Prestigious Three-Year Green Economy Post-Doctoral Fellowship for PhD Graduate
UKZN PhD graduate Dr Lydia Hangulu has been awarded a three-year green economy post-doctoral fellowship for her study: “Policy and Practice of Healthcare Waste Management in Community Based Care in South Africa”.
Hangulu was awarded the fellowship by the Department of Science and Technology, the National Research Foundation and the Department of Environmental Affairs through the Green Fund. The Fellowship is usually awarded to PhD graduates in the natural sciences.
Hangulu’s thesis is the first to employ methodologies, drawn from several fields of study, such as scoping review, documentary analysis, media analysis, stakeholder interviews and ethnography to explore health care waste management in community-based care in South Africa.
Her thesis also makes important methodological, conceptual and substantive contributions to the fields of public health, environmental health, health policy and systems. Her work also makes significant contributions to green economy initiatives in South Africa
The study demonstrates that despite government’s efforts to scale-up and strengthen primary and community health care, there is a lack of policies to guide health care waste management in home and community-based care and a lack of implementation and/enforcement of the few available guidelines relating to the issue. Together, these undermine the management of health care waste in home-and community-based care.
The findings have implications for the primary health care re-engineering initiative of the South African government and other low-and middle-income countries responding to the global push to scale-up their primary health care programmes.
Applications of insights from her work which she has presented at several international academic meetings will significantly improve policy and practice of health care waste management in South Africa and other low-and middle-income countries.
‘This post-doctoral award proves to me that hard work really pays off. It is so motivating to know that my academic contribution is recognised. I thank God for all the blessings and I thank my supervisor Dr Olagoke Akintola for mentoring me throughout this academic journey. I am encouraging young people to work hard and make a positive change to our communities’, said Dr Hangulu.