Hospital CEO builds a centre of excellence

Lower uMfolozi War Memorial Regional Hospital CEO Nqobile Mkhwanazi

LOWER uMfolozi War Memorial Regional Hospital CEO Nqobile Mkhwanazi is at the helm of the only mother and child hospital in the region.

Mkhwanazi has the huge task of managing the health facility, which serves a population of 2.5 million in the Zululand, King Cetshwayo and uMkhanyakude districts.

She told the Zululand Observer that when she was appointed to take charge of the hospital she was happy to move up the ladder in her career but feared the unknown.

‘Despite the fact that I had worked in various organisations occupying different leadership positions, this post comes with a lot of challenges.

‘Leading a big organisation is not easy but because of the education and experience I had accumulated I felt I was up for the challenge.

‘The transition was exhilarating and was for a good cause,’ Mkwanazi said.

Mkhwanazi was born and bred in eShowe and raised in a family of eight by a single parent – a mother who instilled a culture of discipline and hard work to all her children, and which propelled her to study hard to obtain an education

Mkhwanazi, a nurse by profession, rained at King Edward VIII Hospital. She graduated at the University of Zululand with a post basic B Cur E et degree and Honours degree in Nursing Administration and Education.

‘I studied further with University of KwaZulu-Natal where I graduated with a Diploma in Clinical Nursing Science.

‘I recently completed a Masters degree in Public Health with the University of Fort Hare under the Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme in health,’ she said.

She now holds the position of CEO, a role which has had its ups and downs.

Her lowest moments in the leadership position have been when ‘the reputation of the hospital is in disrepute’.

‘Building a good image takes ages but destroying it takes just a minute and I would like to maintain the trust relationship that we have built with our patients,’ she said.

However: ‘challenges will be there but what is important is how do we manage and what lessons do we learn from them. Challenges help us learn and innovate.’

Despite the public misconception about public health care, Mkhwanazi wants to see the maternity hospital ‘being the centre of excellence for Maternal and Child Health Services nationally.’


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