


Graham Bentz is a qualified Biokineticist and Sport Scientist with 20 years of conditioning experience from school level to professional athletes. His journey started at the University of Pretoria in the year 2000, whereafter he attended the University of Zululand in 2003. In 2004, he started at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa in Newlands, Cape Town, where he worked till 2012. He was involved with the testing of various teams and individual athletes at the High-Performance Centre and credits Justin Durant as his mentor, whom he learnt a great deal of knowledge from in the strength and conditioning field. Graham worked with schools-, clubs- and amateur rugby teams and worked himself up to junior provincial and national teams. He was fortunate enough to be involved with SA Rugby structure from 2007-2012 and was part of the management team that won the Junior World Championships in Cape Town in 2012. Even though he was traveling, he also stayed involved with community teams in his area. Later on, he was involved with “Operation Rio” - preparing the Kenya 7's men’s rugby team to qualify for the Olympics. Subsequent to that, he then consulted for various other international teams, namely Namibia, Georgia, Germany and Israel. For the past year, he has been the Assistant Coach and Head of Performance for the Russian Ladies 7’s rugby team to assist them to be the first Russian Ladies 7’s rugby team to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Graham enjoys his coaching, as he understands the fundamental movement roles of the body and has been privileged to learn from over 60 international tours, all with various age groups of teams. He hopes to share and broaden his coaching and conditioning knowledge and experience.

His hobbies include running, as he has completed his permanent number in the Comrades Marathon and Two Oceans Marathon and completed over a 100 marathons, including the Ironman and various ultra-distance trail events.

Graham is passionate about people and his career, especially sharing the wonders of movement and helping individuals achieve their dreams through spirit and lifestyle enjoyment.


Aimee is a referee on the SA Rugby National Panel. Aimee has excelled beyond in her career and within the sporting arena for SA. She has given Biokinetics a great name in her field as well as locally and internationally. She has been in the referee scene for over 7 years. She has done 23 international tests and over 100 locally. She has also refereed at the Olympics.

She a qualified Biokineticist running her own private practice here in Pinelands, Cape Town. She grew up in Durban and got a rugby bursary to study Sport Science at Stellenbosch University while she was representing South Africa in the 7’s and 15’s Women’s rugby teams. She went on to complete my Honours and Masters Degree then decided to pick up the whistle in 2014 while she was working as a locum Biokineticist. She was appointed onto the SA Rugby Panel in 2014 and went on to join the World Rugby Panel in 2015. She was fortunate enough to referee at the Rio Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Women’s World Cup as well as becoming South Africa’s first professional female referee.



They have created an exercise program prescription app for Biokineticist and other healthcare workers with his associate Pieter Faber- Rehabit

They have made this app available locally where they are in Bloemfontein and not withholding such an innovative app for only their practice. It is a web-based platform, and it is breaking ground for therapist to write and monitor patients program prescriptions. This web-based platform is still in the early phases but is rapidly making grounds in the field.   This is remarkable for young Biokineticist in private practice to already have establish something that can add value to the healthcare in SA.


The country-wide lockdown meant we could no longer see our patients in person.  We went from fully-booked to an empty schedule almost over-night. During the lockdown we came up with Rehabit. Our vision was to build a platform that makes program prescription super easy. We launched our MVP in September of 2020 to a handful of Biokineticists.  The first version was really basic and only had an exercise library and a program builder. Then we added patient profiles and started tracking program views, pain scales, fatigue scales and comments. It became easy to send programs AND get feedback. Best of all, their patients loved it. We officially launched in June 2021.  Since then we've continued to update it with new features and have tons of ideas in the pipeline.  The project has far exceeded our initial expectations and we hope it becomes a house-hold name in the industry.


I work full-time as a software developer from my home in Bloemfontein. We're a small, remote team building an innovative digital health and safety management platform used by some of the largest companies in South Africa. Programming is both my hobby and my profession. To the casual observer it looks boring and complicated, but I get to build entire worlds out of nothing. It is the perfect medium for expressing logic-based creativity. There are infinite problems still waiting to be solved and I hope to contribute to society by solving some of them, big or small.


