10 December 2021 Volume :9 Issue :56

Swazi National Graduates with PhD in Public Health

Swazi National Graduates with PhD in Public Health
Dr Cebisile Xolile Ngcamphalala.

PhD graduate in Public Health Medicine Dr Cebisile Xolile Ngcamphalala says she is looking forward to contributing extensively to interpreting and using health economics evidence to strengthen health systems and address pressing public health challenges.

Ngcamphalala is the Associate Director of Health Systems Straightening at the Health Research Non-Governmental Organisation in Eswatini.

Supervised by Professor Themba Ginindza, Ngcamphalala - who specialised in Health Economics - analysed the economic impact of ill-health, an assessment which is distinct but complementary to clinical and epidemiological approaches to disease burden assessment.

‘Specifically, the study provided evidence on the extent of costs information associated with cancer of the cervix, the prostate and female breast in the sub-Saharan African region and further estimated the economic burden - direct medical and indirect costs - associated with the diagnosis and management of each of the cancers in Eswatini,’ she explained.

Ngcamphalala’s findings indicated main costs drivers in the diseases’ management continuum - information critical for policy makers and planners to assist in decision-making and research priority settings.

‘Finally, using the latest pricing and population projections, the study further estimated the population and costs projections for the HPV vaccine for Eswatini,’ she said.

She did her Master’s degree in Health Economics which made her realise the value of health economics in addressing the pressing public health challenges.

‘The disease burden is always high in low income countries yet resources are limited. This underscores the need for understanding the economic burden of disease (costs associated with the condition) in order to inform cost containing measures and maximize efficiencies for optimum output,’ said Ngcamphalala

‘I feel excited and honored to have graduated. This has been a fruitful four-year journey,’ she said.

‘Balancing academics, work and family was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to get the degree thanks to all the support I received.’

She had also enjoyed a great time studying at UKZN: ‘I am grateful to God for the opportunity and give thanks to my supervisors who mentored me all the way. I also appreciate the CHS scholarship which funded the data collection process,’ she said.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied

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