Professor Ncoza Dlova has added another first to her list after receiving a medal courtesy of the International Society of Dermatologists, becoming the first South African to receive such an accolade.
Dlova is well known for breaking new ground. She is not only one of the first black dermatologists in the country, she is also the first black female dean of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). She received the Maria M. Duran Medal, which recognizes female leaders in dermatology and dermatologists who have made strides in providing solutions to dermatology-related conditions affecting women and children.
A lot of African women struggle with the general upkeep of their natural hair, with hair loss being one of their major problems. A solution could be on the way thanks to research by Dlova and her colleagues in 2019 in which they picked out a gene that is the major cause of hair loss among women of colour.
In the past, she worked together with the KwaZulu-Natal division of the Albinism Society of South Africa, running awareness campaigns with the aim of fighting stigmatization and discrimination surrounding albinism.
Dlova’s research interest is in African skin and hair, pigmentation disorders and HIV and skin.
The Maria M. Duran Medal was set up in 2000 in honour of the former secretary-general and executive vice president of the International Society of Dermatology, Maria M. Duran. The first African to win the award was Egyptian Zenab El-Gothamy in 2006.
Phoebie Shamiso Chigonde is a journalist passionate about gender equality, social development programmes and grassroots-based solution seeking initiatives. She has a passion for women and community development. Phoebie is also a radio personality at a regional commercial radio station, a platform that enables her to network with like-minded women, journalists and activists as she continues to document and tell the story of the ordinary woman from the lens of that very ordinary woman.