2022 symposium speakers

Dr. Margreet Wibbelink

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Midwifery Movement Matters – Now More Than Ever!

Dr. Margreet Wibbelink is a Midwife Specialist and the General Manager of Sister Lilian Centre & Sensitive Midwifery. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Midwifery from the Artevelde Hogeschool in Gent, Belgium in 2002, and furthered her studies with a BCur Honours in Advanced Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Science (2012) and a Master’s Research degree in Midwifery (2014), both from the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Margreet completed her PhD (2019) at the same university where she has also assisted as a student mentor and research associate for advanced midwife students. Her PhD looked at strategies to scale-up clinical midwifery practices in South Africa. She has published several articles and presented at various conferences, both nationally and internationally.  

Margreet’s first work experience as a new midwife was in the Netherlands, which is known for its strong midwifery-led model of care. After relocating to South Africa, she gained experience in both the public and private sector and became acutely aware of the many midwifery dynamics and challenges in South Africa. This moved her to start a specialised midwifery clinic in 2009 – the Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic (HMBC) in Jeffrey’s Bay – which is a non-profit organisation committed to delivering professional private care to the most vulnerable and underprivileged women. Margreet firmly believes that the clinic is a blueprint that can be replicated in other communities and is an answer to addressing maternal and neonatal morbidities and mortality. HMBC has served as a training centre for international students and several South African nurses. While directing the clinic, Margreet also worked as an independent midwife, becoming well known as ‘The Surfing Midwife’. She has become an advocate for a better birthing culture in South Africa.

Through engaging with the founder and director of the Sister Lilian Centre, widely known as Sister Lilian, and its Sensitive Midwifery initiatives, she was identified as a worthy leadership successor for the company. Having undergone an extensive mentoring period with Sister Lilian, Margreet assumes the position of General Manager of the Sister Lilian Centre and Sensitive Midwifery in January 2019. This enables Margreet to continue working for all pregnant women, babies and families on a far greater scale, and to be a voice for and champion of the midwifery profession as a whole, on a national and international platform.

Ellence Mokaba

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Life Goes On With COVID – Update & Message From NDoH

Ellence Makoba is Director of Maternal and Neonatal Health at the National Department of Health. She was born at Mokopane in Limpopo. She is blessed with three lovely children, two girls and one boy, and has two grandchildren. She attended primary school in the rural area and for secondary schooling in the urban area. She started with general nursing in 1980 followed by Midwifery and Psychiatry Nursing Science. She got her basic degree in BAcur with UNISA as well as Health system management and Honors degree. She furthered her studies and did a post-graduate diploma in Advanced Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Science as well as a post-graduate diploma in Public Management with Regenessis. She did her Master degree in Nursing science with UNILIM. She has vast experience as a midwife and held various leadership positions such as: clinical instructor for midwives and other nurses, head for the Health Center, area manager for maternity at the Regional hospital, Manager Nursing at Provincial office, District Clinical Specialist Team member and Advanced Midwife.

Dr. Joyce Muswede

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Message from South African Nursing Council – Update on Continuous Professional Development

Dr. Joyce Muswede resumed her duties as the Senior Manager – Professional Practice at the South African Nursing Council (SANC) on the 1st of June 2019. Before serving in this portfolio, she served as an Acting Director: Nursing Practice in the National Department of Health at the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer from January 2018 to May 2019 and represented NDOH in various platforms. She was the Deputy Director: Nursing Practice in the same Office from 2015 to 2017. Before her tenure in NDOH she was the Assistant Director for compliance inspections in the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) from 2013 to July 2015 where her primary role was to inspect all health establishments from PHC clinics to Tertiary and Central Hospitals for compliance with Regulated Standards for Health Establishments.

Due to her extensive experience in Primary Health Care she was instrumental at OHSC in inspecting the first cohort of PHC clinics that achieved the ideal clinic status in the introduction of the IDEAL clinic realization programme. Ms Muswede is an experienced midwife who has worked in PHC at various clinics in Limpopo Department of Health, i.e. Tshilwavhusiku Health Centre, Madombidzha clinic, Kutama clinic. She is a seasoned Primary Health Care Practitioner who also worked at Kutama Sithumule Maximum Security Prison where she spent a total of 9 years rendering Primary Health care to inmates.

