Outcome and impact of Master of Public Health programs across six countries: Education for change
Human Resources for Health
Royal Tropical Institute, PO Box 95001, HA Amsterdam, Netherlands; Hanoi School of Public Health, 138 Giang Vo, Kim Ma, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Viet Nam; School of Public Health, Fudan University, 138 Yixueyuan Road, Box 175, Shanghai, China; School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, South Africa; Human Resource Development, Federal Ministry of Health, PO Box 303, Khartoum, Sudan; National Institute of Public Health, Universidad No. 655 Colonia Santa Mari´a Ahuacatitla´n, Cerrada Los Pinos y Caminera, CP 62100 Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico; Research Centre in Health Systems, National Institute of Public Health, Universidad No. 655 Colonia Santa Mari´a Ahuacatitla´n, Cerrada Los Pinos y Caminera, CP 62100 Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico; MPH Programme, University of Medical Sciences and Technology, PO Box 12810, Khartoum, Sudan; Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, Netherlands
Background: The human resources for health crisis has highlighted the need for high-level public health education to add specific capacities to the workforce. Recently, it was questioned whether Master of Public Health (MPH) training prepared graduates with competencies relevant to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study aims to examine the influence of the MPH programs geared towards LMICs offered in Vietnam, China, South Africa, Mexico, Sudan, and the Netherlands on graduates' careers, application of acquired competencies, performance at the workplace, and their professional contribution to society.Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was sent to graduates from six MPH programs. Frequency distributions of the answers were calculated, and a bivariate analysis and logistic regression of certain variables was performed.Results: The response rate was 37.5%. Graduates reported change in leadership (69%), in technical position (69%), acquiring new responsibilities (80%), and increased remuneration (63%); they asserted that MPH programs contributed significantly to this. Graduates' attribution of their application of 7 key competencies 'substantially to the MPH program' ranged from 33% to 48%. Of the 26 impact variables, graduates attributed the effect they had on their workplace substantially to the MPH program; the highest rated variable ranged from 31% to 73% and the lowest ranged from 9% to 43%. Of the 10 impact variables on society, graduates attributed the effect they had on society substantially to the MPH program; for the highest rated variable (13% to 71%); for the lowest rated variable (4% to 42%). Candidates' attribution of their application of acquired competencies as well as their impact at the workplace varied significantly according to institution of study and educational background.Conclusions: This study concludes that these MPH programs contribute to improving graduates' careers and to building leadership in public health. The MPH programs contribute to graduates' application of competencies. MPH programs contribute substantially towards impact variables on the workplace, such as development of research proposals and reporting on population health needs, and less substantially to their impact on society, such as contributing equitable access to quality services. Differences reported between MPH programs merit further study. The results can be used for curriculum reform. © 2014 Zwanikken et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
adult; developing country; education; female; human; income; international cooperation; leadership; male; medical education; middle aged; multivariate analysis; professional competence; public health; questionnaire; salary and fringe benefit; statistical model; Adult; Developing Countries; Education, Public Health Professional; Female; Humans; Income; Internationality; Leadership; Logistic Models; Male; Middle Aged; Multivariate Analysis; Professional Competence; Public Health; Questionnaires; Salaries and Fringe Benefits