International students opt for health promotion PhDs
Two students from countries outside the EU have decided to further their education at Swansea University after applying to the Health Science PhD programme.
This is the first time in the history of the Public Health and Health Promotion master’s programme at Swansea University’s School of Health Science.
Friyal Alqahtani, from Saudi Arabia, and Francis Kapapa, from Zambia, have both expressed an interest in staying in Swansea and studying at the Institute of Health Research (IHR).
A lecturer at King Faisal University Nursing College in Saudi Arabia, Friyal aged 30 decided to study at Swansea to improve her skills to benefit both her employer and her students.
After holidaying in Wales, Friyal asked her employers in Saudi Arabia for study leave – and, in September 2007, began studying the Public Health and Health Promotion masters. Now nearing completion of the course, she would like to continue at the University.
She said: “I am immensely grateful to the programme director, Jane Thomas, for her invaluable help and support. The course is really useful – I’ve learned many things – from the principles of health promotion, to applying new knowledge to practice, to developing a programme for health promotion.
“I gained professional progression in my workplace, and I can now stand with confidence, make changes in my department and improve the program design for health.
“Before deciding to continue studying at the School of Health Science, I made some enquiries into the activities of the IHR. After receiving information from them I was excited to do my PhD.
“I’m planning to do research in prevention of blood borne pathogens, such as hepatitis - I hope my department will agree, and give me the chance to continue my studies here!”
Francis Kapapa, aged 44, is a married father of five children and a trained teacher.
After working as a Zambia Air Force teacher for fifteen years before studying Sociology and Public Administration and looking after chronically ill patients with HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, he is now also nearing completion of the Public Health and Health Promotion master’s award programme.
He said: “Public health and promoting the health of people in communities has been my passion.
“The Public Health and Health Promotion course provides me with skills to effectively contribute to making people aware of health problems so that they control their own health and prevent diseases. There are very important modules that respond to current challenges, especially in one of the least developed countries like Zambia.
“The encouragement and support of Jane and all of my lecturers has increased my confidence, and motivated my decision to take my interest in research further.
“I wish to develop ideas on the topic of AIDS orphans in Africa, specifically in Zambia. I’d like to look into how orphans in orphanages, on the streets and other institutions are integrated into society. I think there is much literature on the care systems but little on the models of integrating orphans back into communities.
“It is my strong feeling that such a study would be of help to my country Zambia which has approximately 750,000 orphans with uncertain future ahead of them. I hope that this research would provide an opportunity for me to contribute to existing efforts for the brighter future of orphans.”
Public Health and Health Promotion programme director, and Deputy Head of the School of Health Science, Jane Thomas is delighted with the achievements of both Francis and Friyal.
She commented: “Both Francis and Friyal are excellent students, and it is a pleasure to hear that they are inspired by the teaching of the School – and that they want to use their experience from here to better the health services offered in their home countries.
“The IHR is a perfect environment to carry out further research into the health science sector – and I’m sure that with their research interests they will both become assets to the institute, the School and the health science sector.”
For further information please contact Rachel Williams at the School of Health Science on +44 (0)1792 602472 or email@example.com