It is often said that necessity is the mother of all invention and that is exactly the mantra that inspired our Person of the Week to come up with an innovation to provide a persistent problem in the medical field.
Zimbabwean medical student Malone Mukwende made a big splash in the healthcare and medical sector when he wrote a clinical handbook titled Mind the Gap in just his second year in medical school.
Dr Malone Mukwende, who has spent the majority of his life in the UK has led the way in a critical conversation by coming up with a clinic handbook that enlightens professionals on identifying symptoms in black and brown skin.
The young doctor embarked on his initiative after constantly noting challenges regarding the minimal information on darker skin tones during the course of his studies and work and thus a vision was borne.
“Mind the Gap is a clinical handbook of signs and symptoms in black and brown skin. I noticed that there was a lack of teaching in darker skins whilst at medical schools and knew that something must be done to address the situation and that is how I started conducting my project and gathering data to that effect,” said Mukwende.
As Mukwende’s work started gathering renown and proving to be a valuable input in the professional field, it did not take long for his initiative to make waves but that was not before he faced some challenges.
“Sourcing images for the book is incredibly hard! It’s almost as if the content doesn’t exist and it is so hard to find images as a whole from a trustworthy source. This problem is deeper than my project and still needs to be sorted,” he acknowledged.
“However Mind The Gap is a step in the right direction to bigger discoveries and impactful work. One of my aims is to make the resource as accessible as possible in order to help everyone.”
In typical resilient fashion Dr Mukwende carried on and kept finding ways to navigate and address challenges that arose along the way. Mind the Gap has since been picked on by a number of professionals and attracted praise and coverage from reputable media outlets. Taking advantage of the digital era and information superhighway, he posted some of the work and his progress on his social media and has amassed views into millions.
“Mind the Gap has been recieved well! There has been over 3million views on my social media posts as well as features in credible news outlets such as ITV news, sky news and BBC. The world is really your oyster and I have no reason as to why I shouldn’t be aiming to see this resource as a staple tool worldwide! I hope to see it in all healthcare establishments from GP Practices, hospitals to medical libraries,” he said.
The innovative young doctor’s story has catapulted him in the realm of brilliant young leaders with sustainable solutions for the present and future. He attributes his motivation to internal affirmations and the firm belief that his gifts are there to help others in all his work.
Whilst the world has been in the midst of a pandemic and finding ways to tackle it Dr Malone Mukwende urges resilience and persistent efforts towards bettering the world.
“All of us are powerful enough to make a change. It is your individuality that makes you powerful. Don’t ever feel like you’re too small to make a change there is an opportunity everywhere that awaits you,” he said.
The youthful doctor has raised his profile and in the process flown the Zimbabwean flag yet again in prestigious fashion and promised to keep the brilliant work flowing as the world can never have enough of solutions.