UCT health systems graduate achieves publication milestone
An emerging scholar who has recently taken great strides in the field of health policy and systems research (HPSR) in Africa is Toyin Adeleke, the first graduate of the health systems track of UCT’s Master’s in Public Health (MPH), who has also contributed a chapter to the new South African Health Review.
In fact, Toyin has received one of two Emerging public health practitioner awards for the best article submitted by a young public health professional for inclusion in the South African Health Review. Toyin received the award at the launch of the South African Health Review, which took place on 2 April 2013 in Pretoria. The criteria for the award, sponsored by Health Systems Trust, include the article’s innovation and originality, intellectual clarity and scientific rigour and identification of good practices or hindrances to policy implementation.
Her chapter in the South African Health Review reports on case study work that was done in two clinics to explore the health system factors influencing professional and lay health workers’ practices with respect to tuberculosis infection control. Inadequate on-the-job training and a non-responsive compensation policy were some of the major barriers to the implementation of infection control measures, while implementation was facilitated by the availability of resources, as well as supervision and leadership characterised by delegation (http://www.hst.org.za/sites/default/files/CHAPTER16_BarriersTb.pdf).
Toyin, who is from Nigeria, obtained her first degree in public health promotion and education from Babcock University in her home country. After four years of working for NGOs in Nigeria, she enrolled in UCT’s MPH in 2010. Toyin was initially enrolled in the general track of the MPH, but switched to the health systems track when it was introduced in mid-2011. Although she had to take some extra courses at the time to quality for the new track, she feels very positive about the experience and has developed a strong interest in health systems research.
‘’It was a good decision because that is where my interest lies. I enjoyed the health systems-related courses. I like the relational approach in health systems. The fact that one is trained to think broadly and to analyse cross-cutting areas where various components of the health system are linked is quite useful and interesting.’’
Toyin returned to Nigeria after her studies and currently consults on a part-time basis to health organisations, among other things on data quality improvement, while she is searching for a permanent position.