Health & Medicine

Friday, 29 June 2018 11:28

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Centenary Celebration

Written by 

Prof Mike Sathekge, President of CMSA

The centenary of President Nelson Mandela’s birth should inspire CMSA and our stakeholders to intensify our relationship of mutual cooperation, support and assistance in respect of setting and promoting high standards of training, education, assessment, professional practice, and continuing professional development.

I urge our registrars and CMSA to take up the call that President Nelson Mandela made, when he said “The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation.”  Therefore, say to ourselves, it is our responsibility to discuss challenges and solutions for better health and healthcare systems through education, training and research.           

In paying tribute to extraordinary achievements of an icon, Father of the Nation, we recall the occasion, 23 years ago in 1995, when the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa had the privilege of admitting President Nelson Mandela as an Honorary Fellow of the CMSA.             

To be nominated for this prestigious award was in recognition of the highest order of individuals in their fields of endeavor in South Africa and globally.            

In his acceptance speech in Johannesburg on 17 October 1995, President Mandela said:           

“The eminent standing of The College of Medicine and the capacity of the medical profession to do good, makes a Fellowship of The College a high honour indeed.  As a lay person in the field of health, I am only too aware that by this award you are honouring the aspirations of the nation we are all building together.  Inscribed in the Credo of the College is a commitment to equitable access to education, health and other social services.  Entrenched there, too, is a commitment to serve all the people of South Africa.”            

“Nelson Mandela is an outstanding example of the impact that one person can have, not only on a nation but on the world of nations.  He also represents the many others whose dedicated efforts have been thwarted.  His life’s struggles, which I shall not attempt to recount, reminds us the power of ideas and ideals, of the value of a committed integrity towards these, and of the inspirational force of courage and dignity in extreme adversity over many decades.” said Prof Solomon Benatar, Vice President of the CMSA at the time.            

President Mandela was also nominated for a Golden Jubilee Recognition award in November 2005, in recognition of his humane and inspirational work in HIV/AIDS, and improving the welfare of children in South Africa and abroad through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.                       

About The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa:            

As the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) we strive to promote the highest professional and ethical standards through our primary role as an educational and postgraduate examining body.              

We have always been committed to improving the health of all the people of South Africa, and energetically pursue the goal of making its multidisciplinary educational resources available to other states in Africa.  This is done through the endorsement of internationally recognised standards of human rights, condemning all forms of violence and a strong commitment to the development of a just and peaceful society in which educational, health, recreational and other social services are available to all.   

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Published in Health and Medicine

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