Environmental health is defined on Wikipedia as the branch of public health that is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health. This, according to other online sources include public health protection and environmental health protection.
This means that for a developing country like Uganda, trying to make key developmental decisions, environmental health cannot be ignored. In an interview with EARTHFINDS, the dean of faculty of health science at Victoria University, Dr Krishna Sharma, said humans need to leave in a health environment but warned that availability of environmental health experts to provide this environment, is not correlating with the increasing demand.
“No matter who we are, the fact is that we all have to live in an environment. As far as we are alive, whatever we touch, breath, eat or drink may bring us trouble. So a healthy environment is our need. We don’t have a choice. Here come the environmental health experts,” “The demand for environmental health experts is increasing at the speed of development and urbanization due to the increase in health threats that come with urbanization,” Dr Sharma, who is in charge of the line faculty, said.
“At this time, more than 54% of the world population lives in urban areas. In fact even in Uganda, the level of urbanization last year was 18% and it might increase to 30% by 2030. It is estimated that about 50% of the total Ugandan population will be living in urban areas by 2050.
This means that countries like Uganda and its citizens must prepare by equipping themselves with the knowledge to ensure a safe and healthy environment at home, schools, and workplaces among others. Most often this knowledge can be attained from a school. In Uganda, Victoria University is offering a degree course in environmental health sciences (EHS).
The EHS curriculum provides a fundamental knowledge of environmental health within a broad basic sciences background, with emphasis on the evaluation and control of major environmental health problems such as water supply, waste disposal, food hygiene, occupational health, air pollution, and others.
The University says the application of environmental health knowledge, principles and methods is vital for the health and safety of populations in the world, and environmental health is a principal area of study in the field of public health. Environmental health scientists work on assessing, managing, controlling, and preventing environmental risks through research, advocacy, and intervention at the community, national and global level.
The Bachelor of Environmental Health Science is a three year program. Students enrolled in the EH program blend theoretical knowledge with applied training through a combination of learning experiences in classroom, laboratory and field settings.
Students undertaking this course develop skills and knowledge for careers in the public health and environmental management sectors. Studies focus on the physical environment and its links with human health. Students gain an understanding of public health and sustainable development principles, human / environment interactions, environment and public health planning, and approaches used to identify, assess and manage risks from environmental hazards.
After graduating, you can become Environmental Health Specialist, Toxicologist Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Occupational Health Specialist, Environmental Consultant, Environmental Scientist, Environmental Auditor, Hazardous Waste Manager, Public Health Specialist, Environmental Enforcement Officer, Environmental Protection Specialist, Health and Safety Officer and Environmental Education Specialist.
Alternatively, you can become;-
· Environmental Risk Assessor
· Ecological Risk Assessor
· Bioremediation Specialist
· Water Treatment Manager
· Wastewater Treatment Manager
· Environmental Equipment Sales
· Science Teacher
· Chemistry Teacher
· Biology Teacher
· Pharmaceutical Sales
· Chemical Salesperson
All you need to undertake this amazing course at Victoria University is a Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education or its equivalent and principal passes obtained at the same sitting or a Diploma in Health Sciences from a recognized Institution and must be certified by Allied Health Professionals Council (AHPC).