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Professionalization of Public Health in Nepal

Khatri, RJ, Bishowkarma, K and Bhandari, TR (2020) Professionalization of Public Health in Nepal. Europasian Journal of Medical Sciences, 2 (2). pp. 121-127. ISSN 2717-4646

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Background: The need for a professionalized and highly skilled public health workforce is essential to improving and protecting the health of populations. This is fundamental in Nepal given the current burden of disease, both communicable and non-communicable. This study aimed to explore: (i) the current trends in public health in Nepal and (ii) the opportunities and barriers to the professionalization of the sector.
Methods: We employed an exploratory qualitative research design and used a combination of semi-structured interviews with senior public health professionals who had worked for more than two years. Besides, we convened a small focus group discussion with recently qualified public health practitioners in Nepal. A total of nine professional stakeholders were interviewed and five junior practitioners joined the focus group discussion. Data was collected via Skype due to COVID-19 restrictions. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data.
Results: Four core themes emerged from the research: understanding the public health approach; health priorities; federalization and the impact on public health practice; professionalization and workforce development.
Conclusion: Political federalization and more recently COVID-19 have impacted the development, capacity, and employment of this oftenneglected workforce. Public health graduates with their broad-ranging knowledge and skills are often overlooked in the health sector. This is related to a general lack of understanding of what public health is and what public health practitioners do amongst politicians and the general public.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Nirvana Psychosocial Care Center and Research Institute
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2021 12:08
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2022 09:25
DOI or ID number: 10.46405/ejms.v2i2.238
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14278
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