My University education exposed me to a number of Public Health issues. Apart from my academics, I was affiliated with an anti AIDS club which emphazised on behavioral change to prevent the risk of STDs, HIV/AIDS and unplanned pregnancies. I joined this club particularly, only so that I could make an impact on my fellow students and prevent the spread of the virus, having lost a lot of my close relations to HIV/AIDS. It was from this point onwards that my interest in public health increased. During my fifth year of university education, I aspired to conduct research on the role of physiotherapy in patients HIV/AIDS patients but could not conduct the named research due to funding difficulties and other ethics issues. Nevertheless, I chose another public health topic 'The prevalence of complaints of arm, neck and shoulder among office workers who use computers' which earned me an award as the best graduating student in Research. The findings of the study further prompted me to make a difference in Preventable illnesses, and thus considered having Public health research as a career.
My work experience as a physiotherapist is within the field of public health and has developed my disease identification & treatment, and to a certain extent, my preventive skills. I am also currently engaged in community (outreach) program for HIV/AIDS patients, where my role is to identify and mobilize patients who are on Anti retro-virus drugs having residual effects of ARVs (weak limbs) and other people in the community who might actually need Physiotherapy services. Though this integration of physiotherapy services with HIV/AIDS activities at the hospital is still in its infancy, as a department we have achieved a 30% increase in the number of patient captured within the community and who are actually accessing our services.
Being the overseer of the physiotherapy aspect of this community HIV/AIDS program, I have earned a great deal of insight on the underlying issues. Each time we embark on the usual community visits and find cases that could