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MPH Public Health Personal Purpose Preventing Diabetes

As a highly experienced dentist, I have naturally become aware of the enormous impact of lifestyle and other manageable factors on dental and oral health. My observations and research on this matter fired an intense interest in preventative education in which I have become increasingly involved over the years. However, my interest in preventative education has moved beyond specifically dental and oral health to the general health of patients. I have become especially interested in Type 2 Diabetes prevention, a disease which is widespread in the populations I served. I have dealt with this issue on an individual and local level but it now my goal to acquire the skills and knowledge to enable me to become a part of the global solution to this grave and escalating problem and in the general promotion of good health worldwide.


MPH Public Health Personal  Preventing Diabetes
MPH Public Health Personal Purpose Preventing Diabetes

My goal is to join a government department or NGO involved in health education in an underdeveloped and under-served part of the world. I would probably be of most use in rural South Asia as I am already familiar with many of the cultural and lifestyle factors that are obstacles to good health such as betel nut and tobacco chewing which are both so harmful to dental, oral and general health and the seclusion of women which often results in healthcare being provided only in cases of extreme need, if at all. As a Pakistani female, I feel that I can make a difference in some situations where others may be unable to do so. As stated, I have also taken a particular interest in Type 2 Diabetes which occurs disproportionately in South Asian populations and to which so many other serious health problems are related. This problem is increasing rapidly and reaching disastrous levels. One theory is that this arises from rising incomes which, in turn, gives rise to increased consumption of sugar which exacerbates the genetic factors already present. I should be extremely interested in assisting in some related research project.


I know that good intentions alone are insufficient in themselves to solve problems but that solid research and accurate analysis of results are the foundations to the achievement of beneficial change. In Saudi Arabia I undertook a statistical analysis relating to the effectiveness of fluoride application in preschoolers. I also suggested that dental checks be undertaken, and basic dental health education provided at the same time as visits to schools by vaccination teams which I believe had highly beneficial results in improving dental health. I have also undertaken an undergraduate course of study in Statistics because of my interest in research.


MPH Public Health Personal  Preventing Diabetes
MPH Public Health Personal Purpose Preventing Diabetes

Having practiced in several countries, I am aware that cultural awareness and sensitivity is vital in health education and that what works in one place may be far less effective elsewhere. I have happily worked and studied with people of many social and ethnic backgrounds. I enjoy sharing knowledge of my own culture and gaining knowledge of others. My multi-cultural exposure is of relevance to effective health education in which long standing cultural attitudes and habits are often linked to health and well-being. I am aware that a temptation towards a ‘box-ticking’ mentality exists among some of those involved in health education. Establishing what methods work with a particular population by rigorous follow up and solid feedback ensures that future efforts in similar populations are of real worth.


MPH Public Health Personal  Preventing Diabetes
MPH Public Health Personal Purpose Preventing Diabetes

While hoping to be part of the global solution to improving public health, I am aware that it is necessary not to become detached from real people with real problems and to avoid seeing people as mere budgetary or statistical units. No matter how exalted a position I might achieve, I intend to constantly seek ‘real world’ exposure to ensure that I retain my focus on the underlying ‘why’ of my studies and work. I am particularly drawn to the program because of the range and relevance of the core and elective courses to my goals and the focus on research methods, and the prestigious faculty. I am particularly interested in the work of Professor Bradley Johnson on the unreliability of current sugar consumption guidelines.


To summarize: I am a well-qualified and experienced medical professional who has worked in three continents, with a background in statistical analysis and in providing effective health education in small populations while having an extraordinarily strong interest in research. My major recommendation, however, is a genuine passion to improve general health and well-being particularly, but not solely,


MPH Public Health Personal Purpose Preventing Diabetes



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