Health is paramount to societal progression. Preventing the spread of disease, ensuring the correct care for infants and the elderly, and maintaining collective well-being are essential factors in creating a happy and prosperous society.
At the forefront of promoting these goals is the field of public health. Entering this discipline will give you the chance to drive society forwards, improving the lives of thousands and making the world a healthier place.
The role of public health in society is to nurture the wellness of the population. Whilst doctors and nurses treat individual ailments, as a public health professional you will be responsible for helping patients en masse through campaigns, outreach programmes and policies.
“Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases,” said a spokesperson for the CDC Foundation.
“Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country or region of the world.”
From tackling spread by unclean water sources to educating people on the health risks of pollution; the responsibility of public health in Asia and the Pacific (APAC) is crucial to the sustainable growth of these regions. Without public health professionals promoting the wellness of the population, the APAC risks sacrificing a healthy workforce and a happy society; factors that are often forgotten when economies gain momentum.
There has never been a more important time to get involved with public health in this region, with 60 percent of the world’s population making their home in the APAC, and experts forecasting that the aging population will more than double in the next 35 years. Environmental turbulence is increasing as economies become wealthier, and with economic growth there often comes a prioritisation of profit over anything else.
But through public health you can influence the economy and help it become more sustainable. Public health provision ensures every person has access to healthcare, which helps overcome societal inequality. If there are universal cures and widespread disease prevention, more people will be able to contribute to the growth of their country and culture.
As a public health professional, you will have the opportunity to improve the wellbeing of thousands of people and promote what really matters as society progresses. Thanks to you, society can flourish and quality of life can prosper.
Whilst you may not be as visible as the doctors and nurses who deal with patients every day, it’s you who makes the workplace and the environment a safe place to be.
Public health is responsible for the health and safety regulations that protect us; information on the risks of alcohol and tobacco, for example; and for campaigns reminding us to maintain a healthy diet. By gaining a qualification in public health, you will enter a field that protects nour well-being and saves lives every day.
If you hope to influence the public health field, consider these APAC universities to kick-start your journey…
Found in the bustling city of Melbourne, Australia, La Trobe University gives students the chance to live in one of the most sought-after destinations on the planet. And, with one of the largest Public Health Schools in Australia, it’s the perfect place to start your public health endeavour.
Particularly renowned for their postgraduate courses, students here embark on a diverse range of programmes, including the Master of Public Health, Master of Health Sciences and Master of Health Information Management. There are also online courses, such as Master of Ergonomics, Safety and Health and Master of Health Administration, allowing for more flexible distance learning. Doctorate courses are also offered by the university, such as the Doctorate of Public Health.
“We aim to contribute to understanding human behaviour and enhancing the health and well-being of individuals, groups and communities through excellence in teaching and research,” said a spokesperson for the university.
The University of Hong Kong is ranked in the top 30 universities worldwide, and third in terms of international outlook in the QS World University Rankings 2018.
Offering undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes, the university fulfils all aspects of public health. From BSc Exercise and Health to the Master of Public Health, this School of Public Health is committed to training the next leading minds in the field.
The university prides itself on its broad course content, allowing students to gain knowledge in a range of complimentary subject areas. This makes graduates even more valuable to society, as they are qualified to make world-changing decisions in public health.
Here, students also participate in an exchange programme with the Public Health Foundation of India, as well as benefit from the international diversity at the heart of Hong Kong’s culture. This means that graduates from the school have a unique international perspective – crucial in our globalised world.
Ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide, as well as in the top 100 universities respected by employers by the QS World University Rankings 2018, the University of Auckland is currently one of the top global schools.
At the core of the School of Population Health’s mission is outstanding academics, with staff who constantly strive to push the frontiers of knowledge. As a student here, your talent will be nurtured by experts in the field to produce the next generation of public health leaders.
As an undergraduate, you can choose to study the Bachelor of Health Sciences or the Certificate in Health Sciences programme. There are also 10 postgraduate courses to capture your interest covering 16 subjects areas from mental health, to health informatics.
The school is also committed to helping students beyond their degrees, aiding the transition into a career through a range of paid internship opportunities, propelling your graduate life at break-neck pace.
“The opportunity to undertake an internship with the Auckland District Health Board has really enhanced my knowledge around the delivery of health services and some of the challenges involved within the public sector. I’ve learned a lot, been tested, been rewarded, and met a number of really great and knowledgeable people,” said Caleb Marsters, a student at the school.
Located in the international city of Singapore, the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health places students at the centre of one of the world’s most diverse cities.
“The School aims to continually foster healthier communities in Singapore and the region, and impact public health programmes and policies through its robust educational programmes and translational cross-disciplinary research work on cohort studies and life course epidemiology, infectious disease research, health technology assessments, health promotion, workplace safety and health, health systems evaluation and health services research,” a spokesperson for the university explained.
Students of the school also benefit from the unique collaboration with the World Health Organisation on a regional and global level. This opens up a world of opportunities for students to gain experience with industry experts who make big changes in public health.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International