Im a Biokineticist and working with people and helping them improve their health and reach their goals is my absolute passion whether it’s to returning to sprinting on the athletic field or just to climb stairs pain free again.

I have a wide variety of interests with my favourite being sport. With that said I still like playing recreational rugby, mountain biking and any other sports along the way.

My Wife and Daughter are the centre point of my life, and spending time with them and with my family is what life is all about for me.

In the future I would like to further expand our practice so that we could help more people in need of rehabilitation and/or a biokineticists advice and guidance.


I am a Biokineticist in Bloemfontein. My partner and I started our practice in 2018 that has since grown into two practices. I love working with people and seeing them grow and develop. I also enjoy the entrepreneurial side and am still learning a lot every day. On a personal note, I love the outdoors, anything from the mountains to the sea, hiking and rock climbing. I enjoy sports a lot and take part in all sorts of running, cycling, and swimming activities.


Erika graduated from Wits University as a Speech and Hearing Therapist in 1994. She has been the head of the Speech Therapy and Audiology department at Witbank Hospital since 2004. Her passion for access to health services and her profession is reflected in her being a member of the SASLHA Council since 2010, a founder member of Rural Rehab SA and a volunteer for Operation Smile since 2011. She heads up SASLHA’s African Connections Project, her ‘baby’ now that her children are young adults. Erika enjoys nature, cooking, reading and travelling off the beaten track with her family.

Erika has been in public service for more than a decade/s and has dedicated her entire being to service delivery and making STA services accessible to people of Mpumalanga province. Erika extended her service to various organizations such as RuReSA (Rural Rehabilitation South Africa), she served as a past president, where she was able to lead masses.

Erika Bostock is a trailblazer—both as an ST&A clinician and as a role model for young professionals.

Her passion for leadership, commitment to the professional development of others and focus on providing high-quality services make her a 'Clinician to Watch'. She is an advocate for mentoring young clinicians. She values the opportunity to share the wisdom and experience she has gained to help other young professionals to build a path through the complex environment of the public healthcare sector into a unique and fulfilling career.

She is an empathetic leader, conscientious, and a good exemplary to us junior clinicians in the profession, and it is my signal pleasure to nominate her for this award.


Alida Naudé is a corporate training audiologist with wide clinical experience of private practice and higher education as a senior lecturer and researcher. She received her doctorate in audiology from the University of Pretoria in 2015 for which she received the CAAC Semantic Compaction Systems Award for best research project. At the end of 2016 she completed her post doctorate fellowship at the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication and holds the title of Junior Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria. Special areas of expertise and research include ethics and personal development, evoked potentials, vestibular audiology, ototoxicity and infection control. She has authored more than 15 articles in accredited journals and has also served as the editor of a special journal edition about ethics in conjunction with international researchers. She co-authored a book entitled “Help! I can’t find a measuring instrument for my research: Designing measuring instruments from scratch” which is based on work emanating from both her PhD as well as from her post-doctoral work. She also co-authored a book chapter “Ethical Considerations and Tele-Audiology in Early Hearing Detection and Intervention”.

To date she has supervised 2 Master’s dissertations and 5 mini-dissertations, 1 PhD thesis and is currently co-supervising 2 Master’s dissertations and 1 PhD thesis. She is a certified independent color-code trainer as well as HumaNext certified facilitator. Both programs focus on engaging emotional and creative intelligence to enhance the capacity of people to be aware of, control and express their emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

She recently qualified as a registered NLP and Shadowmatch life coach emphasizing her passion for personal growth and development. In addition, she is actively involved in the vestibular clinic at Cintocare Hospital where she consults as part of a multi-disciplinary team helping patients with balance concerns on their road to recovery. She is in her final year of obtaining her animal audiology international diploma and is already actively promoting hearing health in animals.


