Specialising in skin

Dr Elisah Agaba loves the way skin acts as "a mirror" of what is happening inside the body.

20 September 2019 | Health

Dr Elisah Agaba is a consultant dermatologist at the Ongwediva Medipark university teaching hospital.

He is also a senior adjunct lecturer of dermatology at the University of Namibia (Unam).

His duties include providing medical care to patients with skin-related diseases and problems.

He deals with outpatients. These are patients who are treated and go back home.

There are also patients who are admitted to hospital with skin-related diseases. They are seen on a daily basis, until they are discharged.

Dr Agaba also does consulting, which means colleagues call him to ask his opinion.

His role as a Unam lecturer includes giving dermatology lectures to medical students, giving assignments and marking them, giving continuous medical education (CME) presentations to other health professionals and the mentorship of medical students

A normal day for Dr Agaba starts with seeing his admitted patients first.

He then goes to the outpatient department to see his booked patients, while receiving consulting calls from some of his colleagues. Surgical and cosmetic procedures are booked for specific days and hours, and so too are student teaching and assignments.

He says he was inspired to work with people of all ages.

“I wanted a specialty where you see all age groups. You joke with kids, listen to unending stories and complaints from the elderly and attend to the overconfidence of the youth. It is truly amazing,” he said.

He also loves the way skin acts as "a mirror" of what is happening inside the body.

“It’s a pleasure to diagnose a systemic disease. For example, a problem in the brain can be detected because of what appears on the skin, while the patient had no brain complaint. This helps treat systemic diseases before they become symptomatic, hence there is a better prognosis,” he added.

Dr Agaba graduated as a general practitioner after seven years of medical training. He then worked for two years as a general practitioner.

He then started attending the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 2010 for his specialist training and graduated in 2014 as a consultant dermatologist.

“When you are training, you see patients at university teaching hospitals. In my case, it was Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Chris Hani Baragwaneth Academic Hospital and Helen Joseph Academic Hospital, but you are under supervision. You ask consultants and professors in the department,” Dr Agaba said.

“In order to qualify, one writes exams, which includes written papers and oral exams, as well as microscopic exams. The written exams are in two parts.

“Part one is three written papers, part two is two written papers, an oral exam which is on patients (in general it’s five to 10 patients you evaluated) and a microscopic exam (six slides you look at to make diagnoses).

“All exams are set by the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA). After passing the exams I submitted my research report (thesis), which was evaluated by the university administration,” Dr Agaba added.

Some of the character traits needed in his profession include patience, because most skin diseases take a long time to heal, a love for paying attention to detail and a knack for embracing diversity.

“The highlights of my work have to be diagnosing internal diseases based on skin signs and the few emergencies, which give an opportunity to plan my work accordingly. The field is also a very enjoyable one, with plenty of opportunities to see patients in all medical fields.”

Similar News


World-class medical equipment with GC Medical

1 week ago - 10 January 2020 | Health

Ester Kamati Despite what it describes as a “rough start” in July 2017, GC Medical has been working towards their aim of delivering world-class service...

Stubborn Hepatitis E still soaring

1 week ago - 07 January 2020 | Health

Namibia's hepatitis E outbreak shows no signs of abating since it first erupted more than two years ago. Nineteen people were killed by the disease...

Christmas babies galore

3 weeks ago - 30 December 2019 | Health

Hospitals in Windhoek recorded 28 new births on Christmas Day, while Erongo welcomed 16 of these births and Otjiwarongo six.The Katutura State Hospital topped the...

Winning the fight against measles

1 month - 09 December 2019 | Health

Over the past decade there has been a drastic decline in measles cases in Namibia, dropping from 1 815 to only 16 confirmed cases this...

Economic misery fuels suicides

1 month - 06 December 2019 | Health

Close to 400 people died by suicide between January and September 2019 and experts warn that Namibia's economic crisis, lack of jobs and the crippling...

Malaria cases on the rise

1 month - 06 December 2019 | Health

Namibia accounts for 29.2% of suspected malaria cases in East and Southern and Africa (ESA). This percentage is the second largest in the sub-region, behind...

Women: The face of HIV

1 month - 06 December 2019 | Health

More than 200 000 Namibians aged 15 years and older are living with HIV and more than half of them are women.According to the health...

The calm in the storm

1 month - 29 November 2019 | Health

MARISELLE STOFBERG Everyone has a dream of making a difference in life, but sometimes lacks the perseverance and determination needed to do that. Renay Coetzee,...

Maternity ward in limbo

1 month - 25 November 2019 | Health

Poor floor work has led to the halting of the N$59 million antenatal and postnatal maternity ward project at the Onandjokwe state hospital.This was after...

More than meets the eye

1 month - 22 November 2019 | Health

Evany van Wyk “Being able to do what I do – and doing it well – is a blessing!” says Lizelle van Schalkwyk, the...

Latest News

Erindi sale in Tweya’s hands

11 hours ago | Environment

OGONE TLHAGE Minister of industrialisation Tjekero Tweya is set to facilitate a public consultative process regarding the planned sale of the Erindi...

Policy bottlenecks harm Peugeot sales

11 hours ago | Business

Only a paltry 93 vehicles – out of a targeted 1 551 - have been assembled at the Walvis Bay Peugeot plant since its launch...

Nation awaits EVM judgement with...

11 hours ago | Justice

Namibians must wait until February 6 to hear whether the Supreme Court will uphold the outcome of the November 27 general election or order a...

Let’s be consistent on flag...

11 hours ago | Opinion

The police have been directed by cabinet to see to it that the national flag is used for what is outlined in law.Cabinet secretary George...

Let's hope for a good...

11 hours ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA It is no secret that the past two years were not the best for sport in the country, with...

Nghipandulwa off to Brazil

11 hours ago | Sports

One of Namibia's upcoming football referees, Samuel Nghipandula, left for Port Alegre, Brazil, on Friday to participate in the world-famous youth tournament, the 2020 IberCup,...

Afcon 2021 dates changed

11 hours ago | Sports

The Brave Warriors' Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2021 qualifying matches have been brought forward after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) changed the hosting...

Ambunda plots redemption

11 hours ago | Sports

Namibia's former boxing world champion Paulus 'El Jesus' Ambunda has begun plotting his way back to greatness. Ambunda says he is eager to make a...

Evidence stuck in grieving mother's...

11 hours ago | Justice

A N$3 million wrongful death lawsuit against the police stemming from the killing of a child who was struck by a stray bullet on Valentine's...

Load More