As an employee of a social health insurance organization in Ghana, the need to have higher education in health financing and public health in general to better appreciate the socio-economic factors that influence health inequities (or equity) especially in less resourced countries was very apparent. Where to have that education, however, was not as much obvious. Well, that was, until my research discovered the School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nagasaki University.
Nagasaki University was a perfect match for me as its two-year public health course has a wide variety of courses handled by expert and skilled professors and allows students to select courses to fit their career aspirations or interest. The diversity in my class was very interesting and allowed for diversity in ideas and discussions on global health issues which helped me to appreciate how health challenges in different settings may require different health policy responses for effective resolution. However, the most appealing feature of the MPH program at the School for me is the requirement for students to undertake internship at reputable international global health organizations. This affords students the opportunity to practice, under the supervision and guidance of practicing global health experts, the theories and concepts they learn in the classroom. Of course, I can never forget the fulfilling and enriching learning and working experience I had at the Western Pacific Regional Office of the WHO in the Philippines during my internship there.
Making a good choice of university for one’s postgraduate education in public health can be very challenging: Nagasaki university however made my decision quiet an easy one and I enjoyed every single day of my stay there.
My experience in this school was beyond what I expected at the enrollment. Here we learnt various global health issues from faculty across disciplines during the 1st year. It provided us the wide knowledge of tropical medicine and public health, my perspective and interests expanded with every new module. Diversity of background and origin country of students is another remarkable characteristic of this school, we continuously discussed the health and social issues across the world and learnt from each other. The 2nd year was the next step to apply the knowledge gained in the 1st year and more focus on the research. I worked at WHO Philippines office as an intern and conducted data collection for master’s research in the Philippines. Through the steps for conducting the field research in abroad, we could obtain the basic skill of scientific research. In this year, I guess all students experienced some problems with their plan and felt discouraged. However, those challenges definitely taught us how to find a way of making it work and grew ourselves. I am thankful to constant support and guidance from faculty and staffs in this institute.
Apart from the academic experience, I cherish every moment I spent with classmates. The friendship is the biggest attainment in this school. I am proud to be in this great network and hope to see or work together someday and somewhere in the world.
I am Kensuke Minami.
Looking back over the past year, I feel like one year went by so fast.
It’s my precious memory to study, eat, and talk with international students.
As for lectures, we learned the basis of epidemiology and statistics in Autumn term. It helped us for implementing research. In lectures related to global health, I got new perspectives I have not known. We have lots of tropical medicine classes in Spring term, so the schedule was tight, but we had not only basic lectures but also online case conferences with overseas hospitals, special seminars by visiting lecturers from overseas, and some practicals we examined mosquitos or parasites’ eggs with microscope. Those were very exciting and helpful.
My research was to investigate the pattern of cytokines released by lymphocytes with mycobacterial antigen stimulation in non-tuberculous mycobacterial patients. Originally I was working as a clinician, and I have never done research. Conducting the experiment, analyzing the result, and writing thesis were really inspiring for me. And I got the good opportunity to review the immune system human beings have.
I think this course was beneficial because we learned tropical medicine and global health from various viewpoints.