After publishing our comprehensive article about public health courses in Kenya, some of you have been emailing us with this question: is public health marketable in Kenya?
And so I would like to answer you…
So, is public health marketable in Kenya?
Well, here is what you need to know about your employment prospects if you pursue the course:
Is public health marketable in Kenya?
Well, public health is not a much sought-after course in the job market and does not have many jobs..
In short, public health is not like nursing which has unlimited jobs- here you’re likely to wait quite a while before you get meaningful employment.
And that is because public health officers are mainly employed by county governments (there are very few positions in the private sector for holders of public health qualifications in Kenya).
Worse still, even county governments do not employ many public health officers- you will find a large sub-county being managed by less than 10 public health officers (and sometimes less).
So unlike most medical-related courses, this is not a very marketable health course (remember that medical courses are generally considered very marketable).
Don’t get me wrong- jobs are there here and there but, in my opinion, they are not just enough for everyone to be absorbed immediately after finishing college.
What is public health course all about?
Public health is all about preventing, detecting, and responding to the threats that are posed by various diseases and strengthening national and devolved systems to ensure preparedness to handle any public health crisis.
So the course does not make you a doctor or a nurse the way we know it: rather, you will be the health professional who will do a variety of jobs to make sure the community at large is healthy.
For the purposes of clarity, below are some of the roles you would be expected to perform if you do the course:
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What do public health officers do?
Some of your tasks and daily responsibilities will include:
- Mobilizing, sensitizing, as well as advising communities on topics that relate to environmental health. Referring health cases to the right health facilities
- Carrying out mass immunization
- Identifying any environmental health issues at the community level
- Organizing community/public health days to educate communities on the most common public health challenges.
- Collecting and maintaining records of all services rendered
- Assessing the health needs of communities
- Implementing programmes such as vector/ vermin /rodent control measures and mosquito control strategies
- Implementing sanitation as well as hygiene standards in communities
- Undertaking inspections (for preventive purposes) at health facilities including inspecting healthcare waste management
- Providing operational and technical support to government agencies, NGOs, and other partners to make sure public health related projects run smoothly and that desired results are achieved.
Click here read more about pursuing a public health qualification in Kenya.
PS: Don’t forget that you need to register with the PHOTC(Public Health Officer and Technician Council) after finishing the course, if you’ll do it as most employers favor applicants with a genuine practicing certificate from PHOTC