Dr. Elgonda Bekker – In Memorandum

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Task Shifting In Maternity Care – The Changing Face Of Scope Of Practice

Last year, we lost our beloved and well respected Midwife Leader and Society of Midwives of South Africa’s President, Dr. Elgonda Bekker. Elgonda dedicated her time and contributed greatly to strengthening the midwifery profession at local, regional and international level. Throughout her professional life, she advocated for availability of accessible, acceptable affordable and quality maternal and child health care for all childbearing families.

Elgonda delivered a powerful talk at last year’s virtual Sensitive Midwifery Symposium that is a message for midwifery going forward in our country. In Memorandum of Elgonda we will listen to it again and pick up the mandate that she left with us.

Elgonda Bekker’s clinical midwifery experience of more than 25 years was gained in normal low risk care, high risk care and as an independent midwife. She was a regular speaker at national and international conferences and her research interests include: Midwifery Competence, Midwifery education, Human Rights Based Approach to care, and Safe Motherhood Appreciative Inquiry. Elgonda was a founder member and President (since 2015) of the Society of Midwives of South Africa (SOMSA). With her long-standing role in the executive committee of SOMSA, she was a member of the Organizing and Scientific Committees for the 29th Triennial International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) congress in 2011. Elgonda completed the first Young Midwifery Leadership Programme (ICM). Her international work and work in Africa includes: Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) project to establish Masters Programmes in Midwifery in Kenya and DRC. She was a Faculty member of the STTI Maternal Child Health Leadership Academy. She was a member of CONAMA task force to establish regional African Midwifery association and represented Africa on the Education Standing Committee of ICM 2014-2017, and served as a member of the National Committee on Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths.

Dr. Carol Malunga

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Medical Induced Prematurity – What are we doing to our babies and future generations?

Medicine has always been a passion and a calling for Dr. Carol Malunga. In response to this calling she embarked on studies which resulted in a BSc dietetics degree and subsequently a MBCHB degree being conferred by the Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA).
Her internship and community service years were completed in Limpopo and then went on to serve at a community clinic in Soweto.
A budding career as a general practitioner in private practice soon followed. An interest in Paediatrics has always been there and ignited a fire that led to the joining of an NGO with the vision to learn more about Paediatric HIV. From this endeavour a Diploma in HIV management was acquired with the College of Medicine SA.

In 2014 she then went on to enrol with the University of the Witwatersrand to specialise in Paediatrics. In May 2018 she qualified as a Paediatrician with the College of Medicine SA and obtained her MMed in Paediatrics with the University of Witwatersrand. A wealth of experience has been built over time and the growth continues and has been exponential in this field.

“They are carried at their most delicate stage, I watch them crawl, walk and run. Children are precious. I strive to see them in great health all the time.”

Heather Pieterse

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Natural Birth vs Vaginal Birth, A More Excellent Way

Heather Pieterse is what she calls a ‘midwife lifer’ who has been working in private practice for the past ¼ century through much growth and change in midwifery. She started small and gradually built up her practice into a well established midwife practice called Midwives Exclusive, situated in Pretoria. Heather manages the practice whilst working full time as a hands on midwife doing what she loves. She employs midwives who want to be in private practice offering them an opportunity to work independently without the stress of building a practice and all it entails.

Heather is passionate about growing midwifery and ensuring longevity of compassionate safe practice of midwives. Her entire practice has been aimed at improving the reputation of private midwives, proving they have a respectable place amongst their peers, both doctors and hospital employed midwives. Her second passion is watching women discover how powerful they are as they realize they can do it!!

Susan Bolke

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Sensitive Midwifery Momentum In The Birthing Space – How Can We Support Physiology with Epidurals and Inductions

Susan Bloke is a Professional Nurse & Midwife, as well as a Certified Sensitive Midwife who is currently working in Life St George’s Hospital, Gqeberha. She fell in love with midwifery as a curious little nursing student about 12 years ago. Since then her love has just grown for the beautiful profession of midwifery – what a privilege to witness the miracle of life every day.

Seeing the impact a passionate and gentle midwife can have on the mother, the baby and the family as a whole has driven her to be better and to inspire those around her to provide better and sensitive care. Inspired by her midwife colleagues, she is now working towards more comprehensive care for HIV positive mothers and their exposed babies in private health care in her capacity as Maternity HIV coordinator and MBFI breastfeeding trainer.

