Unjani Clinic

Unjani Clinic Annual Network Conference 2023: Building connections & advancing healthcare excellence 

Our Annual Network Conference 2023 took place from 16 to 18 November 2023 at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways, with nurses travelling from across the country to learn and grow. This exciting conference is the highlight of the Unjani Clinic calendar, and we were delighted to be able to reconnect with our nurses, while encouraging personal and professional development throughout the three-day event.

As always, our Annual Network Conference saw a packed itinerary of presentations from leading healthcare professionals and industry experts, covering a wide range of crucial topics. Our nurses benefited from talks on everything from wound care and breast screening to audiology, optometry, rare diseases and other valuable topics, ensuring that they are at the cutting-edge of industry knowledge.

We were honoured to have some notable guest speakers join us for the conference. On the first day of the conference, Dr Antoinette Miric, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Educator, presented on the Healthcare Workers Care Network, an organisation that seeks to ensure the mental wellbeing of fellow healthcare workers and mental healthcare providers. Dr Kathryn Malherbe, CEO and Founder of MedSol, helped our nurses understand the important process of breast screening, leveraging her 15 years of experience in mammography and radiography.

Taking us through the latest in wound care developments was Dr Hendrik Roos, who has dedicated himself to developing manufacturing methods for pharmaceutical-grade hypochlorous acid, a revolutionary wound care solution. Dr Klaus Kraemer, President of the Sight and Life Foundation, delivered an eye-opening presentation on the crucial importance of nutrition and supplements during pregnancy, especially in low- and middle-income countries like South Africa.

Founder and CEO of Rare Diseases South Africa, Kelly du Plessis, took our nurses on a journey through rare diseases and how these can be treated or managed. Simon Nicholson, Deputy CEO and Co-Founder of Simply, talked to our nurses about the importance of staff life cover and insurance.

Craig Till, the Managing Director at Spectill, has partnered with us on our optometry services pilot programme, and he presented on the effectiveness of this programme and its expansion across the Unjani Clinic Network.

Day 2 saw another fantastic line-up of speakers. Santa Dorfling, Nestlé Nutrition Medical and Scientific Affairs Manager, and her team provided insights into their work in paediatric nutrition. Next, we heard from Natasha Naidoo, Managing Director of VitalAire, and Zakiyya Mather, TechCare Programme Manager at VitalAire, who walked us through their work in life-saving gasses and the oxygen programme.

Infacare Brand Manager at Sanulac Nutritionals and paediatric nutrition expert, Jaco de Wet, delivered a fantastic talk on the work he’s doing with his company. Jaco was followed by Dr Joseph Williamson, Medical Quality Consultant, who spoke about the Inteleos POCUS certification programme that will be launched for the Unjani Clinic Nurses in 2024.

To assist our nurses with financial management, Pertunia Sibanyoni, FNB Franchise Specialist, outlined some key tips and tricks to effectively handle the financial side of the clinics. Romanda Hombir, a patient-oriented Audiologist at Kind2Hearing, helped us all understand the importance of hearing screening.

On the business management side of things, we were treated to an educational presentation from David Mokgokolo, Medical Technologist at Abbot Point of Care, and Terry Cowan, Commercial Director for Africa at C Centric Management. Both have extensive experience in the medical industry, and were able to advise our nurses on effective business management tools and skills.

Founder and Strategic Marketing Director of Beetle Inc, Kylie Salmon, helped our nurses understand the ins and outs of creating their clinic brand and marketing their services in their communities, so they could effectively increase their patient numbers and turnover. Our final guest speaker for the day was Dr Ntlotleng Mabena, Chief Medical Officer of Unjani Clinics NPC, who delivered a presentation on regulatory compliance.

But our nurses are more than healthcare professionals; they are entrepreneurs and business owners too, and on the third day of our conference, we outlined some essential business topics to help them on their journey.

We were also able to outline the progress the NPC is making across our various pilot projects, including vision screening, hearing testing and more. These pilot programmes are seeing incredible performance, and we’re in the process of rolling them out to even more clinics.

On the afternoon of the last day of the conference, we held an exciting graduation celebration and dinner, acknowledging and recognising the 16 nurses who graduated to full title owners of their clinics. We are extremely proud of these hard-working, dedicated and compassionate nurse-preneurs, and look forward to continuing to support them as they improve access to quality, affordable healthcare in their communities. Congratulations to:

  • Nomaswazi Hlatshwayo, Unjani Clinic Emalahleni

  • Lebogang Mahlare, Unjani Clinic Southview

  • Rirhandzu Chauke, Unjani Clinic Malamulele

  • Tintswalo Nkwinika, Unjani Clinic Nkambako

  • Mampipi Kekana, Unjani Clinic Zebediela

  • Neriah Mabelane, Unjani Clinic Ga-Maphopha

  • Nkensani Mhlongo, Unjani Clinic Seshego

  • Magdeline Kawa, Unjani Clinic Jane Furse

  • Pamela Sedibe, Unjani Clinic Thulamahashe

  • Vuiswa Masiza, Unjani Clinic Ikageng

  • Ntombizanele Diala, Unjani Clinic Protea Glen

  • Zandile Khambule, Unjani Clinic Riverview

  • Ntombifuthi Buthelezi, Unjani Clinic Machibisa

  • Zandile Moloi, Unjani Clinic Nquthu

  • Nolwazi Dlamini, Unjani Clinic New Hanover

  • Hilda Tladi, Unjani Clinic Moteti

The celebratory gala dinner was a lively affair, and we were honoured to have two keynote speakers. Thank you to Unjani Clinic Founder, Dr Iain Barton and Mrs Najwah Allie-Edries, Head of the Jobs Fund at the National Treasury, for your stunning presentations and for joining us at this momentous celebration.

While the NPC put in a lot of time and effort to make the conference a success, we couldn’t have done it without our generous sponsors. A big thank you to our Premier Sponsor, Nestlé, as well as our Gold Sponsors, DP World, Sanulac Nutritionals and VitalAire, for helping us make this conference a rewarding and valuable event.

Each sponsor had the opportunity to set up a display table in our sponsor showcase area, allowing them to interact and engage with our nurses at key moments throughout the conference. Throughout the 3-day conference, 15 sponsors set up stands, chatting to our nurses and informing them about their offerings.

As our main sponsors, Nestlé, VitalAire and Sanulac Nutritionals were all given the chance to present to our nurses, providing insightful talks on relevant healthcare topics.

Our service partners were also given the chance to set up stands in order to share more insights into the services they assist us in offering. This was an excellent opportunity for the nurses to learn more about the companies that enable us to expand our services to include audiology, cardiology, breast screening, optometry and more.

A big thank you to all our nurses, presenters, sponsors, and everyone else who made our Annual Network Conference 2023 possible. We look forward to another year of driving improved access to quality, affordable healthcare for those who need it most.