Health Economics at the Core of PhD Thesis
Lecturer Dr Josue Mbonigaba’s keen interest in Health Economics culminated in him being awarded a PhD for his study titled: “The Cost-Effectiveness of HIV/AIDS Interventions in South Africa”.
The aim of the thesis was to capture the impact of HIV/AIDS interventions on costs and effectiveness and on the interaction between these interventions and the contexts in which they are implemented. Although structural and social factors are known to influence people risk behaviours and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS interventions, the effects of these factors have been often ignored in the comparison of the cost-effectiveness (CE) of HIV/AIDS interventions in the country.
According to Mbonigaba, the thesis sought to contribute to the evidence in this context by combining behavioral, biomedical and economic parameters in models. These models, developed separately for epidemiological and socio-economic contexts, aimed to capture these interactions and their effects on cost-effectiveness of major HIV/AIDS interventions.
The study found that the cost-effectiveness of HIV/AIDS interventions in South Africa varied in the different epidemiological and socio-economic contexts of the epidemic. The results meant that more health outcomes would be achieved if policy makers allocated resources in major interventions according to cost-effectiveness variations in modelled contexts.
The University requires all academics to obtain a PhD in order to contribute to the research profile of the Institution but Mbonigaba views his doctorate as the key to his dream career as a Health Economist. He works closely with Units such as the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division which is affiliated to UKZN’s School of Accounting, Economics and Finance and many other related organisations.
Pleased with his achievement, Mbonigaba said: ‘This is just a beginning - the academic journey continues. My vision is to become an established academic by making a significant contribution in the field of Health Economics and by advancing health economics knowledge in developing countries, particularly in Africa.’
Mbonigaba has converted his thesis into four journal articles and a book chapter which have been published in the South African Journal of Economics and Management Sciences, the Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, the Global Journal of Business Review, and the Journal of Applied Business Research.
Mbonigaba’s thesis was supervised by Professor Geoff Harris.
- Hazel Langa