247455 Tanzania: Reflections on an International Health Practicum

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:24 AM

Jesse McKenna, MPH (c) , School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
As part of my MPH program at Boston University's School of Public Health (BUSPH), I completed a four-month internship in rural Tanzania. The purpose of my community public health internship with the Foundation for African Medicine and Education (FAME) was to improve the quality and availability of health education for patients of the FAME medical clinic, FAME mobile clinics, local school children, and orphans living at a nearby orphanage. My rationale behind focusing on the development of health education was that if people could prevent illness then they could be more productive at work and school. To fulfill this role, I completed various activities including implementing a health education program at a local school, hands on education with patients at FAME's clinics, and producing health education material for patients to bring home with them. The skills I obtained through my classes at BUSPH helped me excel in my work at FAME. BUSPH's emphasis on cultural competency prepared me for the challenges I faced daily regarding cultural differences including sensitivity, understanding, and patience. This internship was a core piece of my MPH program. The combination of the theoretical knowledge obtained in the classroom along with the practical skills I gained in the field has sufficiently prepared me to enter the public health work force.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of culture and the impact it has on health care. 2. Explain the importance of practical application of skills obtained in the classroom 3. Discuss the importance of the practicum on future career plans

Keywords: Health Education, Practice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I completed the practicum, that I will discuss, in Tanzania.
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.