246784 International Practicum in Uganda: Strengths, challenges, and lessons learned in the field

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:06 AM

Joanna Pierce, MPH , International Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
In the summer of 2010, I had the opportunity to complete an internship with Uganda Village Project (UVP) as part of my MPH requirement for Boston University School of Public Health. UVP is an international public health organization working in the Iganga district of Uganda to promote and advocate for sustainable solutions to the community's health and development problems. As an intern I worked with a team to assess Village Health Teams (VHT) and condom, WaterGuard, and mosquito net distribution chains established in five villages in the summer of 2009. This entailed developing and pre-testing data collection instruments and conducting focus groups, household surveys, and interviews. Additionally, we implemented follow up services and projects including a sanitation campaign, HIV testing, family planning services, and VHT re-trainings. I was also responsible for creating a final report detailing the findings, completed projects, and proposed recommendations. As a participant in this panel discussion I will share my international practicum experience, how it complimented the skills and knowledge I gained in the classroom, the challenges I encountered while in the field, and how the experience has and will continue to shape my career in public health.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Explore how the practicum experience compliments the skills acquired during the MPH studies. Articulate the cross-cultural and workplace challenges in a public health setting within a developing country. Discuss how the international practicum experience effects future career paths. Develop an understanding of the range of international health practicum opportunities.

Keywords: Practice, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed an international practicum in Uganda as part of my MPH requirement for BUSPH
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.