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Public Health Medicine Celebrates Excellence

2017/06/26 12:25:03 PM

The graduates; Dr Boikhutso Tlou, Dr Chauntelle Bagwandeen, Dr Khumbulani Hlongwana, Dr Prishah Narsai, Dr Andrew Ross and Dr Nelisiwe Khuzwayo presented their theses, focusing on a variety of topics, at the symposium.

 From left to right: Dr Khumbulani Hlongwana, Dr Chauntelle Bagwandeen, Dr Boikhutso
Tlou, Dr Andrew Ross, Dr Prishah Narsai and Dr Nelisiwe Khuzwayo.
UKZN College of Health Sciences’ Department of Public Health Medicine celebrated its new PhD graduates by holding a Research Day Symposium.

The graduates; Dr Boikhutso Tlou, Dr Chauntelle Bagwandeen, Dr Khumbulani Hlongwana, Dr Prishah Narsai, Dr Andrew Ross and Dr Nelisiwe Khuzwayo presented their theses, focusing on a variety of topics, at the symposium.

Public Health Medicine’s HoD Dr Saloshni Naidoo congratulated the group for their respective achievements and commended them for striving for excellence.

Tlou presented his thesis titled: “Spatial-temporal dynamics and structural determinants of child and maternal mortality in a rural, high HIV burdened South African population, 2000-2014”. He used advanced spatiotemporal techniques to identify hotspots (high-risk areas) for child and maternal mortality, and their associated risk factors. His work will guide health planners and policymakers in the effective use of scarce resources to target intervention programmes. The study was supervised by Professor Benn Sartorius and Professor Frank Tanser.

Bagwandeen’s study was titled: “Sowing the seeds: The use of feedback in postgraduate medical education: A key factor in developing and enhancing clinical competence”. This mixed methods study examined the process of feedback across six disciplines at a teaching hospital. Registrars reported that consultants lacked training on how to give feedback and that important elements were missing. Consultants reported heavy workloads, fear of negative reactions, apathy, lack of institutional support and that a guiding framework hampered the process. This study developed policy guidelines and strategies to enhance the culture of feedback in the training of medical specialists at UKZN. She was supervised by Dr S Singaram.

The thesis titled: “Factors influencing the implementation of the malaria elimination policy in South Africa”, earned Hlongwana a PhD in Public Health Medicine. Studies on barriers and facilitators to effective implementation of malaria elimination policies are lacking. Using mixed methods, this study revealed multiple factors affecting the implementation in SA, from implementers, researchers and policy makers’ perspectives. The overarching challenge was the perception that the whole malaria elimination agenda was externally sculpted, with local actors’ participation being superficial. The study culminated in the development of a Conceptual Framework illustrating the features affecting the implementation of malaria elimination in South Africa.

He was supervised by Professor Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni.

Narsai’s thesis was titled: “An investigation of the housing conditions and the quality of life of clients in the built environment in the eThekwini municipality during the HIV/ AIDS epidemic”. The South African Constitution protects the right to housing and to have access to health care and the implementation of these rights was investigated in the study undertaken in eThekwini. It focused on four housing typologies; namely informal settlements, reconstruction and development housing, traditional rural housing and inner-city apartments. The study highlighted the shortfalls in achieving adequate housing and access to healthcare during the HIV and AIDS epidemic, and offers recommendations to improve residents’ quality of life. She was supervised by Professor M Taylor.

Khuzwayo closed the session with her presentation titled: “Development implementation and evaluation of a behavioural youth risk reduction intervention in the context of operation Sukuma Sakhe in Umgungundlovu district municipality, Kwazulu-Natal South Africa.” This thesis showed that micro-system, exo-system and macro-system contribute to fostering riskier sexual behaviours. Re-engineering of interventions addressing the risk behaviour of the young people in uMgungundlovu Municipality is required targeting these levels, since the existing interventions directed at the individuals have not resulted in the desired health outcomes. She was supervised by Professor M Taylor.

Nombuso Dlamini

Nombuso Dlamini

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