Today to meet their basic human need

 

Today many people in
this world especially in developing countries such as Pakistan are becoming the
victims of many fatal diseases which can be preventive. Financial instability,
political games such as corruption, lack of awareness, lack of physical
accessibility, cultural beliefs and perceptions, illiteracy and social
injustice are some of the constraints which prevent people to meet their basic
human need i.e. good health. Thus, here comes the role and the notion of Public
Health. Public Health focuses on disease prevention and health promotion of
families and communities. It guides in making health care services available, accessible,
affordable and acceptable for the vulnerable populations of the community. It’s
an arena where community people and the health care provider can work together
as partners in order to improve the quality of life of the people.

Hence, Public Health is
a huge challenge that requires great potentials, efforts and tolerance in order
to improve the health outcomes and the quality of life of the vulnerable
populations.

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In 2012, as ambassadors
of Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery, we started our journey
from a Community, as part of our community rotation in the Advanced Concept of
Community Health Nursing Course. Our objectives for this community clinical
were to perform community assessment, identify the potential health problems in
the community and take the measures to resolve those health problems with the
effective participation of community by conducting a mini scale project.

We started our project
with windshield survey of the selected community which is utilized to assess
any community holistically before including it in any of the projects or
researches. According to Stanhope and Lancaster (2008), “community assessment
is core function of public health nursing and is the process of critically
thinking about the community. It helps us to identify community needs, clarify
problem and identify strength and resources (p, 351).” Furthermore, we also
conducted Focus Group Discussion (FGD) of targeted community to identify major
needs and available resources which can be resolved with available resources.

 According to our participants, the most common
health problems that were highlighted by FGD were hypertension, diabetes,
Arthritis, obesity, asthma, vaginal discharge, typhoid, anemia and
malnourishment. When we explored the causes of the prevalence of the above
mentioned diseases from our participants, we got to know that the unhygienic
conditions, poor financial status and lack of awareness are the major causes of
the above mentioned diseases. Based on the findings of the prioritization
activity, we, the students and the community people agreed on mutual consensus
that in regard to the health problems, hypertension, diabetes and arthritis are
the most common diseases in the targeted community that needs to be addressed.
We
made up activity planner to fulfill our objectives according to the prioritized
problems. We utilized their available resources which were their community
hall, projectors, and health centers along with multiple presentations, role
plays and mini fun fares to empower their wellbeing in a certain way that they
could take good care of their health with their diseases. We did follow up and
glad to see that the people of the community took initiative in taking care of their
health.

At present, I am
working as an Oncology nurse in Chemotherapy Department at The Aga Khan
University Hospital for 3 years to date and encountered with several people who
are receiving chemotherapy and its consequences. While working in this
department, I have found many issues which required attention to be taken care of,
which were nutritional issues, anxiety, depression, increased toxicity,
infection and impaired quality of life etc. Fortunately I got a chance to do a
project and write a report on one of the issues which was nutritional issues in
elderly receiving chemotherapy. The reason to choose this issue was, there is a
practice in Oncology Daycare that they give generalized teaching on dietary
pattern to the patients who are receiving chemotherapy but not specific
teaching or guidelines of nutrition for the elderly patients who are already
been suffering from loss of appetite (anorexia of aging) before receiving
chemotherapy. By reviewing the consequences, I proposed some guidelines with
the help of latest articles and researches.

This project is
still in process but it contributes to the debate by focusing on identifying
the value and accuracy of various systematic methods. Further work should be
undertaken with the department and hospital in order to validate the proposed
guidelines.

Those projects
made me realize to work more on public health in a better way so I have decided
to do Masters in Public Health. Therefore,
I started looking for MPH programs in Canadian universities and I have found that
your university is already working on this area and providing learners to pursue
their eagerness to enhance their knowledge and a way to serve humanity in
public health sector. Furthermore, all the health issues which my country is
facing and an urge to resolve these issues motivates me to have an in depth
knowledge of Public Health. I believe that the knowledge and experience which i
will gain from your esteemed University’s Public Health program will certainly
help me in making one step towards the improvement of health status of my
country.