Here is to making the world a better place, one mother at a time.

Melanie Kearney

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Sensitive Midwifery Momentum In The Birthing Space – Sensitive Cesarean Section

Melanie Kearney is a Midwife Specialist whose love for working with new life started in her final year of her Bachelor’s degree. She completed a B.Soc.Sc in Nursing in 2006 at the University of the Free State, while being mentored by Dr Myburg in midwifery. Melanie was fortunate to have a strong foundation for natural birth, while encompassing the miracle of womanhood, in pregnancy, but moreover during motherhood.

After completing her studies, she landed her dream job in a labour ward in Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic. It was here where mentor, Charne Human, introduced her to the sensitive way of birth, including that a Caesarean Section is not only an operation, but also a birth. Together, they developed what they coined as a Sensitive Caesarean Section in 2008. Melanie started her own private practice in 2014, supporting parents during Caesarean Sections with a more conscious choice of a sensitive birth approach. 

In 2016, Melanie continued at her alma mater, the University of the Free State, with an Advanced Diploma in Midwifery and Neonatology (Cum Laude). She attributes her accomplishment to her midwifery lecturers that became her role models. It was hereafter that she was motivated to take the step to full autonomy as a midwife.

After her studies, she joined the Estherea – Women’s Wellness Clinic in 2017 and became an independent midwife. Estherea has created a safe space for her to grow as an independent midwife while working in a true partnership model with the childbearing family.

Melanie has the ability to do what she loves most, while living as the daughter of the Creator of Life, being a wife to her husband, Burger, and a mother to her two boys, Reinhardt and Colin.

Lilo Mthembu

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: VBAC On The Rise – How Do We Safely Manage It?

Lilo Mthembu is a midwife working in private practice, who qualified as a Registered Nurse and Midwife at SG Lourens Nursing College in Pretoria, with a Nursing Diploma.

She did her BCur through Unisa, and qualified as a Nursing Educator. She has experience in High Risk Pregnancy and Birth, was obtained while working in Steve Biko Academic Hospital Antenatal and Labour Ward.

Lilo has worked in various private health facilities namely Mediclinic, Netcare and Life Healthcare and also traveled to Saudi Arabia where she was employed at a general hospital.

In 2018 Lilo established her own Private Midwife Practice, Ten ‘n Ten Birthing, where she is living her dream and her core belief that “giving birth should be your greatest achievement and not your greatest fear”.

Furthermore, Lilo is a wife and proud mother of two beautiful children, a 27 year old son and 18 year old daughter, who are her biggest inspiration.

Dr. Ida Du Plessis-Faurie

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: The Status Quo Of Mandatory Newborn Basic Life Support Training In South Africa

Dr. Ida holds a Doctorate degree in Maternal and Child Nursing Science: Advanced Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Science, University of Johannesburg. She lectured at the University of Johannesburg for 8.5 years, and now works as an Independent Neonatal Nursing Consultant. Ida has a special interest in parents and newborns in the community, particularly preterm infants. She developed a model for nurses to facilitate mothers’ caring of their preterm infants in the community and presented her research nationally and internationally, winning several awards. Ida has published articles in accredited professional journals and currently supervises post-graduate students within her niche area.

Ida worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care environment throughout her career and holds a Master’s degree in Advanced Neonatal Nursing, University of Pretoria, Cum Laude. She is acting as an expert witness in neonatal litigation cases for various law firms. Ida recently developed 5 short learning programmes covering various topics to meet the learning needs of not only nurses and midwives in practice, but the multi-disciplinary team caring for mothers and newborn babies. She runs a small private practice rendering Birth and Early Parenting Preparation© workshops for couples and consults with new parents, online and face-to-face.

Ida shares her passion with nurses and midwives and strives to empower them with knowledge and skills in order to deliver the best possible care to newborn babies.

Akhona Sosha

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Research – Knowledge Of Midwives On Delayed Cord Clamping In Maternity Obstetric Units In Gauteng

Akhona Shosha is a vibrant professional nurse that is passionate about being in the health profession. She started her nursing journey in 2006 at Ann Latsky Nursing College qualifying in 2010 as professional nurse in community psychology and midwifery. Akhona started her post basic in 2013 with the University of Johannesburg in nursing education and management specializing in advanced midwifery and neonatology.

