Health Elightenment: Personal Statement Of Public Health

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Ever since my undergraduate years in medical school, I have been fascinated with public health. Seeing the range of problems public health professionals (consultant community physicians) were contending with and their use of novel and simple measures to solve these, further intrigued me. Of particular interest was the community based postings that took us to a low income, minority, medically underserved community of Ilie, Osun state, Southwestern Nigeria, where I became impressed with the significant improvement in health indices: infant/maternal mortality, infectious diseases, and helminthiasis control etc. These achievements were largely due to various health enlightenment campaigns and advocacy sessions through the communities’ active participation on the need to imbibe: good personal and environmental sanitation, regular antenatal visits, prompt treatment of illnesses and the need to abandon negative cultural practices such as female genital
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Some, such as the establishment of surveillance systems, dissemination of guidelines, implementation of research findings, or development of effective public health programs, are examples of such tools by which public health has dealt with the burden of disease for decades. However, we still continue to face new challenges, not the least, the threat to our environment through climate change, emerging and re-emerging infections such as Zika, Ebola, SARS, Elizabethkingia, the ever present threat of an influenza pandemic, high risk behaviors such as substance abuse – spiraling heroin abuse of recent and Neglected Tropical Diseases (Lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths and trachoma.) that caused health and life expectancy loss with consequential reduced ability to