PhD Research Focuses on Resource Use in Healthcare Systems
Dr Tesleem Babalola’s PhD study aimed to provide information to assist policy formulation that promotes more efficient resource allocation.
Titled: Investigating the Health Systems Performance: Technical Efficiency of District Hospitals in the Public Health Sector of KwaZulu-Natal Province, the study was supervised by the late Professor Indres Moodley of the Department of Public Health.
‘My late supervisor was one of the greatest mentors anyone could have, and his demise was a great loss to me and my colleagues under his supervision,’ said Babalola. ‘The memory of his humility, selflessness, and willingness to assist lives with me forever.’
Nigerian-born Babalola was encouraged to study at UKZN by his friend and respected colleague, Isa Elegbede. ‘The choice was easy due to the University’s high global and regional ranking as well as support for international students,’ he said.
‘The study assessed the technical efficiency and productivity of all the public district hospitals in the province from the fiscal year 2014/15 to 2016/17. Factors influencing delivery of care within the hospitals were also investigated. The research was funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa,’ explained Babalola. The findings were presented at local and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) accredited journals.
‘Since the introduction of the national district hospital service package in 2002 to support improved health services delivery, the study was the first to investigate technical efficiency, productivity, and associated factors among district hospitals,’ said Babalola.
He is currently a research fellow under the supervision of Dr Emily Wong and epidemiological researchers based at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), South Africa, as well as modelling researchers based in Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in the United States, where he is involved in research on methods in clinical epidemiology, simulation modelling, and cost-effectiveness analysis to project the clinical and economic outcomes of tobacco use and the cost-effectiveness of integrating tobacco treatment into HIV and tuberculosis (TB) programmes. He hopes to establish a research institute that will support and train young and upcoming researchers.
Babalola likes spending his free time with family, watching documentaries/news, and playing games. He dedicates his success to his late mother and supervisor and appreciates the support of his father, wife and children, siblings, in-laws, and well-wishers.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini