Health and Education professionals sensitise intending practitioners
By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan
Professionals in Health Promotion and Education HPE have come together to share experiences and provide guidance, about the profession, to up and coming practitioners so they can become successful in future.
In a virtual talk show, held on Friday, by the Alumni Association of the Department of Health Promotion and Education, HPE, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, some of the professionals highlighted a few useful skills needed by aspiring HPE practitioners.
A professor of HPE, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyedunni Arulogun, during the talk show noted that some of the most useful skills needed to succeed in the profession include: Groups dynamics, that is, knowing who one is dealing with, and community organisation, whereby one can run intervention programmes seamlessly in different communities without upturning the existing structures in the communities.
Concerning the challenges faced, Arulogun advised that an HPE practitioner must learn to be a team player wherever he finds himself, as he is expected to be a problem solver, leader, care giver and role model, saying the ability to be able to maintain sanity in one’s workplace is one of the greatest challenges faced.
She said, “a whole lot of responsibility is put on you, therefore you have the challenge of defending the degree you hold, especially if you find yourself in an environment where you have some inter or intra professional conflicts. The conflicts are getting greater. Training has groomed me to be able to maneuver with minimal conflict anywhere I find myself.”
On the issue of entrepreneurial possibilities for health promotion, Prof. Arulogun affirmed that being entrepreneurial means adding value, saying not everybody can become an entrepreneur but all can be entrepreneurial in their mindset by adding value and doing things differently from what others are doing.
The founder and Chief Executive Officer of Women Friendly Initiative, an NGO, Dr Francis Eremutha, stressed that for an HPE practitioner to work in an international organisation, he must realise that every international organisation is peculiar, having its own values, philosophies, tactics and strategies of operation, which make one different in one’s orientation to life and work.
He noted,” the reality is that everyone is like others in certain ways but like no other in several ways. However, the culture of work at the international organisation level is excellent and purpose-driven, there is no room for truancy. A culture that anyone working for an international organisation must exhibit, regardless of his background.”
Talking about career success, Dr Eremutha said an HPE practitioner must be impact driven and result-oriented; aspirational and have foresight, looking beyond the immediate environment of wellness into the future; realistic in demand for a change in people’s behaviour for good living and optimistic and possibility-driven, as he cannot afford to disappoint the client and donor who expect his intervention to translate into wellness for everybody.
He revealed that, apart from lecturing and working for international organisations, there are other career opportunities to make impact in health promotion and education, such as: prevention and control methods, nutrition, health education on relevant issues in one’s environment, marketing health products and independent consultancy, among others.
The virtual talk show tagged, the First Grand Alumni Talk Show, with the topic: Carrer Path in Public Health Promotion and Education, was hosted by Prof. Emmanuel Otolorin, President, Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association.