Tuesday, 25 June, 2024
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Doctor fundraises for ECG machine to benefit patients

A young medical officer in the obstetrics and gynaecology department of a busy Gauteng hospital plans to raise funds to buy an ECG machine to help benefit desperate patients grappling with chronic diseases.

Chetna Govind intends to raise R40 000 by the end of November, saying she hopes her fundraiser will help her and colleagues improve efficiency and effectiveness in assisting women with cardiovascular diseases.

“Cardiac diseases in pregnancy may be an exacerbation of a pre-existing condition that women may have, or it may develop as a new disease process that presents itself because of complex hormonal and physiological changes of pregnancy,” she told TimesLIVE.

She said she was buying the machine not because the hospital did not have one, but because a second one would ensure more patients have faster access to health care.

“It must be made clear this is not because of any identified lack of resources but as a personal endeavour to go above and beyond and to give back to the many women who have played a part in my own personal growth and who have contributed to my continued education as a doctor,” she said.

So far she has raised more than R10 000, courtesy of her friends and family who dug deep into their pockets.

Govind, born in Komani (Queenstown), is not new to charitable causes. In 2019, through the generosity of her networks, she raised R27 600 and donated 230 care packs to rheumatology patients who sought care at a Durban health facility.

“It was a perfect way to improve the lives of patients who attended the rheumatology clinic at this facility and also create awareness about autoimmune disease within the community,” she said. This coincided with her graduation from medical school, her own lupus journey and her 30th birthday.

With her move to Johannesburg, she also has plans to improve the quality of lives of patients seeking healthcare.

These projects included the handover of hampers for new mothers, comprising items they would need to care for their newborns, and toy hampers for children admitted at Christmas time during the peak of COVID-19.

She has since raised more than R80 000.

In 2012, Govind was faced with her own challenges when she was diagnosed with systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE/lupus). She said the experience catapulted her from being a shy and passive person to an inspired woman.

The young woman had blazed the trail in her family by becoming the first person to attend university and being the first doctor, a road that saw her completing a bachelor of dental surgery in 2011 through the University of Western Cape. Though she went on to clinical practice in public health facilities, the ambitious Govind took a leap of faith by embarking on her biggest dream – to become a medical doctor.

She studied for a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery qualification (MBChB) at Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in Durban, and now, working in the obstetrics and gynaecology department, has set her sights on this speciality, having passed her first examination administered under the Colleges of Medicine of SA.

Next year she hopes to sit for another examination to qualify for the position in the rigorous registrar programme.


TimesLIVE article – Doctor on personal fundraising mission aspires to inspire (Open access)


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