Volume 6, Issue 3, May 2018, Page: 74-78
Preparedness Perceptions of Environmental Health Graduates in Handling Emerging Public Health Concerns in Kenya
Jepngetich Hellen, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
Nyamwange Caleb, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
Baliddawa Joyce, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Ethics, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
Karani Anna, Department of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Received: Jun. 13, 2018;       Accepted: Jul. 9, 2018;       Published: Aug. 15, 2018
DOI: 10.11648/j.ajhr.20180603.12      View  432      Downloads  35
Background: Public Health workforce faces varied challenges ranging from workforce shortages to debates on relevance and the adequacy of their training. This is particularly true to graduates undertaking Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health (BSc EVH) because of the wide areas in the job market that they can be absorbed into. Consequently there are concerns of mismatch between the academic training and their job market demands and expectation which hinge on the preparedness of these graduates to handle public health activities and obligations. Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the graduates’ preparedness to handle emerging public health concerns. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study design employing both quantitative and qualitative methods was done from September 2016 to April 2017. The graduates were stratified by year of graduation and a total of 229 were randomly recruited into the study. The participants were interviewed using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire. An interviewer guide was also used to further interrogate graduates. Data was analyzed for proportions and associations using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 20. Results: Among 188 graduates that completed the questionnaires, 79 (42%) were aged 25-34 years, 71(37.8%) aged 35-44 years, 29(15.4%) aged 45 -54 and 9(4.8%) were ≤25 years. More than half (111(59%) of the graduates were males. All graduates were distributed over more than 12 public health career areas. On preparedness, 123 (65.4%) perceived to be prepared to handle emerging public health challenges whereas 65 (34.6%) said that they were unprepared. Among those who reported that they were prepared, there was a higher median competence score compared to those who opined that they were not prepared (2.93 vs 2.79, Z=2.472 and p=0.013). A unit increase in the competence score indicates increased chance of being prepared by 10.6% (OR; 1.106; 95% CI: 1.042-1.174, p=0.001). Conclusion: Our findings indicate that majority of the graduates perceived to be prepared to handle emerging public health concerns though a significant 34.6% felt that they were inadequately prepared. Therefore the depth of specific course content and implementation is still an area of concern to graduates. Recommendation: Forge and strengthen collaborations between the training institutions and the practitioner organizations to tailor graduate training to industry requirements.
Preparedness, Perceptions, Emerging Public Health Concerns, Environmental Health Graduate
To cite this article
Jepngetich Hellen, Nyamwange Caleb, Baliddawa Joyce, Karani Anna, Preparedness Perceptions of Environmental Health Graduates in Handling Emerging Public Health Concerns in Kenya, American Journal of Health Research. Vol. 6, No. 3, 2018, pp. 74-78. doi: 10.11648/j.ajhr.20180603.12
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Grimm, B. L., et al., Assessing the Education and Training Needs of Nebraska's Public Health Workforce. Front Public Health, 2015. 3: p. 161.
Markenson, D., C. DiMaggio, and I. Redlener, Preparing health professions students for terrorism, disaster, and public health emergencies: core competencies. Academic Medicine, 2005. 80(6): p. 517-526.
Walsh, L., et al., Core competencies for disaster medicine and public health. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness, 2012. 6(01): p. 44-52.
Abbas, S. M., A. Lee, and H. Mubashir, Competencies required from public health professionals by health based organisations and the role of academia. J Pak Med Assoc, 2014. 64(1): p. 57-63.
Frenk, J., et al., Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world. The lancet, 2010. 376(9756): p. 1923-1958.
Parker, B. and S. Walters, Competency based training and national qualifications frameworks: Insights from South Africa. Asia Pacific Education Review, 2008. 9(1): p. 70-79.
Britten, N., et al., Using core competencies to build an evaluative framework: outcome assessment of the University of Guelph Master of Public Health program. BMC Med Educ, 2014. 14: p. 158.[
Whittaker, P. J., et al., Do academic competencies relate to 'real life' public health practice? A report from two exploratory workshops. Eur J Public Health, 2010. 20(1): p. 8-9.
Czabanowska, K., et al., Do we develop public health leaders? association between public health competencies and emotional intelligence: a cross-sectional study. BMC Med Educ, 2014. 14: p. 83.
Bell, J., et al., Developing a new public health cadre to meet the demands of midwifery care in Malawi. Perspect Public Health, 2014. 134(5): p. 248-9.
Fineberg, H. V., et al., Changing public health training needs: professional education and the paradigm of public health. Annual Review of Public Health, 1994. 15(1): p. 237-257.
Australia, S., Australian workforce futures: A national workforce development strategy. 2010: Skills Australia.
Giloth, R. P., Learning from the field: Economic growth and workforce development in the 1990s. Economic Development Quarterly, 2000. 14(4): p. 340-359.
Walker Jr, B., The future of public health: the Institute of Medicine's 1988 report. Journal of public health policy, 1989. 10(1): p. 19-31.
Chassin, M. R. and R. W. Galvin, The urgent need to improve health care quality: Institute of Medicine National Roundtable on Health Care Quality. Jama, 1998. 280(11): p. 1000-1005.
McDonald, C. J., M. Weiner, and S. L. Hui, Deaths due to medical errors are exaggerated in Institute of Medicine report. Jama, 2000. 284(1): p. 93-95.
Jacobs, J. and K. J. Dougherty, The uncertain future of the community college workforce development mission. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2006. 2006(136): p. 53-62.
Union, A. Strategy to revitalize technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Africa. in Meeting of the Bureau of the Conference of Ministers of Education of the African Union (COMEDAF II+). 2007.
Hsu, C. E., et al., Public health preparedness of health providers: meeting the needs of diverse, rural communities. Journal of the National Medical Association, 2006. 98(11): p. 1784.
Docherty, D., Universities must produce graduates who are ready for any workplace. The Guardian, 2014.
Subbarao, I., et al., A consensus-based educational framework and competency set for the discipline of disaster medicine and public health preparedness. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness, 2008. 2(01): p. 57-68.
Organization, W. H., Essential public health functions: a three-country study in the Western Pacific Region. 2003: Manila: WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific.
Baack, S. and D. Alfred, Nurses’ preparedness and perceived competence in managing disasters. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2013. 45(3): p. 281-287.
Slepski, L. A., Emergency preparedness and professional competency among health care providers during hurricanes Katrina and Rita: pilot study results. Disaster management & response, 2007. 5(4): p. 99-110.
Alexander, G. C. and M. K. Wynia, Ready and willing? Physicians’ sense of preparedness for bioterrorism. Health Affairs, 2003. 22(5): p. 189-197.
Keim, M. E., Building human resilience: the role of public health preparedness and response as an adaptation to climate change. American journal of preventive medicine, 2008. 35(5): p. 508-516.
Gebbie, K. and J. Merrill, Public health worker competencies for emergency response. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 2002. 8(3): p. 73-81.
Hoge, M. A., J. Tondora, and A. F. Marrelli, The fundamentals of workforce competency: Implications for behavioral health. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 2005. 32(5-6): p. 509-531.
Ning, N., et al., Factors affecting emergency preparedness competency of public health inspectors: a cross-sectional study in northeastern China. BMJ open, 2014. 4(1): p. e003832.
Browse journals by subject