Three students from Project A graduate with their PhDs

April 15th, 2016

On 14 April 2016, three students from Project A, the Malaria and Bilharzia in Southern Africa (MABISA) project, graduated with their PhDs in Public Health from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa.

The three students, Dr Margaret Macherera, Dr Tawanda Manyangadze and Dr Resign Gunda, were all supervised by Professor Moses Chimbari, the Dean of Research at UKZN’s College of Health Sciences, and the Principal Investigator of the project.

Dr Margaret Macherera’s thesis is titled Indigenous Knowledge Systems on Malaria in Gwanda district in Zimbabwe. For this thesis, Dr Macherera studied Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) around malaria in Gwanda district, Zimbabwe. Her study aimed to understand the existing IKS and the potential for using an IKS in the Gwanda healthcare system. This was also studied with the possibility of developing an IKS-based community-centred early warning system.

The title of Dr Tawanda Manyangadze’s thesis is Spatial and Temporal Modelling of Schistosomiasis Transmission at Micro-Scale in Southern Africa: A Case of the Ndumo area in uMkhanyakude health district in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This involved the use of GIS and Earth Observation tools to model the spatial and temporal distribution of schistosomiasis in Southern Africa. Climatic, socio-economic and environmental factors were used in the modelling. This is used to show schistosomiasis infection hotspots. This knowledge is important both in informing schistosomiasis control and management programmes, and for understanding schistosomiasis transmission.

Dr Resign Gunda’s thesis sought to understand The Burden of Malaria and related household economic costs in the Gwanda District in Zimbabwe. The incidence, morbidity, mortality, and therefore the disability-adjusted life years lost as a result of malaria infection, were determined. Through this, the resultant economic burden could be understood. This study involved extensive community engagement.

Professor Moses Chimbari with four of his students at the UKZN graduation ceremony. From left: Dr Wycliff Onkoba, Dr Resign Gunda (MABISA student), Prof. Chimbari (Supervisor), Dr Tawanda Manyangadze (MABISA student) and Dr Margaret Macherera (MABISA student)