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Master of Public Administration Student Triumphs Academically Amid Tragedy

April 20, 2015

Master of Public Administration degree for Deputy District Manager of Ilembe Health District Office Ms Roshilla Sahadeo.
Master of Public Administration degree for Deputy District Manager of Ilembe Health District Office Ms Roshilla Sahadeo.

The Deputy District Manager of Ilembe Health District Office, Ms Roshilla Sahadeo, who lost her husband two weeks before her final examinations, was awarded her Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at a UKZN Graduation ceremony.  

Sahadeo was devastated by the tragic death but with solid support from her family she managed to soldier on and complete her studies. 

‘I was heartbroken by the loss of my beloved spouse whose relentless love and faith in me enabled me to overcome adversity and triumph. My dearest mum and my precious children, Samir and Sonum, showered me with unconditional love and support, encouragement and understanding and were my pillars of strength. I also sacrificed many weekends and family time working on my research,’ said Sahadeo. 

Her thesis, titled: “The Impact of Mobile Health Services within Ilembe Health District: A Batho Pele Perspective”, was supervised by Dr Mogie Subban of the UKZN School of Management, Information Technology and Governance.

Sahadeo is responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at Ilembe Health District following a promotion she attained in 2013 in her second year of her MPA studies. She said that she was motivated to explore this topic because of her experience as a public official with just over two decades in the Department of Health and almost half of that in District Health Services. 

Her study assisted in determining the effectiveness of the current mobile health services from the client’s perspective and forged an understanding of the challenges and suggested recommendations for improvement of the service from the different units of observation ie clients, health care workers and health service management. 

She said: ‘I am proud of my achievement, especially bringing it into fruition amidst emotional turmoil; fuelled with grief and bereavement, work challenges and balancing family life.’ 

According to Subban, Sahadeo obtained two excellent reports from the external examiners which earned her a distinction pass for her dissertation.  She added: ‘Roshilla was one of our most outstanding students who excelled in the masters programme.’  

Sahadeo acknowledges the support she received from her supervisor. ‘My promotor and mentor, Dr Mogie Subban, provided me with immeasurable inspiration, academic insight, wisdom and guidance.  Her unyielding determination and untiring efforts in supervision, throughout this research journey assisted me attain my goal.’   

Next on the academic agenda for Sahadeo is a PhD in Public Administration focusing on health service delivery.

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