Academic Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Health, Dr Dipesalema Joel, has received an Association of Paediatric Programme Directors (APPD) Global Educators Award. Dr Joel received the award during the APPD annual spring meeting held in San Diego, California in the United States of America on May 17, 2022.
The Global Educator Award is bestowed upon a clinician scientist who resides in low or middle income countries who has made outstanding contribution to the field of Paediatrics around the globe. Consequently, the award is testimony to the advancement of medical education in Botswana and acknowledgment of the University of Botswana in producing internationally recognised doctors who serve the needs of humanity both locally and abroad. Thus, it is clear testament that the University of Botswana medical degree is recognised internationally.
This year’s APPD annual spring meeting attracted over 3000 delegates from across the world. The APPD is a professional organisation whose mission is to serve paediatric programmes by leading the advancement of education to ensure the health and wellbeing of children..
Upon receiving the award, Dr Joel thanked Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, for the support to the Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Health. “Thank you for being supportive to our work, we appreciate. I dedicate this award to all our leaners, my faculty, Botswana Paediatric Association and our patients. I am truly humbled and honoured,” said Dr Joel. Meanwhile, in addition to leading the Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Health, Dr Joel is senior lecturer and Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist in the Faculty of Medicine. As a Leader, Dr Joel believes in strong teamwork, inspired by the ancient African proverb that “If you want go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together”.
"In the face of the COVID – 19 pandemic, our team work and collaboration, through innovation, inspiration and in-person, is the major key to our success in reducing infection and its associated mortality," reckoned Dr Joel.
In his 20 years as a clinician and a medical educator, Dr Joel has successfully led the Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Health at the University of Botswana to ensure quality training of medical students, pediatric residents, nurses, and allied health professionals. Since 2015, UB has graduated 28 pediatricians, who are currently serving in various parts of Botswana, including working as lecturers within the Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Health. Of the 28 paediatricians, Dr Joel has served as research project supervisor for 12 paediatricians. The University of Botswana Faculty of Medicine has graduated an average of 50 medical doctors per year since 2014.
At international level, Dr Joel is the current President of the Union of National African Paediatric Societies and Association,(UNAPSA), Botswana Paediatric Association (BPA), board member of the International Paediatric Association (IPA) and International Consortium of Pediatric Endocrinology (ICPE). Dr Joel has served as the President of the African Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology (ASPAE) from 2018 - 2020. He also served as the Chairman of Diabetes Association of Botswana for 10 years from 2011 - 2021. He has published extensively in high impact factor international journals and further published 92 pieces of scholarly work - (book chapters, peer reviewed journals, conference abstract, oral and poster presentations). Dr Joel's scholarly work has 914 citations in google scholar and the H index of eight in scopus. He has been invited to give lectures and training to health care professionals in 32 countries across the globe in the last 20 years.
Dr Joel graduated from the National University of Ireland in the Republic of Ireland with Bachelor of Medicine (MB), Bachelor of Surgery (BCh), Bachelor of Arts in Obstetrics (BAO) and Bachelor of Medical Science (B Med Sc) in June 2002. He did his speciality training in Paediatrics in the Republic of Ireland and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI). He did sub-speciality training in the Paediatric Endocrinology Training Centre for Africa (PETCA) in Nairobi, Kenya and graduated with distinction, top of his class in March 2011.