Researcher: Traditional Medicine Laboratory, UKZN

Prudy Seepe

Thirty-one-year-old Prudy Seepe learnt about TB by accident, when she got a research job at the Centre for Excellence in TB Research at Stellenbosch University, while completing her degree in Medical Biochemistry. She is now one of the leaders in the search for a cure for TB and uses original ideas to find solutions to the scourge. One of these is a collaboration between Western TB medication and practice and herbal medication and traditional healing. Seepe’s parents and grandparents were herbalists, so traditional medicine, the choice of about 70% of South Africans, has always been a part of her life and her work reaches many people who have been alienated by Western medical practices. She has won the department of science and technology’s Women in Science award and is regularly invited to discuss TB issues on radio stations and television talk shows.

— Ilham Rawoot