Public health is a fast growing field of health sciences that promotes healthy lifestyles, research on intervention for prevention of disease and injury, detection and prevention of the spread of infectious disease, protection and improvement of public health. The need to improve the health of the most vulnerable and worlds poorest Malawi population by bridging the gap between public health knowledge and action is critical
Public Health in Malawi
Malawi is a densely populated low income country with low life expectancy and high mortality rate. Incorrect diagnosis, treatment or medication results in high mortality rates. Ministry of Health in Malawi is responsible for the health system that includes hospitals, clinics, health centres and pharmacies as far as medical services and medication are concerned. Malawis healthcare system connected by patient referral system has the lowest ranking. Each level (primary, secondary and tertiary care) of Malawi healthcare system faces challenges of unavailability of expert skills set and manpower; lack of emergency system for delivery of medical services; limitation with respect to equipment, facilities and technology; insufficient funds and financial commitment; overpopulation; political corruption and poor prioritisation in budgeting.
The primary care consists of community based outreach, clinics, dispensaries, health centres and community hospitals. Patients suffering from HIV, Malaria, TB, cardiac or neurology related problems require expert clinical skills and equipment. Private Doctors andNGOs (non-governmental organizations) offer medical services and medicines at a nominal fee. The goals of healthcare improvement efforts by the Ministry of Health in Malawi include quality healthcare services for the population in all facilities; expanded and integrated health services to the general population; increase access to basic healthcare services facilities; equity and efficiency in resource allocation; trained human resources and skilled personnel; strengthening collaboration between various partners and stakeholders of the health sector.
Public health professionals
Better health outcomes are associated with higher density of health workers but shortage of health professionals remains the most severe and unevenly distributed in Malawis healthcare system, even though there has been increased government healthcare expenditure. Several health solutions have been suggested in Malawi to increase the number of health workers. The reasons for this shortage are low outputs related to medical training institutions and health worker retention along with increase in the spread of various diseases.
Training programs were initiated to increase human healthcare resources. The emergency human resource program in Malawi concentrates on improving health worker compensation, increasing output and retention of trained medical personnel. There has been a modest increase in the number of trained healthcare workers and clinical staff members in Malawi. Autonomous training institutes teach laboratory and radiography techniques to health workers like clinical officers, medical assistants, doctors, etc. Also, a noticeable increase in medical and health treatment services for Malaria, HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis that is accessible to the majority of Malawian population by employing faculty and staff across all levels of the health system.
Research associates and coordinators, data collection officers, communication or medical advisors, sanitation and hygiene advisors, financial and operation positions, health specialists, project or program leaders or officers and higher posts of directors are available in various private or government agencies and organisations.
Online Course in Public health
James Lind Institute (JLI) provides an online program in Master in Public Health helps improve career opportunities in public health. JLI also provides focussed online programs in tropical medicine, maternal and child health, global health, public health leadership, occupational health and environmental health.
For more information please visit: www.jliedu.com