University of Namibia : School of Public Health
ABOUT THE SCHOOL
Public health is the science of ensuring safety and improving the health of populations through education, policies and research for disease and injury prevention.
We envision to Building Healthy Future in the Namibia Nation, the sub-region, in Africa and the World through education, training, research and community services.
We strive to train public health practitioners who are able to provide expertise in: professional managerial positions in health care systems, hospitals, health insurance, and other organizations working for policy and programmes development in population health, prevention and health care systems.
WHY STUDY AT THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH?
We strive to train public health practitioners who are able to provide expertise in: professional managerial positions in health care systems, hospitals management, health insurance, prevention of diseases and health promotion. Study at the University of Namibia School of Public Health individual will gain expertise in:
Community Development and Health Promotion
Conduct community diagnosis and formulate public health interventions with community involvement; advocate for policies that ensure residents are empowered to own community health matters. Identify, prioritize and manage public health problems using evidence based, high impact and cost-effective public health interventions. Implement primary Health Care interventions at individual, household, and community levels. Design educational programmes and advance promotion of health through user-friendly communication strategies that enhance healthy life styles and behaviors at the population level.
Quantify the extent of health problems affecting populations, identify possible causes of disease and recognize the process of disease development and progression using epidemiologic study designs and analysis. Apply elaborate measures for disease prevention and control including surveillance, screening and quarantine. Carry out epidemic investigation to identify its source, causative agents and population groups affected, and formulate appropriate responses. Implement prevention strategies for Communicable and Non-communicable diseases of public health importance. Implement control and eradication measures for endemics and pandemics diseases.
Health Policy and Management
Utilize empirical research, evaluation, and routine and non-routine data as key inputs for evidence based public health policymaking process. Outline priorities, set strategic and operational plans with targets for the short and long term. Mobilize resources for health and manage health systems for health care delivery taking into account equity, technological advances and impact. Advocate for and enforce Public health act and related legislation and policies. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of public health programmes.
Food and drug safety
Manage systems for controlling microbial, biological, physical and chemical food hazards. Implement food and drugs quality assurance at port of entry, market or production sites. Enforce compliance with food and drugs related legislation through inspection and testing.
Toxicology and Environmental Pollution Control and Management
Monitor the quality of Water and air and institute purification measures under different circumstances. Assess noise and lighting levels in different setting and insure compliance with set standard Monitor and ensure compliance with standard of Sanitation in urban and rural setting. Monitor the use of pesticide, insecticide and other chemicals used in agriculture and veterinary and households. Perform an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Auditing, Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) and Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) as a member of a team.
Occupational Health and Safety
Monitor and promote occupational health and safety in the work places through health risk Assessment, safety and hygiene assessments, compliance with legislation and standards.
POSSIBLE CAREERS AFTER GRADUATING FROM THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Those unfamiliar with the public health field may assume jobs are limited to only certain settings, such as government agencies. However, public health touches on almost every aspect of modern life, and graduates may find they have the opportunity to work for a number of employers and in various settings.
- Public Services: Government jobs include: Health Programme Officer (different health programmes such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, health promotion, information, education and communication (IEC), Nutrition, Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), school health programmes, non-communicable diseases etc.) M&E Officer, Community HIV Liaison Officer, Port Health Officer, Public and Environmental Health Practitioner.
- Non-profit Organisation (NGO): Jobs in this setting often focus on different function carried out by NGOs. Most NGOs in Namibia are implementing community based health programme such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, OVC and other programmes related social welfare such as minorities groups, women, community development, and public health graduate will be equipped with necessary skills to design and implement those programmes.
- Academic: Public health professionals working in academia typically focus on research. In addition, they may also be teaching students enrolled in public health-related degree programs.
- Private: Within the private sector, jobs may be available at insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers or health care facilities, mining and manufacturing companies. Another option for private employment is consulting work performed on a contract basis.
Getting the Right Degree
For some of these jobs, individuals may only need a bachelor’s degree in public health. However, to advance or move into more complex roles, a post graduate degree may be required. Before enrolling in a public health degree program, students should have a firm grasp on the level of education needed for their desired position within the field. In order to specialize, students may need to spend up to six years studying both general public health principles as well as their area of focus.
Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health
At the bachelor’s degree level, students are often given the opportunity to explore multiple specializations within the public health field. For those who plan to go onto a graduate degree, this is an excellent time for students to decide which area of public health they would like to pursue as a career.
Public health schools may offer a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts to its students. A BS may focus on natural science and could be a better option for those expecting to go into research or specializations such as biostatistics and epidemiology. A BA may have a greater emphasis on social sciences, making it a good option for students interested in community health, social and behavioral health or health promotion and communication. However, school admissions offices and college public health departments should be able to assist students in selecting the right degree path.
After graduation, students may be eligible for positions such as that of a health educator or community outreach worker.
Master of Public Health (MPH)
The MPH is the most common graduate degree earned by those working in the field, and the American Public Health Association says every school accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health must have a curriculum that, at minimum, includes these five areas of study.
- Environmental Health Sciences
- Health Services Administration
- Health Promotion – Social and Behavioral Sciences
At the graduate level, students generally pick one of the above specializations in which to focus their education. Most MPH degrees take two years to complete although some specializations may be offered as one year programs at certain institutions.
Individuals with a master’s degree in public health are often eligible to fill most of the jobs outlined in the specializations above.