Akhona was head hunted by Mr. Matlala, the course coordinator of nursing science at the university of Johannesburg to be a midwifery clinical facilitator in 2017, and continued as a clinical preceptor for Bcur first year students.

She is currently employed at Rahima Moosa mother and child hospital as midwife, and operational manager of the labour ward, while she completes her masters in midwifery with the University of Johannesburg.

Refilwe Maponya

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Breastfeeding Update – Are We progressing?

Nompumelelo Maponya is an Advanced Midwife and Neonatal Specialist, who is passionate about mother and child care, especially breastfeeding. She is currently a doctoral student enrolled at the University of Johannesburg.

Her journey in nursing started at the North West University, Pukke, where she completed her undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in Nursing Science (2014). She obtained a Masters degree at the University of Johannesburg, cum laude (2020). Her research mini-dissertation titled ‘Working mothers’ experience of adhering to exclusive breastfeeding in the Rustenburg district, North West’, showed that women needed an array of interventions as well as support to continue with exclusive breastfeeding after returning to work.

She has vast experience in rendering midwifery and neonatal services, as well as women’s sexual reproductive services, in both the government and private sector for the past eight years. She was also a breastmilk donor at Job Shimankana Tabane hospital in Rustenburg.

Her research is based on finding innovative ways to assist women in breastfeeding practices in an unfavourable work environment.

Marie van Heerden

Wednesday 4 May 2022
Topic: Education, An Essential Part Of Antenatal Care – How Is It Best Achieved?

Marié van Heerden is a Midwife Specialist with 25 years of experience in midwifery. She obtained her Diploma in Advance Midwifery & Neonatal Nursing Science (2002) and a Further National Higher Diploma in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Science (2006). She completed a master’s degree in Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing (2017). She focused on clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction in midwife-led care.

Marié started her career as a student nurse at the Far East Rand Hospital (1991). Midwifery found her and she never looked back. She is passionate about maternal care, loves delivering babies and assisting new mommies and babies. She has vast experience in many capacities as a midwife, such as management (St Mary’s Women’s Clinic and Genesis Maternity Clinic), organizational processes, design and implementation of a Midwife-Led program and unit (Life Birth Basics, BetterObs). Currently, she is living out her passion as an Independent Midwife (Into the Light Midwife Service) and she is the Chairperson of the Private Practicing Midwife Association (PPMA) in Gauteng. She is a proud mother of two beautiful daughters and a loving wife to Steve. Partnering with Network One Health is part of her motto: “EDUCATE THE NATION & TRAIN THE MIDWIVES”.

Dr. Howard Manyonga

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Maternity Care Is A Team Sport, With Midwives At The Centerpiece – It’s Time To Play Right

Dr. Howard Manyonga is the founder of Network One Health (Pty) Ltd a health management company that establishes and operates Integrated Maternity Practices. These are multidisciplinary teams with a presence in the community and strong linkages to referral hospitals. Howard has extensive experience as an independent Ob Gyn and has held senior management positions in the not-for-profit and commercial sectors. From 2016 to Feb 2021, he ran a larges-cale demonstration of team-based maternity care in the cash market that grew to four sites across the country before he left the role in early 2021 to establish Network One Health. He believes value-based care, built of collaborative relationships that transcend geographic location and disciplinary boundaries, are key in achieving universal access to maternity care.

Dr. Bongi Rubushe

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Impact of Covid on Pregnancy, the (unborn) Baby and Health Care Professionals

Dr Bongi Rubushe-Ngwenya is a young Obstetrician and Gynecologist who is passionate about women’s health. She did her undergraduate degree and became a doctor at the University of Witwatersrand and her passion for women’s health led her to specialize in her first love, Obstetrics and Gynecology. She started working in OnG in 2014 during her community service time and has never looked back.

During her training years, she was involved with SAATOG (South African Association of Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology) where she was the voice for registrars all over South Africa. She was an advocate for better teaching opportunities and was involved in developing research interests in registrars. She then later went on to represent South Africa in WATOG (Word Association of Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology). During this time she was involved with FIGO (International Federation of Gynaecologie and Obstetrics) and also had the opportunity to work with trainees from all over the world.

She is currently working at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital where she is involved with registrar training and development.

