World Malaria Day (April 25) is around the corner. Public health professionals continue to debate the safety and effectiveness of anti-malaria drugs to treat patients with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). The challenges in managing this pandemic go beyond developing effective treatment regimens.
- We need widespread testing for those with symptoms and to identify the extent of asymptomatic spread among vulnerable populations, including within long-term care facilities and community shelters.
- Testing issues extend beyond ensuring laboratory capacity to handle high volumes. Challenges include the shortages of swabs for collecting samples and chemical reagents for processing, along with the logistics of distributing tests and supplies.
- Public officials will need results from widespread serological (antibody) testing to determine the scope of the infection across regions.
- Current testing efforts have focused on the presence of the virus and not on antibodies. Even with antibody testing, there is no clear evidence to show whether the antibodies confer immunity or how long that immunity lasts.
- Finally, we need to develop an effective vaccine and a global distribution system, a process that can take 18 to 24 months.
- In the interim, the deployment and evaluation of contract tracing methodologies require advanced leadership and program management skills.
These public health action plans need strong scientific-based research skills, which you will learn through MPH learning experiences at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS).
The UIS Master’s in Public Health (MPH) program offers students engaging on-campus and online courses, interesting research opportunities, and a hands-on learning environment. Students may access a variety of funding sources such as tuition waivers, scholarships, and paid part-time internships. Our MPH program integrates academic scholarship with the development of practical research and service skills through experiential learning, including internships leading to job opportunities upon graduation, e.g., the UIS Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI). Finally, the MPH program provides public health knowledge that applies to real-world health issues such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. The UIS MPH Program (fully online or on-campus) will help you make a difference for yourself, your family, and your community.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for a robust public health workforce once again! Public health is a fast-growing sector that continuously seeks new professionals to tackle many complex population health issues, infectious and chronic diseases, and situations that affect life expectancy. With the UIS MPH, you will be well-prepared to address hypertension, diabetes, infant and maternal mortality, clean water and other environmental risks, health equity, and many other challenges. The 21st century and spread of novel coronavirus have witnessed changes – travel and other trends that increase the risk of disease outbreaks. Public health professionals play a critical role across the public, private, and nonprofit settings to address these significant challenges.
Ololade Akinsanya, a recent MPH graduate, shared her story about how she applies what she learned at UIS to her job and research. She currently works as a Clinical Case Manager with Shawnee Health Services in Southern Illinois, where she provides health promotional and preventive services to patients who require urgent care, other healthcare services, and their caregivers. Ololade applies the knowledge she gained in social determinants and health equity theories (from MPH 441) in her present job. Moreover, all MPH faculty members take roles to help her link theory and practice. While taking classes at UIS, Ololade interned at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) as a laboratory associate through the UIS GPSI Program. She assessed water quality and ensured quality controls functioned efficiently and effectively in Illinois.
The professional and academic experiences Olodade gained at the UIS MPH Program and IEPA sharpened her research skills. She analyzed secondary data on water quality assessment at IEPA with the research grant received from UIS. The American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo, the largest public health international conference in the world, accepted an abstract derived from Olodade’s research project (entitled Illinois Cyanobacterial Monitoring System: Implication for Public Health).
Be a part of the public health solution in the world. It’s time to apply UIS Master’s in Public Health Program (Online & On-Campus). Ololade’s success story can be yours!
For more details about the MPH program, scholarship, and internship at UIS, please go to the following links:
If you have questions, feel free to connect with us and request more information!