University des Montagnes Conducts community outreach in the Bangoulap Health District

Thursday, 3 August 2017 - 12:00am

In the framework of the One Health Workforce, OHCEA started strengthening Université des Montagnes (UdM) programs to incorporate technical and cross-sectoral training for infectious diseases threats. One Health skill-building is essential for pre-service personnel as they gain skills in identifying and addressing community One Health challenges related to infectious disease prevention, detection, and response.

A three-day community outreach was conducted by a group of 58 final year students from the Université des Montagnes in Bangoulap, Cameroon. The students came from Veterinary Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Medicine and Nursing disciplines.

This activity aimed at equipping students with skills in developing and implementing public health interventions to address infectious diseases of concern.

Since epidemiological evaluation constitutes one of the essential public health services, at the end of this activity students are equipped with skills that will help them use a systematic and holistic approach in investigating diseases such that they can carry out investigation in a multidisciplinary team without missing important steps along the way. While carrying out a community health campaign, the students also participate and learn from the routine public health interventions conducted in the Bangoulap Health District.

The goal of this activity was to equip students from Université des Montagnes with skills that will help them use a systematic and holistic approach in investigating diseases such that they can carry out investigation in a multidisciplinary team.

The main objectives were:

  1. To study and understand the health problems of a community
  2. To conduct a survey of inhabitants of the community and establish health-related problems
  3. To study their environments and how it can affect their health
  4. To evaluate resources available to them to solve their health problems
  5. To study the way communities address their health problems, including medical visits, medicine acquisition, animal health and environmental issues
  6. To learn how a routine public health intervention like a vaccination campaign is done

In their own words students appreciated the field experience. Interaction with colleagues from other fields was a plus. Carrying out the distribution of sensitization materials against rabies was a huge undertaking and practical field experience in Public Health.

The data collected by the students is being analyzed and the results will be presented to the community and university leadership. However, on their own, students are planning to carry out a rabies vaccination campaign.

Ninety two (92%) of the 58 students reported gain of knowledge in public health interventions, while all 58 reported knowledge of team work and multi-disciplinary collaboration.