I was so excited when I was offered a teaching position with The School for Field Studies (SFS) for their Field Practicum in Public Health & Environment in Kimana, Kenya. As a newly minted Epidemiologist, I am enthusiastic to introduce 15 undergraduates (both American and Kenyan) to my chosen profession. My goal by the end of this session is to convince every one of my students to pursue a graduate degree in public health. From the first moment I met them, this goal seems very real. These students already see public health as a noble and worthy cause.
During field site visits and classroom lectures, every one of the students is engaged to the max; asking key questions about community health, public health education and interventions in the area. They are learning about quantitative and qualitative assessments, cultural sensitivity, questionnaire development and so, so much more.
When we spent the day working with a local mobile clinic team outside of Kimana town, I believe many of the students started thinking about the question, “What is available vs. what is accessible” in terms of health needs. Seeing a small intervention such as a mobile clinic make a huge dent in a communities public health needs left most of them in awe.
I see my students right now having so much passion and hope that a better world is possible through public health. My greatest hope is that they never lose that passion, that they keep it burning strong and that it grows inside them, helping them make decisions throughout their career.