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Professor Thandinkosi Madiba.

Eminent UKZN academic and colorectal surgeon Professor Thandinkosi Madiba, recognised as a leading international authority in colorectal diseases and a prolific researcher in Sigmoid Volvulus and cancers of the colon, rectum and anus was awarded the prestigious Rahima Dawood Travelling Fellowship of the College of Surgeons of East ,Central and Southern Africa and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

The award provided an opportunity to share his academic knowledge and insights to colorectal surgeons in five African countries: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania where he delivered a series of lectures. He also presented the Rahima Dawood Oration at the COSECSA (ASEA) Congress in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Professor Madiba is Head of the Department of General Surgery at UKZN and Head of the Colorectal Unit at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

An NRF-rated researcher Prof Madiba has been rated among the top 30 researchers at UKZN. His passion in colorectal research which spans 20 years led to him singlehandedly establishing the first Colorectal Unit in KwaZulu-Natal in 2000.

He is also the founder of the Colorectal Cancer and Stoma Support Group and through this group he promotes an awareness of colorectal cancer. “Our data at the Unit show that Africans present at a much younger age with the disease compared to Whites and compared to global trends. He expressed concern that “Africa lagged behind in cancer management. Critical treatment resources and cutting-edge research in this serious disease is sadly limited,” cautions Prof Madiba. “In the long term this will have adverse consequences for our young people on the African continent who are affected by this disease.”

Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is a worldwide problem explains Prof Madiba, “with an annual incidence of approximately 1 million cases and an annual mortality of more than 500,000 and is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and women in the United States.”

“The absolute number of cases will increase over the next two decades as a result of the aging and expansion of populations in both the developed and developing countries.  He said that colorectal cancer in Africa, previously considered rare, “is now increasingly being diagnosed and it tends to occur in young patients and among Africans”. Indeed, CRC is the second most common cause of cancer mortality among men and women said Prof Madiba.

During his illustrious career Professor Madiba received the prestigious International Scholarship of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons making him the only recipient from Africa. He is a prolific academic and has currently authored 177 journal publications and 12 book chapters, he has co-authored   two books titled: “Summary of the evidence on Patient Safety: Implications for Research” and “Global Priorities for Research in Patient Safety “

The Rahima Dawood Foundation was established in 1985 and was first based in Kenya to promote health and education. In 1987 the Trustees of the Rahima Dawood Foundation proposed the establishment of an Annual Travelling Fellowship to be called the Rahima Dawood Travelling Fellowship. Benefactors include fellows of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

The Travelling Fellow gives lectures in the member countries of COSECSA and ends by giving an Oration at the Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of COSECSA. Subsequent to the Conference, the Fellow is expected to provide written report on his Fellowship to the Trustees of the Rahima Dawood Foundation, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the President and Honorary Secretary of COSECSA (ASEA).  The Oration will be published in the East and Central African Journal of Surgery.