School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science

MSc graduate, Mr Mbuyiseni Kubheka.

MSc Study Harnesses Statistics to Understand Child Mortality

MSc graduate, Mr Mbuyiseni Kubheka employed statistical models to investigate the factors that contributed to infant mortality among Zambian children under the age of five in 2013 and 2014.

‘Infant and child mortality rates are important measures of living and socio-economic conditions and the overall health status of a nation. Addressing the issues contributing to under-five mortality is very important since children are the future leaders of the world,’ explained Kubheka. His findings revealed that demographic characteristics of the parents such as their level of education and income and the region in which the mother resided, were significant determinants of under-five mortality rates.

Kubheka said that he is committed to helping to address the social issues facing society. He believes his findings will be useful to the Zambian government and other stakeholders in the health sector in addressing the mortality rate among young children.

Kubheka lives by these words: ‘Anticipate change, adapt to change quickly, enjoy change and be ready to change quickly, again and again.’  Acceptance of change and prayer helped him to cope with the rigour of a Master’s study.  ‘My mother, Ms Sibongile Khumalo, also helped me to pray for my dream to be fulfilled.  We had to fast and pray ehlane (in the wilderness),’ he said.

Besides his passion for solving societal issues, Kubheka loves mathematics and statistics and is currently studying towards his PhD through UKZN while working as a Statistics lecturer at the University of Zululand. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and meditating.

Words: Sabeliwe Langa

Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan