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Dr Carol Thomas: The health innovator

Updated: Apr 23, 2019



Dr Carol Thomas @fanniekaap is a leading gynecological surgeon, owner of theWomanSpace, is extensively involved in reproductive, sexual rights and health advocacy initiatives in South Africa, chair of the South African Menopause Society and is the brains behind ImobiMama. iMobiMaMa is a South African mobile health service that connects pregnant women with limited access to healthcare services with the information and services necessary to secure the safe delivery of healthy babies. Using mobile technology coupled with medical devices that can measure and test pregnancy milestones, iMobiMaMa is an interactive service that records maternal health information and responds with information appropriate to individual needs. The mobile stations are manned by lay people, thus creating local jobs in communities. ImobiMaMa is currently in pilot stage

Carol accidentally fell into gynecological surgery after a renowned local surgeon commented that she had good hands. This together with her noticing that there was a huge need for obstetrics/gynecological specialists while she was doing her in-house training sealed her specialisation decision. Interestingly, Carol almost did not qualify as a doctor due to the quotas put on the number of people of colour allowed to train in the 70s, and started off doing a Bachelor of Science, before managing to get into medicine.

We are inspired by Carol’s story because she is using her years of reproductive health expertise to try extend great medical care in a cost-effective and efficient manner to those who generally cannot afford it or are neglected by the public healthcare system.

Carol tells us that she does not own a car and has not owned one for the last three years. Also, another aspiration earlier in her life, other than becoming a doctor, was to drive a big 18 wheeler truck with a cabin to sleep in... Featured artist: Robyn Richards @Robyn_alexandra93

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