A doctor who heals more than bodies

Medical front-line practitioner Dr Khokhela Mba goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure people are healthy.
Medical front-line practitioner Dr Khokhela Mba goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure people are healthy.
Image: REUTERS

Medical front-line practitioner Dr Khokhela Mba goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure people are healthy.

A mother to three sons, she treats her patients as she would her own children.

While medical technology was her first career choice, between 1996 and 2004 she taught at Butterworth College.

“In 2005, I attended Walter Sisulu University's medical school to pursue a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and graduated in 2010. The mysterious ways that people died always made me curious,” she said, adding that her family had always encouraged her to follow her dreams.

“For some reason I thought doctors had a good life. Little did I know of the hard work they put in — the long hours, going the extra mile and smiling, even when you are supposed to be angry, for the sake of the African child.”

For her, every day brings new challenges and achievements.

“There is never one single moment in this career. When a woman who is unconscious and bleeding to death wakes up and is discharged home healthy and alive, it is an awesome reward. Anything is possible at any time.”

She has spent most of her career in paediatrics and maternity, but Mba said if the opportunity presented itself, she would have liked to be an obstetrician.

Young people entering the field could look forward to immediate rewards and learning new things every day.

To a young person, medicine is life. It is achievable. You have to be disciplined because you are dealing with a delicate thing

“To a young person, medicine is life. It is achievable. You have to be disciplined because you are dealing with a delicate thing — the life of a human being. You are the 13th disciple, praying for wisdom every time. Medicine is never a one-person job. It is teamwork that succeeds.”

Mba’s friend, Sinazo Mdingi, described the doctor as a “very smart woman” who was happy inside.

“She cares about whatever she's doing. She does more than just treat a patient — she makes them forget they are even in hospital. She's a mother. She will take on your pain in a way that you won’t understand. She advises you and teaches you new things while making jokes.

“But despite her intelligence she is so humble. Sometimes you forget she's a doctor. She hangs out with other hospital staff, and will always throw a joke for everybody around to laugh. She is everything to everybody, even to patients,” Mdingi said. — DispatchLIVE



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