Dr. Ida Du Plessis-Faurie

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: How To Practice Confidently In A ‘Fear of Litigation’ Loaded Birth Environment

Dr. Ida holds a Doctorate degree in Maternal and Child Nursing Science: Advanced Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Science, University of Johannesburg. She lectured at the University of Johannesburg for 8.5 years, and now works as an Independent Neonatal Nursing Consultant. Ida has a special interest in parents and newborns in the community, particularly preterm infants. She developed a model for nurses to facilitate mothers’ caring of their preterm infants in the community and presented her research nationally and internationally, winning several awards. Ida has published articles in accredited professional journals and currently supervises post-graduate students within her niche area.

Ida worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care environment throughout her career and holds a Master’s degree in Advanced Neonatal Nursing, University of Pretoria, Cum Laude. She is acting as an expert witness in neonatal litigation cases for various law firms. Ida recently developed 5 short learning programmes covering various topics to meet the learning needs of not only nurses and midwives in practice, but the multi-disciplinary team caring for mothers and newborn babies. She runs a small private practice rendering Birth and Early Parenting Preparation© workshops for couples and consults with new parents, online and face-to-face.

Ida shares her passion with nurses and midwives and strives to empower them with knowledge and skills in order to deliver the best possible care to newborn babies.

Jacky Dawson

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Estimated Due Date Questioning – Ultrasound Guidelines

Jacky is a mom of two, who started off studying Psychology and with her love for babies devised that ultrasound in obstetrics would be the perfect career for her. She finished her Psychology degree together with her Radiography degree. She worked in private practice while obtaining her Ultrasound degree, gaining experience in 

  • Musculoskeletal 
  • Abdominal
  • Neonatal brain
  • Doppler studies
  • Gynaecological
  • Small parts

Her obstetric experience was gained at state hospitals, Rahima Moosa, Riverlea, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital as well as working for 4D Scan part-time. She has NT accreditation through The Fetal Medicine Foundation and stays up to date with certified courses. 

She is very passionate and dedicated to helping people and making the families feel a part of the journey.

Joyce Mahuntsi

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Implementation of the New Maternity Case Records

Joyce Mahuntsi completed her Diploma in Nursing Science majors: General, Midwifery, Community and Psychiatry nursing in 1993 at the former Baragwanath Nursing College. Her Nursing career started in 1994 in Mpumalanga province, Themba Hospital. She moved back to Chris Hani Bara Hospital to spend almost 14 years of clinical experience in the Maternity and Neonatal services. She went ahead to do her Diploma in Advanced Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Science from Baragwanath Nursing College Nursing College in 2001.

Whilst still working in the clinical setting she started her postgraduate B Cur degree at the University of Pretoria part time in 2010, continued to do her Master’s Degree in Nursing Clinical fields and graduated in 2013. From her clinical experience she then moved to the Ministry of Health, National department of Health as Assistant Director for Neonatal Health and later got a senior position, where she is currently Deputy Director For Maternal and Neonatal Services with key focus areas of policy and guidelines development, program management of the maternal and neonatal services for the country to improve the health services to mothers and babies

Sebabatso Tsaoane

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Young Midwives Making Moves

Sebabatso Tsaoane is a young Registered Nurse Midwife who is passionate about Midwifery and the advocacy of women’s sexual reproductive health and rights. She is the founder of Black Woman Arise Women’s Health Foundation; A Non-Profit organization that she founded with the aim to promote women’s health through education and destigmatisation. In 2020 she was chosen amongst ten Midwives selected globally by the International Confederation of Midwives for the Young Midwifery Leadership program which exposed her to Midwifery leadership, challenges and advocacy at both local and international level. She is currently pursuing a Masters with a specific focus on reproductive health. Because of her work with women, Sebabatso was chosen by the Mail and Guardian as one of the top 50 powerful women in South Africa for the year 2021 as the Healing Woman. Sebabatso is also a young Midwife who believes in breaking stereotypes about the Nursing and Midwifery profession. She is also an entrepreneur, a model and former Mrs South Africa contestant, as well as a content creator who is dedicated to harnessing the power of social media to educate, empower and to correctly represent the Nursing and Midwifery profession in South Africa.

