Patricia Arnaiz analyzed the effectiveness and sustainability of a health-enhancing physical activity intervention ( KaziKidz ) on the well-being of South African primary school learners within the KaziBantu study. She was awarded “Summa Cum Laude” for her written PhD thesis and oral presentation entitled “Impact and sustainability evaluation of the KaziKidz physical activity and health promotion intervention in public primary schools in South Africa“.
A key strength of Patricia Arnaiz’s PhD project was the collection of both quantitative data from a sub-cohort of children at increased risk for NCDs (obesity, elevated blood pressure, dyslipidemia or hyperglycemia) and qualitative data from school principals, teachers, and caregivers. The use of mixed methods allowed for high-quality scientific evidence to comprehensively understand the impact and implementation of the KaziKidz intervention in real-world contexts. In collecting this data, Patricia Arnaiz found difficult conditions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which shaped several years of her doctoral research: The lockdown was particularly strict in South Africa and made collaboration with South African colleagues and local official institutions difficult in many ways.
The KaziBantu Team at the Nelson Mandela University (Gqeberha) and University of Basel (Basel) thanks Patricia Arnaiz for her four-year doctorate, congratulates her on her successful doctoral defense in a festive setting, and wishes her all the best for her personal future!