LYDIA NOMATHEMBA CINGO
Dr. Lillian Cingo, the recipient of the Health Care Services /
Public Service Award, has been the Mnager of the Phelophepa health care
train project since 1995 and is a highly qualified and experienced medical
spent thirty years of her life in London, England, gaining professional
training in medical and paramedical fields. Later she was one of the
students who was awarded a scholarship by the Canon Collins Educational
Trust – London. This enabled her to study for a year at the Tavistock
Clinic – a training that has been very useful towards her work
in South Africa.
She holds a postgraduate qualification in neuro-surgical disciplines.
She is also qualified in tropical medicine for nurses and holds a diploma
in psychology, a certificate in counselling, a master’s degree
in counselling psychology and a certificate in HIV/AIDS counselling.
She was twice nominated Nurse of the Year in London during the 1970’s.
In 1975 she was presented to Queen Elizabeth as the best neuro-surgical
nurse in London.
Since her return to South Africa, Lillian, together with her team, has
literally been bringing health care to the people of rural South Africa
on the Phelophepa health care train. Phelophepa
translates as “good, clean health”. It started as a relatively
modest project operated by the department of optometry at Rand Afrikaans
sought to bring basic eyecare to remote communities while at the same
time giving the university’s optometry students hand-on experience
with real patients.
1994 it had expanded to 13 carriages and an engine and provided basic
medical care by groups of
final-year and postgraduate students from various institutions. The
train now has a complement of 57 people and sees close to 45,000 patients
a year, covering 15,000 km of rail across four provinces.
For her efforts in bringing health care to those who would normally do without,
Dr. Cingo is being widely recognized.
During March 1998, she received a Probe
Dental Award from the British Dental Association for her role in bringing health
care services to rural South Africa.
Lillian has been nominated for recognition in the sixth edition of the American
Biographical Institute’s “International Who’s Who of Professional
and Business Women” and was also nominated as their Woman of the Year – 1999.
This Institute has further nominated her to appear in the “International
Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women’s Hall of Fame”.
Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England recently nominated Lillian
as one of their 2000 twentieth century Intellectuals.
During 2000, in further recognition of her work, she received an Honourary Doctorate
in Education from the Tavistock Centre and the University of London East, UK,
and the degree of Doctor Curatonis, Honoris Causa, from the University of Port
She is a joint winner in the Health Category of the Shoprite Checkers SABC3 Woman
of the Year 2000 Awards.
During the first half of 2001, Willamette University, Salem, USA, conferred upon
her the honourary degree of Doctor of Public Service.
The Phelophepa health care train project puts into action Lillian’s motto: “Health
for all, physically and emotionally, hand-in-hand with reconciliation and nation
South African Women for Women is proud to recognize the innovative
and exciting work done by Dr. Lillian Cingo and her co-workers on the Phelophepa