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Student ambassador: Sabelo Gama

Sabelo GamaDegree: Master of Public Health, part-time distance learning (completed 2015)
Location: Stoke on Trent, UK
Occupation: Private health sector

What the MPH means to me

As a nurse who studied and worked in a developing country [Swaziland], I found the MPH course more relevant to my career needs.

The MPH offers an abundance of skills, from understanding population health, crunching numbers and conducting research to working with people.

The MPH is not limited to just policies and initiatives; it also promotes research on public health issues and translates research into the education and adoption of practices that are evidence-based to improve the health of populations globally.

My part-time study experience has been shared between full-time employment and parenting; therefore, I would be more than happy to share my experiences of how I managed to balance studying, working and financing my studies without compromising my study time.

Academic background and career

I am a nurse by profession and I studied nursing and midwifery in Swaziland. I worked as a double qualified nurse for a rural community health centre run by the Ministry of Health within the Swaziland government.

While at the health centre, I worked closely with non-governmental organisations UNICEF and World Vision, and had an opportunity to be the focal person of the IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses) programme run by UNICEF.

From the IMCI programme, I developed the desire to gain more knowledge of public health. I moved to the UK in 2004 with the hope of furthering my studies. In the UK, my work has been in the private health sector.

To get a taste of the UK education system, I enrolled for a module in sexual health with the University of Greenwich and that gave me experience of how to better equip myself for long-term study. In 2010, I started my BSc in Health Studies with the University of the West of Scotland and finished in 2012.

Upon completion, I enrolled for the Master of Public Health degree at The University of Manchester, which I completed in 2015. I am currently studying an advanced epidemiology course unit at Manchester.

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