South Africa is brimming with stories of nurses going the extra mile, working longer hours than expected, and selflessly dedicating themselves to their patients week after week.

In recognition of these unsung heroes, South African health tech start-up AfriNurse is launching a new campaign to celebrate the exceptional work performed by the country’s front-line nurses throughout Covid-19 and beyond. Titled #MyNurseHero, this campaign is designed to shine the spotlight on their selfless deeds and drive a positive shift in the public attitudes towards the nursing profession.

AfriNurse, formerly known as Patient Health, was born from The Innovation Hub’s Maxum Smart Business Incubation programme which provides entrepreneurs with the skills to create successful businesses.

Its new My Nurse Hero online platform aims to use technology and mass media to promote remarkable nurses and challenge the negative stereotypes which continue to harm the profession’s reputation. The platform is open to all organisations and members of the public who want to share the story of an inspirational nurse in their lives.

“The aim of our campaign is to support healthcare by boosting the morale of our local nurses, and driving public awareness of the vital role of nursing as a career and calling,” says Sylvester Lehlogonolo Msuthwana, founder and CEO of AfriNurse.

“South Africa is home to many extraordinary nurses who are a credit to their profession. We hope to create an environment where these exceptional nurses are continuously celebrated by their peers and the public.”

Submitted stories will be featured on the online platform, and selected stories will also be featured in the Top 100 Nurse Heroes magazine, dubbed the “Forbes of nursing in Africa”.

The first candidates selected for feature in the magazine are mother and daughter duo Dolly Dube and Nonina Dube-Diphoko, who have dedicated their lives to helping people through some of their most difficult and trying moments.

Dube launched and operated her own maternity clinic during the turbulent times of apartheid South Africa to help the women of Vosloorus and its surrounding townships.

Inspired by her work, Dube’s daughter Nonina also gave up her teaching career after her mother’s passing to take up nursing, and continue her mother’s legacy.

“These are the stories that have gone unheard and unnoticed – the stories about how our local nurses have fulfilled their oath with such grace that they have helped spark the rebirth of the nursing heroes of the generations to come,” says Msuthwana.

Advocate Pieter Holl, CEO of The Innovation Hub, adds that The Innovation Hub is proud to support such a heart-warming initiative, and congratulates its founders on creating such an uplifting platform for the Health sector.

“We are extremely excited about the extraordinary work that AfriNurse is doing for the positive benefit of the country’s nurses and society. The #MyNurseHero is a platform where these phenomenal nurses can finally be seen and celebrated, and we cannot wait to follow the many amazing stories of their courage and commitment.”