Faculty » Faculty of Public Health
Faculty of Public Health
Khon Kaen University
KKU’s Faculty of Public Health was founded in 1978. The Faculty of Public Health was originally established to improve and develop the knowledge and skills of public health professionals and students following the government’s policy and plan of Public Health Development, which was aimed at complete national coverage.
The Faculty of Public Health consists of six departments: Biostatistics and Demography, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Education, Nutrition, and Public Health Administration. Teaching and learning is organized under the Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health, a 4-year curriculum, in which the first group of undergraduate students was enrolled in 1980. The curricula for the teaching and learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels have been continually improved. Our faculty currently offers four programs of study at the undergraduate level and seven programs at the Masters level, plus two doctoral programs.
Bachelor of Science (Public Health) Program in Environmental Health Science and Occupational Health and Safety
This program is designed to train skilled health professionals to work in a range of environments to promote and ensure the health and safety of workers and of the environment at various places of work. The program aims to produce graduates with skills and knowledge to work in a range of diverse work environments, where they can identify and prevent workplace and environmental hazards.
In addition to sound theoretical studies, during the third year of study and again during the final semester of study, the course offers students practical learning experience, with intensive practical training which includes mentoring. These three month training periods will be undertaken in workplaces, such as factories, hospitals, and/or local government. This course focuses on developing positive attitudes to promote safety and quality of life for workers and employees.
Master of Public Health in Biostatistics
It is widely accepted that health research plays a very important role in the management of health services. Statistics are a key part of such research, as they play an important role in “turning data into information” which can be used in planning, monitoring, and evaluation of health programs, thus ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of health development. Biostatics are an integral part of such research activities.
The Department of Biostatistics and Demography in the Faculty of Public Health and the Clinical Epidemiology Unit in the Faculty of Medicine at Khon Kaen University have collaboratively developed this degree program to provide graduate training in the methods of biostatistics as applied to public health problems.
Each course of the program uses data from the actual research of the department staff. The research areas of the staff include clinical research, health survey research, meta-analysis, and health measurement. In addition, research-based learning and/or problem-based learning provide teaching opportunities within the program.
Doctor of Public Health (International Program)
To produce leaders in:
1. The identification of health care system problems and their complex interrelationships with social, cultural, economical, and environmental contexts.
2. The use of evidence-based information knowledge management, to initiate new health policies and innovations in healthcare, and health system management applied to local, regional and national levels.
3. The development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative health research, to gain new knowledge and skills in solving health problems.
4. The health profession with high morals, especially in integrated health service system management.
This program is designed for those with developed skills and interests in public health administration, biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, applied health promotion, applied nutrition, epidemiology, and other relevant areas.
Exploring Mekong Region Futures
The Exploring Mekong Region Futures project (EMRF) is funded by two Australian government organizations under the CSIRO-AusAID Research for Development Alliance program and is managed by researchers at CSIRO. The project focuses on the dynamic interactions that occur with the management of food, energy, and water at local and regional scales. The research is based in five riparian countries, China, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, with CSIRO working with collaborating organizations such as Khon Kaen University and the Stockholm Environment Institute, Bangkok. The EMRF project is exploring regional and local policies, decisions, strategies and livelihood outcomes to ascertain risks, benefits and costs of potential development pathways of the future. Regional factors that are being investigated because they influence decisions and livelihoods include: cross-border investment flows, climate change, rapid land use change, and urbanization.
Of the five local studies being conducted beneath the umbrella regional study, the Thailand study focuses on the Northeastern region, Isaan, where the population has the country’s lowest average income and for decades has been a top priority for national development schemes. In this fast-developing region, the future of agriculture is an important factor and could involve the expansion of large-scale irrigation projects and agribusiness promotion. To understand the dynamics of such actions this project is developing participatory scenario processes for Northeastern Thailand, framed by larger-scale (national and Mekong) contexts.
The findings from the scenario building and modeling activities will inform policy development activities of the Thai River Basin Committee, key members of which have been integrated into the community engagement activities from the outset of the project. With more community engagement events to be held in early 2012 and a policy seminar later in the year, is it hoped that the novel methods employed in EMRF project will have a positive influence on the region.
Prevention and Control of Diabetes in the Northeast Region of Thailand
The Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University (FPH) is initiating an applied research project to assess the impact of Diabetes Mellitus type 2 (DM) in Thailand, in order to provide local health authorities with more relevant information about the disease. This information is needed so that primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention can be enhanced and the impact of DM can be mitigated. DM is a significant health concern in Thailand, ranking eighth for males and second for females on the list of major diseases attributable to disability adjusted life years (DALY).
This project is to be undertaken in Nong Bua Lamphu province in Northern Thailand, in co-operation with the local health administration on the provincial, district, and sub-district levels. In tackling the diagnosis and treatment of this major disease, the principles of prevention employed include close co-operation between several organizations: the sub-district health authorities, primary care units (PCUs), and the community hospitals.
The following suggestions for research are based on the discussions with relevant stakeholders and justified by subsequent findings. The FPH aims to:
1. Assess the prevalence of DM and hypothyroidism (HT) in Nong Bua Lamphu province based on a representative sample of the population aged 35 years and above.
2. Verify the screening results by using HbA1c as a golden standard.
3. Assess risk factors for the development of DM, including hereditary factors.
4. Investigate the duration of DM disease and the occurrence of complications.
5. Intervene for the prevention of DM.
The team of FPH researchers will be conducting this research with the support and cooperation of public health officials from all governmental levels in the province. With the remarkable commitment currently observed within the public health offices to combat DM, it is felt that the collaboration between the two parties will be of great mutual benefit.
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