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My Career in Public Health: The New Frontier

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June 9, 2016

Whenever I mention that I’m a public health student, I often get ambushed with questions from the people asking what public health is and what prospects it holds in the context of Nepal.

Today, I want to reply to all these questions through this column.

I would like to begin asking them, “What is not Public Health?” and “What does it not hold?”

The fresh air-you breathe, the water you drink, the food your body nourishes, safety and hygiene, the place you visit, career you want to go and almost everything in our life is related to public health in one way or the other. Public health is a broad subject which not only deals with disease prevention, but also works for the promotion of health and restoring health.

As I began to understand the subject further after I joined for the course, I found that the general people are quite naive about this subject. Most of them view the subject as something which just lacks any area of focus, or ‘without any scope’as they call it. It was a strange experience for me while I first started this course.

Here, I would like to mention how Public Health graduates can make their career in different sectors. There are vast career opportunities for them in Nepal and beyond. They can join the government sector, I/NGOs, pursue research on various diseases prevalent in Nepal, work on health organizations like hospitals and health centers and many more.

Nowadays, the scope of public health is expanding all over the world. Public health approach envisions improving the lifestyles of people. It has been growing with different modern and applicable approaches that can contribute in insuring the health of people.

The most interesting fact about studying public health is that the subject is interesting on its own and the public health workers get to enjoy frequent travelling to various places in the nation collecting amazing life experience via community diagnosis, comprehensive field practice and exploring health related issues through research, training and teaching while travelling different places. It helps to develop our feeling of attachment to the society and the people.

A public health graduate can pursue different careers in life. He/she may be excellent in teaching and training, research, and as a public speaker, motivator, leader, photographer, etc.

As the great novelist Paulo Coelho once said, there is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. And, life wouldn’t have been so beautiful without fear of failure. Another thing is that taking risks may guide us to failure while those who never takes risk never fail. But taking no risk at all is the greatest failure of all. So, the only thing that we can do in life is to build up our own confidence and hope for the best to happen, taking the right action at the right time since we all know that the life changes with time, place and person around us.

Your journey has already begun. The choice is yours!

By Kusum KC

The writer is a Bachelors level student of Public Health at National Open College. She has currently been working at Sustainable Healthy Nepal, an organization dealing with Health and Sustainable Development of both urban and rural communities of Nepal with special focus on the non-communicable diseases prevalent in the nation.