Dr. Natalie Buttress is a 28-year veteran of audiology private practice with a deep-seated commitment to the evolution of self as a practitioner, and evolution of the profession. She has dedicated time to further studies with an M (Audiology) with distinction in 2000, and a post-professional clinical doctorate, also obtained with first class, in 2021. She has been recognised with several awards for academic merit; clinical contributions; is a small business award finalist; and leadership- with the AT Still University Professional Leadership Award awarded during her degree. Her passion for the development of people and careers in audiology has also seen her lecture and supervise audiology undergraduate students and develop post-graduate national lectures in the science and art of audiology. She has served as a SASLHA president and as the Chairperson of the Ethics and Standards Committee of SAAA. She also served on the board of the non-profit organisation ‘Decibels of Love’- committed to the support of families managing hearing loss. She initiated the formation of the Reconnect Audiology Network- a collegiate collective towards the support of the independent private practitioner in the face of global challenges in the field of audiology, standing up for patient-centric, beneficent, transparent, and ethical care. She is a partner in the Reconnect-Ed education platform, to assist clinicians towards inhabiting their entire scope of practice. Natalie remains an ardent clinical audiologist, heading up a team of 5 practitioners in vestibular diagnostics and rehabilitation; hearing diagnostics and rehabilitation; auditory processing evaluation and therapy; and management of tinnitus, hyperacusis, and misophonia at her NB Hearing practices.


Tersia de Kock & Tara Odendaal are both audiologists and co-managers of the 3E community-based hearing screening programme in Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain. Tara is a paediatric audiologist at the Carel du Toit Centre and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree for which she is evaluating the impact of the 3E programme. Tersia is the programme director at the hearX Foundation and is experienced in the development and implementation of decentralised hearing care in developing contexts. They are both passionate about making a difference in the community.

hearX Foundation

The hearX Foundation is a non-profit organisation that drives the vision of ‘healthy hearing for everyone, everywhere'. We strive to impact the 1.5 billion globally who suffer hearing difficulties on an individual, community and global level. Our focus areas include decentralised hearing care, awareness training and contextual implementation research. We equip community members and partner with local organisations to implement innovative service delivery models using smart digital solutions.

Carel du Toit Centre & Trust

Our mission at the Carel du Toit Trust is to make it possible for every deaf child to have the opportunity to hear, listen and talk through the mobilisation and development of resources to advance whole child development. The Carel du Toit Centre provides a holistic approach for the intervention and treatment of hearing-impaired children from birth through foundation phase in order for them to reach their full potential in a hearing society.

Over the past 4 years, the hearX Foundation and the Carel du Toit Centre & Trust jointly implemented the 3E programme - a community-based screening programme for pre-schoolers in Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD’s) in Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain using mHealth technology. The programme has provided more than 20 000 pre-school children with access to hearing care and assisted approximately 550 children that were identified with educationally significant hearing difficulties. The programme also trained more than 1500 teachers and early childhood development (ECD) staff regarding the importance of hearing for learning and their role in early identification.


Professor Paul Ramkissoon graduated from UDW in 1987 and completed postgraduate qualifications from UDW, RAU, UKZN, NECO, SUNY and the American Academy of Optometry. He is a perpetual student, successfully acquiring all qualifications offered in Optometry. UKZN conferred Honorary Professor title to him in 2012 for his contribution to optometry.

Paul has over 130 publications and has delivered over 40 lectures locally and abroad. He has served on several committees of the South African Optometric Association (SAOA) and the Health Profession’s Council of South Africa (HPCSA) advancing eye and vision care. Some of the committees include: Ocular Therapeutics committee of the Professional Board for Optometry and Dispensing Opticians (PBODO), Preliminary committee of the PBODO, Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) committee of the SAOA, National Health Insurance (NHI) committee of the SAOA and the Together Towards Tomorrow committee of the SAOA.

Notwithstanding being in private practice in Newcastle, he is actively engaged as an external examiner and supervisor to local and international postgraduate students.

In 2018, Prof Ramkissoon was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award for Exceptional Achievement in the Realm of Academia plus the Award for Best Editorial Contribution to Vision Magazine. In 2019, the SAOA awarded Prof Ramkissoon its highest award, Honorary Life Member.

