Online Program

MPH Student Practicum in Namibia: Results & Reflections

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Devon Blaze Cain, Department of Global Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
At Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), I was drawn to the rapidly developing field of mHealth, which has the potential to play a part in the transformation of healthcare and increase its quality and efficiency. At BUSPH, faculty mentors helped me select coursework to develop the skills necessary to design and evaluate a mHealth intervention, and they also helped me secure an international practicum in Namibia.

During my practicum, I took the lead on several mHealth ventures. I helped organize a mHealth conference, I assisted in the launch of a mobile payment system for primary care services, I implemented a mHealth health education tool, and I contributed to a proposal for the initiation of a mobile cash transfer scheme.

The practicum played an incredibly important role in my professional development. In Namibia, I integrated and applied classroom mHealth learning in a public health work environment. I gained experience in building partnerships and working with diverse groups, and the health education mHealth tool that I spearheaded is currently helping clinical workers educate their patients on important health topics.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how the practicum compliments the skills acquired during MPH studies. Explain mHealth tools that were explored as part of one student’s practicum in order to potentially improve health outcomes of patients. Describe how schools of public health can support their students and guide them towards their career objectives.

Keyword(s): International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a MPH student at Boston University School of Public Health. I completed my practicum with PharmAccess Foundation Namibia December 2014. I contributed on the mHealth projects that I discuss in my abstract.
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.