The importance of public health and its harmony with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is clear. Public health is the science and art of promoting health, preventing diseases and injuries, and prolonging life through organized efforts in society. Public health seeks to improve people's health by developing and applying knowledge that prevents disease and protects people from harm. The goal of Public Health is also to prevent infectious and chronic diseases. Professor Milaat of King Abdul-Aziz University published a scientific paper in 2007 in which he stressed that the demand in Saudi Arabia for the specialization of public health is much higher than the outcomes of the Kingdom's universities.
From the literature, it is clear that there are serious difficulties in identifying an ideal undergraduate program in public health (Friedman and Lee, 2015). In the absence of such an ideal program, undergraduate public health programs have to be customized and tailor-made, and not be replicated from another existing program. For Saudi Arabia, the public health education program has to be guided by the following concerns:
- The presence and constant threat of infectious diseases
- The high prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases
- The epidemiology of the Hajj and Umra (mass gatherings)
- The high rates of unnatural deaths (accidents)
- The weak state of information systems at the primary health care level and the lack of national integrated health care information system
- The Islamic cultural heritage of Saudi Arabia
- The decades old experience of the Field Epidemiology Program at the Ministry of Health
- The weak state of demographic training in Saudi Arabia
- The new 2030 vision and its implications for monitoring and evidence-based decision making.
It is clear from the above that the Kingdom is in dire need more than ever before for the existence of qualified cadres in all specialties of public health. Educational, health and industrial institutions need public health professionals.
The public health program at the Imam Abdurrahman bin Faisal University looks forward to qualifying students to become health officers, health educators and public health professionals who are able to develop and deliver health programs to different sectors of the population. It also prepares graduates to work in the public, private and non-profit sectors in the areas of public health, environmental health, health management, epidemiology, nutrition and biostatistics, health policy and planning.
- College of Public Health
- Health II
- Female, Male
- Years of study
- 5 (Four years + one year of Internship)
- Credit hours
- Additional requirements
- Graduation Project, Internship
- Establish a competent public health program meets the community needs and coincides with the latest international standards
- Preparation competent public and personal health care workforce who is long-life learning providing excellent public health services
- Inspire and encourage public health students to contribute in research, scientific conferences and meetings at IAU and on national and international levels for public health promotion, practices and education
- Attraction highly skilled and qualified Staff members
- Regular update, improvement and maintenance of learning and teaching facilities and resources
- To create good advocates for launching public health movement
- To develop qualities that encourage the development of innovative and alternative health promotion approaches
- To promote the understanding of the need to integrate social and cultural factors and determinants into the practice of public health
A prominent program in public health shifting from a focus on patients' treatment to the public health promotion nationally, regionally and internationally.
Providing advance public health knowledge, research, community health promotion and well-being; prevent disease and disability and premature mortality within effective community partnerships.
The program will provide a career in Public Health, an opportunity to impact the lives of individuals and community. This is an exciting, challenging and rewarding field that is growing rapidly in Saudi Arabia. Public health specialists are needed for implementation of preventive measure needed for controlling of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Justifications of establishment
Saudi Ministry of Health indicated the increased demand for public health specialists in hospitals and all preventive health units around the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition to that there is:
- Increasing demand of public health specialists in the community to raise the health awareness to promote health and wellbeing for all groups.
- Increasing demand of dieticians for the management of health promotion and prevention programs.
- Increasing demand of public health specialists in private industry.
- Currently, there are only five Universities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offering the public health program; most of them are recently started with a limit numbers of students.
Professional occupations (licensed occupations, if any) for which graduates are prepared:
- Public Health Specialist
- Public Health Inspector
- Occupational Health and Safety specialist
- Environmental health Inspector
- Health administrator
- Research assistant
- Health Promoter
- Research institutes
The list of possible partnerships to support and promote public health includes:
- Ministry of Health.
- Saudi Health Council.
- Industrial sectors.
- Ministry of Agriculture.
- Saudi Aramco
- Industrial cities Corporation.