Rachel Waema Mbogo’s doctoral candidature primes the first ever PhD candidate to make it to the graduation list since the establishment of the Centre for Applied Research and Mathematical Sciences (CARMS), a research centre in Strathmore University.
The soft-spoken, Dr. Mbogo is highly gifted and well-established mathematician and a scholar. Her passion for mathematics stems as early as secondary school, she later pursued this passion in her undergraduate studies at University of Nairobi where she studied Bachelors of Science in Applied Mathematics and later a Master’s degree in Industrial mathematics. The title of her Master’s thesis was “Use of generating functions in HIV/AIDS transmission model”
Rachel joined Strathmore University in 2003 as a mathematics lecturer; she registered for her PhD candidature in Strathmore in November 2011 under the supervision of Prof.Living stone S. Luboobi of Makerere University- Uganda and Prof.John W. Odhiambo of Strathmore University. Her studies were sponsored by DAAD, which provided her the opportunity to visit Germany for six months and meet other researchers in this field. ‘The support mechanisms in Strathmore and in Germany have propelled me to this level, I am very grateful to all my supervisors for guiding and encouraging me,’ she shared.
Through hard work and determination, she managed to complete her doctoral program in November 2013, under a thesis titled: Intra-Host Stochastic models for HIV dynamics and management, and successfully defended it on 14th May, 2014. The examiners and panel were impressed with her work and considered her results to be very highly commendable.
In her work, she derived and analysed stochastic models describing the dynamics of HIV and immune system interactions under therapeutic intervention in vivo. She used
Semi-Markov process to determine the cost of maintaining a HIV patient to the level of a normal working person.
The Semi-Markov models formulated provide insights on timing of interventions, geared towards the management of the HIV epidemic. These models can help health practitioners to make sound decisions on how to handle the HIV patients given their disease states. The models can also help the government and donors to make informed decisions about resource allocation in planning and evaluating control strategies for the disease (budget plan for the acquisition of the ARTs, VCT centres’, nutritional support, etc).
We congratulate Dr. Mbogo on her graduation and wish her all the best in her endeavours.