Despite being orphaned at age 7 and spending his childhood in children’s homes, he has used education as his passport to overcome poverty and obstacles. The difference that a pair of glasses made to his life was one of the driving forces behind his choice in career. Growing up as an orphan was motivation enough to break the cycle of abject poverty and rise above his conditions. He leads by example and serves as a beacon for others and in those in similar difficulties that achievement is possible.


Mr. Dollars Boloka is a Qualified Optometrist from the University of the North, graduated in Class of 2005. He has been in private Practice since 2006, and now owns 2 Optometry practices in Pretoria, South Africa. He passionately loves the profession of Optometry and has for many years committed to the advancement of the Optometry profession.

He holds a certificate of leadership and Cooperate governance 2018, with Professor Mervyn King at Spectacular training and conferences

  • Certificate of Practical Paediatric course with Paediatric training academy 2012
  • Certificate of Introduction in Financial Management (UNISA) 2018
  • Certificate of Diagnostic Privileges of Optometrists (University of Johannesburg) 2017

He has served in many capacities, from the high school through to university. For the past few years, he has been serving within the Board of the South African Optometric Association in the capacity as Public Health Director, Finance Director and now, Mr Boloka serves as the President.

Dollars is a humble and loving husband and father of 3 daughters. He enjoys soccer (pains and joys of Orlando Pirates), tennis and cricket.  He loves nature and the wild.


Benedicta Ntombikayise Zitha is a motivated, solutionist thinking woman who is passionate about her work and prides herself in her achievements. She finds pleasure in helping others and working towards a successful goal. She has good managerial skills. She is driven, always looking for a new challenge and leaves no stone unturned when she is on a mission.

She has been in Optometry for the past 19years and still enjoys every second of it. Ntombi as she is passionately known started a private practice soon after graduation that was the only way in which she could have the freedom to pursue other avenues and have her ideas being put into practice.

Her passion in helping others was expressed in her involvement as a Director in an NPO called Bona Bolo, which gives spectacles to the underprivileged learners all around the country. She received a certificate in the Goldman Sachs-Gibs 10000 Women Certificate Program for Women Entrepreneurs.

She was contracted to the University of Pretoria as an Optometrist for six years and only left when she relocated to Cape Town end of 2019. She has been running a private practice at the University of Pretoria since August 2014 where she also works close to the disability unit in assessing diagnosed and undiagnosed conditions which are eye related and open to all students and staff.

Recently joined the Contact Lens Society SA and is currently a board member. She is focusing on improving her skill and learning about the newer innovations in Contact lenses as it is becoming a bigger need to be managing patients with specialized lenses.

She has been motivated to further her studies as she saw an opportunity when the scope of Optometry was increased and did her Diagnostic and then immediately her Therapeutics. She has completed her community service hours (600) at Tshwane District Hospital. While still working on her career she has the energy to also keep her spirituality in check when she did her four years in Catholic Ministry training.

She has started a new business venture which is creating employment for newly qualified Optometrists and giving opportunity to Dispensing Opticians to obtain their qualification. Her company has partnered with Cipla Foundation, to offer affordable Optometry services to underprivileged communities, with her site in Grabouw in the Western Cape.

She sits as a member of the SAOA Public health committee.


Miss Gerber is a final year Optometry student at the University of the Free State - Bloemfontein.

Kayla attended the Sentraal High School from 2013 – 2017 and matriculated with four distinctions and a silver medal at the ATKV Spelathon competition in 2015.

She attends the University of Free state and has quite an accomplished Academic journey with the following achievements under her belt.

  • Four distinctions in her first year of Optometry,
  • Seven distinctions in her second year, receiving the J P Dirker Award for the  best Second year Optometry student,
  • Selected class representative for the Third year Optometry students and received four      distinctions at the end of that year.
  • As a fourth-year student she was elected member of the Faculty of Health Sciences Student Council and serves the role of secretary of the Council

Kayla enjoys jogging and going to the gym. She also has a passion for photography, especially photographs of nature. She also enjoys reading and learning new things that will contribute to her education.


