By Ashok Ramsarup :: Durban medical student – Kapil Narain – has been among 200 Young South Africans lauded by Johannesburg-based newspaper Mail and Guardian for making a difference in South Africa.
The 24-year-old final year student who is expected to graduate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in the port city of Durban soon, has been the youngest leader to be selected in the health category section.
Narain who hails from Richards Bay has been overwhelmed with the award which comes at a time when the world was facing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Narain has been at the forefront fighting the virus, describing it as an eye-opener in the medical fraternity. During the lockdown, he was involved with screening and testing.
Talking exclusively Narain has expressed concern following the death of doctors, nurses, and medical professionals. He says despite the deaths the younger generation will have to take the baton and create a culture of health care and Ubuntu in South Africa.
Mail and Guardian Chief Executive Officer Hoosain Karjieker says young people under the age of 35 are shaping South Africa. “The accolade bears great testimony to all the hard work these individuals undertake to make a positive impact on a society fraught with numerous challenges and difficulties,” says Karjieker.
Narain, who is a multi-award-winning youth leader, is driven by the need to improve health and challenge the status quo. He is currently doing a stint at the Centre for the Aids Programme in South Africa (CAPRISA). He convened awareness campaigns to tackle Tuberculosis (TB) stigma, mental health, HIV, and gender-based violence and is passionate about translational medical research.
His determination to succeed has rewarded him and three other international health students to the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland where he strongly advocated for universal health coverage to the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation. Narain was also a recipient of the Abe Bailey travel award enabling him to engage with leaders at the African Union, and in London, Cambridge, Oxford, and Edinburgh.
Narain is adamant, determined, and positive in the health profession by indicating that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” quoting the Chinese proverb by telling the world that great things commence with simple beginnings.