SA medical student Tivana Chellan shortlisted for global leadership awards

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By Sandy Carlsberg

A FIFTH year South African medical student, Tivana Chellan, is shining in the global spotlight after she has been named a finalist for the 2022 Global Outstanding Leadership Awards.

The 2022 Global Outstanding Leadership Awards will be awarded in Brisbane, Australia to today’s greatest leaders from across the globe.

The awards recognize present day’s leaders’ dedication, kindness, commitment, and outstanding leadership – with nominations having closed 31st January 2022.

Chellan matriculated from the Tongaat Secondary School and enrolled with the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where she is in her fifth year studying medicine and surgery.

She believes being a medical doctor is a perfect choice in her quest to serve God and mankind.

“I believe that service to mankind is service to God. Medicine, for me, is the perfect career to find a connection with God and with mankind,” she said.

For Chellan, merely making the finals list is the culmination of dedicated and selfless leadership multiple occasions over past year, running programmes to help vulnerable members of her community.

In 2020 at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Chellan formed a Covid-19 response team that fought misinformation around the viral infection which killed tens of thousands in South Africa.

Apart from tackling misinformation, Chellan is also praised widely for launching her iCare project, a community pledge to encourage adherence to lockdowns which the Government of South Africa implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“I am honored to be a finalist for the Global Outstanding Leadership Awards and my aim is to inspire the youths,” said Chellan, who is also President of the South African Medical Students Association (UKZN chapter).

She adds that her determination is to propel youths and women to greatness and to dispel any limitations in them succeeding in life.

Among other impactful interventions, Chellan worked with public healthcare providers to encourage hygiene. She has also fought gender-based violence on social media and emcouraged women to break the cycle of silence against perpetrators of women abuse.

Chellan also advocates for mental well-being and believes healthcare providers need to invest in their own good health for them to optimally serve and care for their patients.

Chellan is a member of the Rotary Interact Club which focuses on community uplifting projects and service above self. She is also the vice-chairperson of the Dean’s Clinical Medicine research team which focuses on mental wellness.

In the past, Chellan also ran #MzansiUthuleleni and IForYOUth projects, which sought to tackle racism and gender-based violence and empower the youth to have a broader voice in national issues.

When not involved with school or community volunteering, Chellan enjoys writing poetry ans dancing.

Meanwhile, another University of KwaZulu-Natal fourth-year medical student has made global headlines this week.

Mohamed Hoosen Suleman was one of only three students globally for the Changemaker Scholarship to attend the Youth Pre-World Health Assembly (Pre-WHA) and World Health Assembly (WHA) held at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

In a statement, UKZN said Suleman is a passionate and dedicated youth leader who already holds multiple awards in his promising career in medicine.

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Association in collaboration with WHO selected Suleman to be a representative in Geneva where he spent two weeks attending high-level meetings with health ministers and heads of states from across the globe.

The University acknowledged the role Suleman played in combating Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy and in encouraging adherence to national lockdown restrictions.

Earlier this year, Suleman was appointed Student Editor of the International Journal of Medical Students.


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