Ina was born and bred in South Africa and lives and practises as a clinician in Stellenbosch.

She qualified at the University of Stellenbosch in 1974 and graduated with her PhD [research in the field of chronic headaches] in 2003, from the University of the Western Cape.

She has been in private practice for more than 40 years, and been involved in the special interest field of neuromusculoskeletal health in university programs, projects of the SASP and several CPD courses, of which the latest one is the Pain Boot Camp training course for the Discovery Health project  She has published several academic papers and non-academic articles, and has presented papers at many national and international conferences.

Description: Persistent NMS Pain Bootcamp – Introduction plus 4 Modules

The modules are now available for physiotherapists, members and non-members, for an in-depth overview of treating patients with chronic neck, back and musculoskeletal conditions, specifically those difficult ones in the high-risk category.  For this purpose, the "Persistent NMS Bootcamp" package was developed to provide as much information in the shortest period of time (Bootcamp).

Province/SIG organising course: SASP NMSPG and Private Sector Group
Course presenter: Lorraine Jacobs
Course organiser: SASP NMS and Private Sector Group


Lorraine Jacobs has been a physiotherapist in private practice for many years, and is currently an associate in a large multidisciplinary rehabilitation practice in Johannesburg. She teaches at a post-graduate level. She is passionate about compassionate person-centred care, developing resilience, evidence-based practice, reflective practise, and critical thinking skills. She has completed the Certificate in Pain management through the Pain Management Physiotherapy group.

She has compiled and presented training webinars on high value care for physiotherapists in collaboration with the South African Society of Physiotherapy and several medical funders. Her practice encompasses the management of musculoskeletal disorders, especially persistent pain disorders in adults and children, as well as the management of cancer survivors. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of Stellenbosch, and has a MSc (Physio) and an MBA from Wits. She is a member of the College of Coaches at the Wits Business School. She served as a member of the Professional Board for Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Biokinetics of the HPCSA 2015-2020.


Content of the Pain Bootcamp series:
This course can be accessed via the SASP e-commerce site

Value-based care
Best -practice musculo-skeletal care

Module 1
Pain Essentials
Patient-centred care
Clinical decision making

Module 2
Pain, the nervous system and the immune system

Module 3
Pain Neuroscience Education (Presented by Dr Ina Diener)
Exercise and activity

Module 4
Stress management
Mindfulness in chronic pain (Presented by Clare Cresswell)
Making sense of it all


SASP Communications Team

The South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) is a voluntary professional membership organisation committed to equal opportunities and inclusivity, and striving to support the demographic profile of South Africa in terms of race and gender.

One of the portfolios that aids in the smooth running of the SASP is that of the Communications Team. This team is responsible for the communications both internally to our members and externally in the marketing of our profession.

The Communications team strives for the education and empowerment of the public and the greater healthcare community on the importance of physiotherapy in the healthcare system

We aim to ensure that our communication systems are up to date and that we are able to offer our members the very best in all areas of the ever-changing world of communication.

Karen Gibbs

Karen is the current Chair of the Communications and Marketing portfolio of the South African Society of Physiotherapy. A sports physiotherapist with more than 20 years of experience, she has represented South Africa at the highest levels, providing physiotherapy services to elite athletes competing in several different sporting disciplines. In addition to her private practice, she is contracted by an elite sports agency and frequently travels the international athletics circuit assisting athletes from all over the world.

Her current position as a member of the National Executive Committee of the SASP enables her to drive her vision for the physiotherapy profession and indeed, the medical profession as a whole, in terms of building communication infrastructures that educate and empower health professionals with clear, easy-to-access and up to date information.

Dr Diana Coetzer

Diana completed her BSc, MSc, and PhD (Physiotherapy) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her research area was in the development of premature infants. She also has a diploma in Social Media Marketing. She served on the National Executive committee of the South African society of physiotherapy (SASP) for four years. Following that she was employed by the SASP as the Communications Consultant.


The Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy Group (NMSPG) is a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) and was established in 1974.

