Preparedness Perceptions of Environmental Health Graduates in Handling Emerging Public Health Concerns in Kenya
American Journal of Health Research
Volume 6, Issue 3, May 2018, Pages: 74-78
Received: Jun. 13, 2018;
Accepted: Jul. 9, 2018;
Published: Aug. 15, 2018
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Jepngetich Hellen, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
Nyamwange Caleb, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
Baliddawa Joyce, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Ethics, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
Karani Anna, Department of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Background: Public Health workforce faces varied challenges ranging from workforce shortages to debates on relevance and the adequacy of their training. This is particularly true to graduates undertaking Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health (BSc EVH) because of the wide areas in the job market that they can be absorbed into. Consequently there are concerns of mismatch between the academic training and their job market demands and expectation which hinge on the preparedness of these graduates to handle public health activities and obligations. Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the graduates’ preparedness to handle emerging public health concerns. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study design employing both quantitative and qualitative methods was done from September 2016 to April 2017. The graduates were stratified by year of graduation and a total of 229 were randomly recruited into the study. The participants were interviewed using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire. An interviewer guide was also used to further interrogate graduates. Data was analyzed for proportions and associations using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 20. Results: Among 188 graduates that completed the questionnaires, 79 (42%) were aged 25-34 years, 71(37.8%) aged 35-44 years, 29(15.4%) aged 45 -54 and 9(4.8%) were ≤25 years. More than half (111(59%) of the graduates were males. All graduates were distributed over more than 12 public health career areas. On preparedness, 123 (65.4%) perceived to be prepared to handle emerging public health challenges whereas 65 (34.6%) said that they were unprepared. Among those who reported that they were prepared, there was a higher median competence score compared to those who opined that they were not prepared (2.93 vs 2.79, Z=2.472 and p=0.013). A unit increase in the competence score indicates increased chance of being prepared by 10.6% (OR; 1.106; 95% CI: 1.042-1.174, p=0.001). Conclusion: Our findings indicate that majority of the graduates perceived to be prepared to handle emerging public health concerns though a significant 34.6% felt that they were inadequately prepared. Therefore the depth of specific course content and implementation is still an area of concern to graduates. Recommendation: Forge and strengthen collaborations between the training institutions and the practitioner organizations to tailor graduate training to industry requirements.
Preparedness Perceptions of Environmental Health Graduates in Handling Emerging Public Health Concerns in Kenya, American Journal of Health Research.
Vol. 6, No. 3,
2018, pp. 74-78.
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