As unpredictable weather increasingly devastates areas around the world, the global health community is seeing a rising need for emergency vaccination campaigns and qualified public health professionals to lead them. The spread of communicable diseases is a top concern in the wake of Mother Nature’s wrath, and those with a public health degree are well prepared to help improve, promote, protect, and restore the health of the population.
Consider the effort it took to vaccinate 800,000 people against cholera in parts of Haiti after Hurricane Matthew.* Or the care and protection of more than half a million children in Nepal as fear of a measles outbreak grew following a magnitude 5.2 earthquake.†
Natural disasters aside, developing countries often require emergency vaccination campaigns to help stop the spread of disease. For example, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were part of the largest emergency vaccination campaign against yellow fever ever attempted in Africa, with more than 7.7 million people vaccinated in record time.‡
With Zika, Ebola, and other viruses threatening and the next catastrophe looming, people who are interested in facilitating conditions for a healthy, productive, and safe society should consider pursuing a public health career. From fighting infectious diseases to reducing health disparities, public health professionals across the globe face new challenges every day.
Public health is diverse and needs people with health, science, business, public policy, and education backgrounds. A BS in Public Health can prepare individuals for a range of issues impacting population health and healthcare systems, including disaster relief, environmental health, disease prevention, health informatics, global health, ethics, and behavioral and cultural issues. A BS in Public Health can prepare graduates for positions such as public health program coordinator, health services manager, safety and health specialist, or research associate. A Master of Public Health (MPH) provides a solid foundation in the core areas of public health: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, public health administration, and social and behavioral sciences. It also prepares graduates to improve the health of communities and deal with health disparities while working in positions such as a public health educator, disease investigator, epidemiologist, occupational health and safety specialist, or research analyst.
Public health programs are available at colleges and universities around the world, and online education allows for flexible delivery and immediate application. Choosing a BS in Public Health online or an online MPH means learning with and from students and faculty around the world, providing a global perspective on best practices that one can implement in their own community.
Those interested in educating communities about public health issues might consider a career as a health educator. Public health professionals work with health educators to ensure that those who may be affected by a public health issue have the knowledge and skills to deal with it. That could mean providing classes, conducting trainings, or sharing literature and brochures with information to stop the spread of disease following an emergency vaccination campaign. A master’s degree in health education and promotion provides graduates with the skills to design health communications; plan, implement, and evaluate prevention programs; or serve as an educator on public health issues in a variety of settings.
Emergency vaccination programs are on the rise, and people with public health and health education careers have the skills and knowledge to make a difference in the lives of others. If you’re ready to take a step toward effecting positive social change, explore Walden University’s online health science and public health degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a variety of online bachelor’s-, master’s-, and doctoral-level degree programs in public health and health education. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
*NPR, “Haiti Launches Largest-Ever Cholera Vaccination Campaign,” on the internet at www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/11/08/501155987/haiti-launches-largest-ever-emergency-cholera-vaccination-campaign.
†Unicef, “Nepal Earthquake: Emergency Immunization Campaign for Hundreds of Thousands of Children – UNICEF,” on the internet at www.unicef.org/infobycountry/media_81757.html.
‡World Health Organization, “Millions Protected in Africa’s Largest-Ever Emergency Yellow Fever Vaccination Campaign,” on the internet at www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/africa-yellowfever-vaccination/en/.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.