Research Findings May Reduce Waterborne Diseases Scourge
The findings of doctoral research completed through UKZN have assisted in developing possible control strategies to reduce the spread of waterborne diseases.
The research, done by PhD graduate Mr Obiora Collins of the School of Statistics, Mathematics and Computer Science, focused on developing new mathematical models to understand the dynamics of waterborne diseases.
Dean and Head of the School, Professor Kesh Govinder, who supervised Collins, said: ‘Waterborne diseases are a scourge in many developing countries. In spite of world-wide attention, progress in managing and predicting the dynamics of an outbreak is minimal.
‘Mr Obiora Collins developed a series of models to help understand the evolution of water-borne diseases,’ said Govinder. ‘He was able to predict the dynamics of the Haiti epidemic very accurately. By applying different control strategies and interrogating their usefulness he made useful recommendations for public health interventions,’ said Govinder.
‘The work needed for the doctoral degree was challenging but the knowledge and experience gained through the entire process was priceless,’ said Collins, who has presented his work at local and international conferences where the impact of his analysis was lauded.
Collins acknowledges Govinder as his greatest role model. ‘Despite his hectic administrative load both internally and externally, he still found the time to attend to all his students’ queries.’
Collins is currently exploring using the skills he acquired during his doctoral studies in other areas of Mathematical Biology.
- Leena Rajpal