Shorné Bennie
journalist
3 minute read
7 Jun 2022
06:45

‘Forbes Africa’ honours Pietermaritzburg doctor

Shorné Bennie

Two years after setting his mind to making the Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30, Dr Brett Lyndall Singh (29) made the June/July 2022 Forbes Africa cover.

Two years after setting his mind to making the Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30, Dr Brett Lyndall Singh (29) made the June/July 2022 Forbes Africa cover.

Singh is a medical doctor and scholar at the Tsinghua University Vanke School of Public Health and holds a Masters of Medicine in Paediatrics. He trained at Grey’s Hospital and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia.

He was based in Wenzou, China when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, and was part of a special task team to establish the clinical protocol for paediatric patients at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University.

The clinical protocols and results were shared with various governments to help prepare for the pandemic which earned him an honorary award at the China National Covid-19 Commendation Ceremony last year.

Singh, who grew up in Howick and matriculated from St Charles College in 2010, was inspired to pursue a career in medicine after the traumatic experience of not being able to perform CPR on his grandmother, at age 16.

“Don’t make excuses due to institutional failures. Focus on building value, and the investment will follow. You can always be the exception.”
Dr Brett Lyndall Singh

When he was unable to get a space to study medicine in the country, he began applying abroad and was accepted to study medicine in China.

While he was pursuing his studies in paediatrics, he fell in love with entrepreneurship and created his company Alpha and Omega MedTech, which, together with multiple partners, developed the Kovifast Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test.

In July last year, Singh facilitated a R25 million donation of Covid-19 rapid test kits to the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) towards the Sisonke Vaccine Trial.

Through his company’s innovative health care technologies, he was recognised by Forbes and made the prestigious 30 under 30 list, alongside South African Olympic Gold Medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker and comedian, influencer and social media personality Lasizwe Dambuza.

Singh underwent a rigorous selection process to be a part of the class of top 30 under 30 and now must continue to uphold African excellence and represent the “wonderful people of the Midlands”.

Now based in Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria, Alpha and Omega Med Tech is currently working on pilot projects with South Africa’s top institutions, to help stimulate the economy by creating internships in healthcare as well as build world-class facilities to transform the sector.

He is currently the chairperson of the South African National Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s National Healthcare Products Masterplan Global Value Chains working group.

He described making it onto Forbes’ list as a “supernatural event”.

Singh said:

“Being one of the four cover stars is the equivalent of the Olympic Gold Medal for young entrepreneurs… and innovators. As a healthcare entrepreneur, with six years of medical school, three years of internship and Masters, working in a hospital during Covid-19, and at the same time building a strong business was not easy. I am very grateful to my team in China, my family, my investors and our customers.”

His advice to the youth is to stay focused, hungry for success and “don’t stop moving!”

“When I finished my Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery in 2017, the Health Professions Council of South Africa did not process my application to register, in order to practise in the country.

“I decided not to wait for years until it gets processed, and went back to China to further my studies in paediatrics.

“Don’t make excuses due to institutional failures. Focus on building value, and the investment will follow. You can always be the exception,” said Singh.