Eighteen public health interns from the Adventist University of West Africa in Paynesville and Tubman University in Harper, Maryland County, have successfully completed three months of practical field work at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) in Monrovia, according to an NPHIL’s release yesterday.
The 18 interns — six from Adventist University of West Africa and 12 from Tubman University – were placed into various technical divisions of NPHIL with mentors assigned to provide them the technical skills required.
As part of their assessment, the students were actively engaged into supportive supervision activities in urban and rural communities. At the end of their internship, the students made presentations of supervision findings at the National Epidemic Preparedness and Response Committee’s (NEPRC) weekly meeting with partners, which included World Health Organization (WHO), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), etc.
Meanwhile, findings from their surveillance supervision conducted shows major achievements in surveillance activities from urban and rural Montserrado districts, which also includes Careysburg.
They also identified challenges and advanced recommendations, to improve the gaps in the surveillance system. The interns, in their supervision, praised the ongoing Liberia Field Epidemiology Training Program (LFETP) as a key factor to Surveillance Officers’ capacity. The LFETP is a three-month intensive program implemented by the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), designed to empower surveillance officers across the country.
The release said NPHIL’s Director General Tolbert G. Nyenswah praised the interns for performing “exceptionally” and called on them to remain focused. He said: “NPHIL is collaborating with various public health institutions, including the University of Liberia, for the training of public health technicians.”
Currently, the University of Liberia (UL) has accepted a curriculum from NPHIL, following its final defense at the Faculty Senate. The initiative seeks to provide both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Public Health, with emphasis in Laboratory, Environmental Health, Health Systems Management, and Epidemiology.
The release also said the UL has accepted the Advanced Field Epidemiology Training Program as a separate course.