The physiotherapists that belong to this group have a special interest in assessing and treating neuro-musculoskeletal (NMS), spinal and peripheral joint disorders using a clinically reasoned hands-on approach of manual therapy and rehabilitation.

The NMSPG encompasses, and is driven by available scientific and clinical evidence, and the biopsychosocial framework of each individual patient. The South African NMSPG is affiliated with the International Federation of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists (IFOMPT), which is a non-government federation representing international collaboration in Manipulative Therapy.

IFOMPT's vision is : "World-wide promotion of excellence and unity in clinical and academic standards for manual/musculoskeletal physiotherapists." IFOMPT is a recognized sub-group of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), which in turn is a part of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The NMSPG in collaboration with WITS university have converted the Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) post-graduate certificate into a PGDip. This will commence in 2022. NMSPG page is embedded into SASP website.

Community projects:

NMSPG South Gauteng Provincial group has sponsored towards the team tracksuits of the Development Running Team of Pirates Running Club, in Johannesburg.

Some of the Online evening lectures and modular courses presented during 2021:


Azhar Adam Nadkar is a final-year medical student in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) at Stellenbosch University. He is committed to continuously enhancing his knowledge, attitude and skills set as a future medical doctor, educator, scholar, researcher, and leader in South Africa. As a first-generation university student, he has embraced a strong leadership role in the medical faculty, whilst also excelling in his academic studies. He has also managed to play a meaningful role in a number of student societies, showing the breadth of his contribution to life and learning outside of the curriculum. He currently serves as the Student Task Force Coordinator for both the International Association for Medical Education (AMEE) and the Southern African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE). He also currently serves as the Co-Curriculum Student Coordinator and Experiential Educator for the Tygerberg Academic Affairs Council. A tireless volunteer and servant-leader, Azhar’s hard work and dedication to serving others often goes beyond what is expected from students. He demonstrates great sensitivity to the needs of his peers and his learning institution, as well as creativity in solving problems – particularly during times of crises. Azhar has been the recipient of a number of awards during his time at Stellenbosch University, most notably he has been recognized as the first FMHS student to ever be awarded both the Rector’s Awards for Excellent Achievement in Leadership (2020) and Service Provision (2021) as well as the Tygerberg Student Representatives Council (TSR) Honorary Awards in Leadership (2021) and Service Provision (2021).”

SU Publication - TygerMaties showcase innovative robot project on the international stage 

SU Publication – Medical student appointed as first African coordinator for international body


Christine Ile is a final-year medical student at UCT. She served as the Head of Research for UCT PaedSoc in 2019/20 and Vice-Chairperson of PaedSoc in 2020/21. Over these two years, Ms Ile also served as the co-ordinating editor for the Paeds in a Pinch study guide.

She has special interests in paediatrics, radiology and ophthalmology and hopes to explore these interests while pursuing her passion for public service.


Paula Edwards is a 24 year old final year medical student at the University of Pretoria (and now a recently graduated medical doctor [cum laude]). She grew up in Johannesburg and is South African born and bred, but is also half Portuguese (3rd generation).

She is passionate about drawing and photography and uses these talents to raise money for her Children’s Charity.

Paula Edwards is class representative for UP’s MBChB class of 2021 and was voted ‘Student of the Year’ (HCG) as well as voted ‘Student who contributed the most to the student community” (SAMA) by her peers.

Paula is incredibly passionate about children’s health and wellbeing which is why she founded The Corinth Children’s Charity last year October.

She is an aspiring paediatrician and hopes to use this to continue to serve and care for the children of our country.


Robyn Kamau is currently a final year medical student at the University of Cape Town. Her diverse background and worldly life experience has forged her core values – upliftment, education and community. She has volunteered in various leadership positions and community projects, and is a researcher in global surgery, interested in women's health.

Robyn served as the SHAWCO Health Vice President and was co-creator for the #BeKindOnline campaign that raised over R400,000 to empower underserved communities protect themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. Robyn is also the recipient of an Individual and Team UCT Student Leadership Award for 2020.