Public health deals with core concepts of disease prevention, propagation and control. A functional health system not just manages diseases upon presentation but also aims to reduce disease burden through regular adjustments of policies. To achieve latter, it’s vital to generate scholarly knowledge and its dissemination to communities. A healthy population is a pre-requisite for economic prosperity. By investing an additional $1 on health per capita, about three times dividend is estimated to be reaped. Therefore, public health offers tools to set goals as well as trade-offs needed to achieve those goals efficiently.
Pakistan continues to suffer from large burden of different diseases owing mainly to resource constraints and lower population literacy rate. A substantial number of injuries as well as deaths occur each year which could be prevented. The capacity to collect and utilize health-related data is also limited. Furthermore, there exists enormous variation in its geography, culture and health practices. With increasing population, it’s imperative that greater importance be given to various aspects of health prevention along with curative health care services through hospitals.
Compared to regional countries, progress on national and international health goals has been slower. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) currently stands at 62 per thousand while Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) is estimated 46 per thousand live births. The Maternal Mortality Rate of 170/100,000 is still higher in comparison with Iran, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Data also indicate higher prevalence of major birth defects, malnutrition, and β- Thalassemia, but antenatal care and/or screening is available to very few. Moreover, cultural practices like consanguinity also exist. Across the country, Primary Health Care (PHC) is provided through a network of Basic Health Units (BHUs), Rural Health Centers (RHCs), Dispensaries, and First Aid posts. Further improvements in PHC delivery could prevent diseases and engage communities in health promotion thus saving valuable resources while improving overall health. This, in turn, could help make substantial progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Analyses of existing workforce indicate the need to train 5000 public health professionals annually to address chronic shortage. It’s needed to achieve optimum outputs through the system while producing scholarly research in this vital discipline. Therefore, Department of Public Health at University of Health Sciences, Lahore is offering Post-Graduate Programs in various public health disciplines.
The mission of the Department of Public Health at University of Health Sciences, Lahore, is to contribute towards the improvement of health status of human population. The Department through its research and development program strives to acquire and disseminate knowledge regarding health promotion, control of communicable and non-communicable diseases and understanding health systems.
This will be brought about through education and research for the scientific development of health policies, translation of policies into feasible action plans and executing such plans.
1.2 Vision Statement
The Department envisages becoming an academic center of excellence in public health teaching and training, capacity building and policy advice. It will strive to acquire methods to propagate knowledge that will become a benchmark in Public Health Education both nationally and internationally.
1.3 Departmental Goal
The Departmental goal is to improve the health of the population through enhancing human resource development and improving the health-related policy through research and practices.
1.4 Departmental Objectives
The objectives of the Department are to:
- Produce competent, committed and skilled public health professionals.
- Assist in the translation of the knowledge into sound evidence-based policies and practices.
- Prepare leadership in public health.
- Develop, administer and evaluate health policies and programmes.
- Participate directly in efforts to improve the health of the community using community-based and health systems’ assessment of preventive/curative services.
- Conduct basic and applied research relevant to the description, risk factors and interventions for the resolution of health problems in the human populations.
These objectives will be appreciated through developing values such as a merit-based system, transparency, assuring quality through a team network and providing sustainable departmental infrastructure.