Guest in Town: ‘USA begins postgraduate epidemiology programme’
By Ali Waqar
LAHORE: The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta, working under the United States Department of Health and Human Services, has started a postgraduate programme on epidemics control with the University of Health Sciences (UHS), CDC medical officer Henry Walke told Daily Times on Saturday.
He said they had recently started working in Pakistan in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. He said they had contacted the UHS to start these courses. The CDC, he said, had agreed to set up a training centre in Pakistan following a request by Pakistani government in 2003. The purpose of this course was to develop future leadership and study the preventive measures to control epidemic diseases in Pakistan, he added.
Henry also works at the coordinating office for global health of the division of epidemiology and surveillance capacity development under the Department of Health and Human Services. He said it was important to start such courses in the medical universities of Pakistan to counter epidemic diseases, which were at an alarming stage in the country according to the health ministry.
He said, “We are already conducting a survey by visiting around 10,000 people in Lahore to know the status of epidemic diseases. Eight doctors, selected from various provinces, were conducting the survey and after completing the data they will be admitted to the epidemiology course in the UHS.”
He said the components and curriculum of the course, to be started in the UHS, were well defined after four meetings with the UHS vice chancellor Prof Dr Mubashir Malik and the authorities concerned. He said field research on the epidemics was a compulsory requirement for the course.
He said the two year training and service programmes were designed for public health professionals in entry or mid-level positions for capacity building in applied epidemiology and to enhance evidence based public health practice. He said there were 32 programmes in 36 countries in April 2006, which included two regional programmes, while 98 percent of the graduates so far had remained in the government service in their respective countries.
In response to a question about Lahore, he said it was a vibrant city with a great culture and history. He said, “Lahore is fun and I have planned a full day to visit historic sites including Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens.” He said this was his second visit to Lahore after the year 2000 and he was inspired to see the city and its restaurants.