Sylvia Hamata

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Young Midwives Making Moves – Moving With Legality

Sylvia Hamata is a qualified Nurse & Midwife and a Lawyer by profession with a heart for human rights and social development. She is a passionate advocate for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, good maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes and midwifery profession.

She manages her own legal protection insurance product for health care workers called HealthPro that works not only to defend health care workers but to empower them to deal with the ever-increasing medico-litigation cases through legal awareness and literacy. She has worked as a nurse / midwife for the public sector before being appointed as a manager for legal department of the Health Professions Councils of Namibia overseeing the professional conduct desk.

Lindokuhle Tshabalala

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Young Midwives Making Moves – Moving into Independent Practice

Lindokuhle Tshabalala is a dynamic young lady born and bred and peanut buttered in Soweto. She is a Professional Nurse & Midwife and studied at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Nursing College. She also did the Certified Sensitive Midwife Course with the Sensitive Midwifery Academy.

Called to serve her community as a midwife, Lindokuhle started her career as a professional nurse at The Department of Health, moving on to locum at Clicks and finally moving to Dischem as a clinic practitioner in 2018 to date. She felt moved to open an Independent Practice, focusing on the specific mother and child’s health needs in Soweto. Learning the ropes and stepping out as an entrepreneur, she does freelance work to gain exposure and to help fund the clinic. She loves empowering women and educating her community about health. As a true next generation Midwife she makes use of her social media pages to reach her community.

Kagiso Tukisi

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Workshop: Young Midwives Making Moves. Moving With And Inspiring Excellence

Kagiso Tukisi is a Professional Nurse, Advanced Accoucheur and a Neonatal Nurse Specialist. He is also an academic and lectures Midwifery & Neonatal Nursing science to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

He holds a Diploma in comprehensive nursing science from Mmabatho Nursing College, a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree (Nursing education & Administration) from North West University Potchefstroom campus and a Master’s Degree in Advanced Midwifery and Neonatal nursing from University of Johannesburg which he received Cum laude in 2020 respectively. His clinical Nursing and Midwifery career spans from over seven years from Professional Nurse General to Advanced Midwifery Specialist within the public & private healthcare sector, with close to four years in the Nursing education environment at both nursing college and university with specific focus on midwifery and neonatal nursing teaching.

He holds a Marylin Lahana award 2017 in the North West for his midwifery care service recognised by both colleagues and patients. Tukisi is currently a PhD candidate in Maternal & Child Nursing Science: Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing science with research interest in recognition of advanced midwifery and neonatal nursing practice as a specialisation in South Africa and he was rated 2nd position budding researcher By Tshwane research Committee in 2021.

Mbali Tshabalala

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Young Midwives Making Moves – Moving Despite The Odds

Mbali TshabalalaI did her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Witwatersrand and did her community service in a rural hospital ,called Ceza Hospital in KZN. Though the transition was challenging, it was a rewarding experience going from a high-level hospital to the district hospital. Now she could be a part of facilitating change from the foundation phase and participate in activities such as EMTCT and implementation of maternal guidelines.

In her academic years, she gained clinical experience at the Hillbrow Maternity Obstetric Unit which is state-owned and led by Midwives. She had the opportunity to work at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital where she was exposed to tertiary level High Risk clinics, Maternity Casualty, Labour Ward, C/S Baby Catcher, NVD/CS Postnatal wards and Maternity ICU. One would be traumatized after experiencing this, but instead it fueled her need to help and care for women and their babies.

She then worked at Grace Birthing Center, in KZN as a Sensitive Midwife, which provides maternal care for low risk women. They worked on making a women’s birthing environment the most oxytocin friendly environment. She also assisted in inclusion criteria formulation, journal club and health education appropriate for gestational age.

Mbale strives to grow in Midwifery – commencing a Master’s in Midwifery Journey. She is passionate about educating women and her fellow midwives about Midwifery especially in low resources hospitals and areas – South Africa or any other country ANYWHERE and sharing all she knows thus far. She is confident that her education, training, dedication and hands-on experiences will aid her in fulfilling her dreams.

Marlinde de Vries

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Pelvic Floor & Sexual Health

Marlinde qualified from the University of Stellenbosch in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy. She completed her community service at Potchefstroom and Witwatersrand Hospital. She had spent some time in the UK where she gained experience in Neurological and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation. Upon her return to South Africa, she started working in private practice and completed a postgraduate course in OMT (Orthopedic Manual Therapy) through the South African Society of Physiotherapy North Gauteng group.

