Public health professional, Dr Alexander Cheza graduated with a PhD in Public Health Medicine. His study on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), namely cancer, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension in people living with HIV was supervised by Dr Boikhutso Tlou.
‘I look forward to using the knowledge and skills I gained to impact my community in an organisation that supports humanitarian care through research and living support especially for people living with HIV and NCDs. I have come to understand the needs, especially in developing economies, and I hope to contribute to solutions in the field of public health,’ said the Assistant Technical Care at Beaumont Health in the United Kingdom.
‘My study investigated the burden of NCDs at the selected facility and the findings can be used to guide further studies in related settings,’ Cheza said.
The findings revealed a general increasing trend in the incidence of the diseases under study and highlighted gaps in the way each disease category is being treated. Education on NCDs, especially among those with low educational levels, is recommended to address such issues.
Cheza said that the programme equipped him to take on new roles and tasks: ‘I am now open to joining academia and able to confidently conduct research.’
He expressed gratitude to his supervisor for his support even in difficult situations. ‘The University really supported me as well through connectivity bundles, access to learning resources and much other indirect support,’ he added.
Cheza has a passion for public health, especially in relation to diseases affecting communities in developing countries. He has worked with international organisations on multinational HIV surveys as a Senior Research Fellow and Regional Laboratory Advisor during the course of which he supported several African countries and provided capacity building in the process.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini