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Ola Uthman

To help you better understand what it’s like to study on the course, we caught up with tutor Dr Ola Uthman to find out more about his work and the global health module that can be studied as part of the MPH.

What would you say are the key global health challenges facing the world today?

On top of the unfinished agenda of infectious diseases, most resource-limited settings are now facing huge challenges from the significant burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – including (but not limited to) cardiovascular diseases, cancer, mental illness and diabetes. NCDs are now the major source of morbidity and mortality in these regions and are projected to overtake infectious diseases

How does the Public Health course at Warwick prepare students to help address these challenges?

As part of our Public Health course, students have the option to study our Global Health module, which covers a broad range of subjects taught by expert academic staff with a focus on professional practice.

How have students found the global health module?

Students have said that they thoroughly enjoyed the module and particularly liked the fact they were able to develop and build a narrative of how all the different aspects of global health fit together.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in Public Health? What interests you most about it?

My career goal is to pursue a career in research and teaching in global health - a rapidly evolving field with an immense potential for research. There is currently an excess demand for health analysts with a global health background. I would like to add to the body of knowledge related to global health.

For me, research is important not only for the sake of theory-building, but also to secure the health of our communities and ensure that the knowledge generated from research is acted on to improve health for all. My global health research primarily falls into the following three themes:

(1) Evidence-based public health

(2) Contextual and social determinants of health

(3) Global health informatics for improving quality of healthcare

Many topics in my area of global health research call for a synergistic collaboration between public health researchers and experts in a broad range of other areas: sociology, geography, statistics, internal medicine, economics, microbiology, virology, information scientists, nursing, and behavioural scientists - just to mention a few. I’m excited about this interdisciplinary style of research and believe that this is where true innovations and public health breakthroughs will occur.

What do you most enjoy about teaching on the Public Health course?

I view teaching as complementary to research. My preferred teaching areas (global health and social determinants of health) are closely related to my research areas. This allows me to bring examples from my own research and service into the classroom, as well as to further my own thinking through classroom discussions.