It seems as if every day we take the wonders of modern medicine for granted but, as the world is gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re reminded of the need for talented researchers behind medical advancements. Minds like that of Afsana Kajee, who works at the National Health Laboratory Services, the largest diagnostic pathology service in South Africa that supports the national and provincial health departments.
Kajee completed her master’s in medical science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, overcoming many obstacles and trials.
“Do not limit yourself. You can be anything that you want as long as you stay passionate and dedicated to your goals,” she says, adding that there is value in breaking big goals into smaller ones, which brings a better perspective and a sense of accomplishment.
Kajee wants to help humanity through science, and recognises that every small bit is a contribution, even if it is a failure. Having thick skin against criticism, failure and rejection is her recipe for success.
Kajee’s career is littered with a host of acknowledgements of her work, among them when she was chosen from a group of the most promising local scientists to be trained by international scientists.
Kajee is driven to excel by the satisfaction of making her mother proud. She hopes her research will translate into shorter diagnosis times for tuberculosis and findinding the best treatment for TB using novel drugs that expose people to the least toxicity.