Over the years, Marlinde has developed a passion for pelvic health physiotherapy, especially in the postnatal field. 

She has done various courses in this field from both national and international experts in the field. 

Marlinde currently practices from Sandton MediClinic in Bryanston.

Beverley Chigwanda-Kambarami

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Doula’s As An Integral Part Of The Birthing Team

Beverley is a WOMBS qualified Birthing and Postnatal Doula. She is an antenatal classes facilitator as well and graduated from the Mamandla Fellow class of 2021. She is currently studying Peer Breastfeeding with La Leche League International.

As a Birthing Doula Beverly’s aim is to serve families who give her the honor to be part of their journey with a positive, memorable and dignified outcome. She does not replace the partner, but rather equips him/her to be an active participant in the process of ushering this long awaited precious bundle to the world! Without overriding or disregarding expert medical advice, Bev also stands as an advocate to communicate the Birthing family’s preference in terms of how they envision their birthing story to begin, progress and conclude.

Bev’s philosophy is: “Being a Doula is not a profession it is a calling, Having a Doula is not a Luxury it is a necessity.” 

Dr. Zelda Janse van Rensburg

Thursday 5 May 2022
Topic: Nurses And Midwives’ Knowledge Of Thermoregulation In Full-Term Newborns In A Private Hospital Group, Gauteng

Dr Zelda Janse van Rensburg is a registered nurse and midwife. She completed both her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the Tshwane University of Technology and holds a Doctorate degree in nursing. She completed her nursing management and nursing education diplomas at the University of Pretoria. Dr Zelda is a full-time lecturer at the University of Johannesburg and has a passion for family health and midwifery. She teaches undergraduate students and is also supervising several masters and doctoral students in the field of nursing and midwifery. Dr Zelda also has her own business, #Dr Z, baby and me, focusing on all things related to pregnancy, birth, and early parenting preparation. Dr Zelda is also a trained hypnobirthing instructor and believes that every baby can be “beautifully born”. Above else her greatest achievement is raising her beautiful eight-year-old daughter that teaches her more than any book could ever do.

Dr. Margreet Wibbelink

Wednesday 5 May 2022
Topic: The Sensitive Midwifery Approach the Solution To Our Maternal Health Crisis

Dr. Margreet Wibbelink is a Midwife Specialist and the General Manager of Sister Lilian Centre & Sensitive Midwifery. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Midwifery from the Artevelde Hogeschool in Gent, Belgium in 2002, and furthered her studies with a BCur Honours in Advanced Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Science (2012) and a Master’s Research degree in Midwifery (2014), both from the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Margreet completed her PhD (2019) at the same university where she has also assisted as a student mentor and research associate for advanced midwife students. Her PhD looked at strategies to scale-up clinical midwifery practices in South Africa. She has published several articles and presented at various conferences, both nationally and internationally.  

Margreet’s first work experience as a new midwife was in the Netherlands, which is known for its strong midwifery-led model of care. After relocating to South Africa, she gained experience in both the public and private sector and became acutely aware of the many midwifery dynamics and challenges in South Africa. This moved her to start a specialised midwifery clinic in 2009 – the Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic (HMBC) in Jeffrey’s Bay – which is a non-profit organisation committed to delivering professional private care to the most vulnerable and underprivileged women. Margreet firmly believes that the clinic is a blueprint that can be replicated in other communities and is an answer to addressing maternal and neonatal morbidities and mortality. HMBC has served as a training centre for international students and several South African nurses. While directing the clinic, Margreet also worked as an independent midwife, becoming well known as ‘The Surfing Midwife’. She has become an advocate for a better birthing culture in South Africa.

Through engaging with the founder and director of the Sister Lilian Centre, widely known as Sister Lilian, and its Sensitive Midwifery initiatives, she was identified as a worthy leadership successor for the company. Having undergone an extensive mentoring period with Sister Lilian, Margreet assumes the position of General Manager of the Sister Lilian Centre and Sensitive Midwifery in January 2019. This enables Margreet to continue working for all pregnant women, babies and families on a far greater scale, and to be a voice for and champion of the midwifery profession as a whole, on a national and international platform.