Students’ Testimonial

Hear what our alumni have to say about our public health postgraduate programmes and how the programme has helped them in their career.

Stella Tan

A Kuching Girl’s Journey to a Career with the United Nations in Geneva

I am an MMedSc Public Health graduating class of 2017 from University of Malaya (UM), and currently working as a Public Health Trainee with the Defeat-NCD Partnership at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Defeat-NCD Partnership is a first of its kind public-private-people partnership to scale up actions towards non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in at least 93 target low-resource countries to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030. My work includes supporting the development of the Partnership’s overall strategy and country programmes, conducting global and country-specific pharmaceutical market research and conducting research on the NCD essential supplies, procurement and regulatory affairs of partner countries among others.

My Master’s study with the SPM Department at UM has definitely helped pave my way towards working with the
UN in Geneva. The programme is top-notch in the country and well-rounded, as I was trained not just in the core
areas of public health, but also in areas such as Health Economics, and Law and Health etc. I was also allowed to
audit a DrPH class in Health Policy and Leadership, which helped ignite my passion in international health policy.
Getting to a career with the UN is extremely challenging but not impossible; it will test your limits and resilience, but the reward is that you will feel extremely fulfilled doing the work which impacts the world at large.

“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.”

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Alumnus of MMedSc Public Health, 2016

Dr Haris Ahmed

A Story from Pakistan

“The knowledge and understanding of public health issues at SPM gave me the confidence to design and implement strategies to address them back home focusing more on how to improve FP services in selected communities of Karachi”

Currently working as Head of Sukh Initiative with Aman Health Care Services, an initiative focused on the increased use of contraceptives by 15 per cent in the underprivileged communities of Karachi, funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Aman Foundation. Previously as Director Programs with Pathfinder International, he developed a comprehensive model to improve the provision of quality FP services in selected districts of Punjab and Sindh. Dr Haris has worked with Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN) Project with Greenstar Social Marketing as focal person for Private Sector intervention and later with John Hopkins School of Public Health as a technical adviser on interventions on health communication and education. He has worked on a humanitarian relief project with Save the Children US during the Pakistan Earthquake disaster of 2005. He has also managed a World Bank-funded project under Sind AIDS Control for female sex workers at Hyderabad, a safe water solutions project for Procter & Gamble US and ‘Sprinkles’ project for Micronutrient Initiative. He is an adjunct faculty for postgraduate students at Armed Forces Postgraduate Medical Institute, Rawalpindi and Health Services Academy, Islamabad. He is the founder member and Executive Council member of White Ribbon Alliance – Pakistan; and a core group member of Pakistan Health Economics Network; member and abstract reviewer for American Public Health Association. His publications include “Clean Birth Kits to Improve Birth Practices” published in BMC and Immunization in Pakistan.

Haris Ahmed graduated from the MPH class of 2004/2005. He has a diverse experience of nearly eight years with public health work in program planning and implementation. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, London.

Alumnus Master of Public Health 2005

Dr Moy Foong Ming

My journey in Public Health

I joined the Department as a Dietitian where I assisted in the teaching of nutrition and diet therapy for medical students. I pursued my Master of Science on a part-time basis, embarked on a project studying the nutritional status, knowledge, attitude and practices of diabetic patients. In addition, I also assisted in the coordination of the Master of Public Health program. I became interested in Public Health and joined the MPH program as soon as it
was offered for Allied Health graduates. Upon graduation, I continued to work in the department, tutoring in Biostatistics and Epidemiology and pursued PhD on a part-time basis. My PhD project was on lifestyle intervention
among security guards. Upon completion of my PhD, I was offered the job as a Senior Lecturer. From then on, I had more advanced training in Epidemiology & EBM. Currently, I am a Professor teaching Epidemiology and EBM to both undergraduates and postgraduates. I am also active in the research and supervision of postgraduates.

Alumnus of MMedSc Public Health, 2001

Dr Awais Farid

A story from Pakistan

My passion for Preventive Medicine and Public Health led me to pursue a master’s degree in the prestigious Department of SPM at University of Malaya. The recommendation of Ex SPM Student (DR. Haris Ahmed, MPH session 2004-2005) has proved the quality of education and research by updated scientific tools. I am grateful to the staff of SPM who supported me to build me the capacity to cope with the scientific approaches in research for my prospective career in Public Health.

This was my transition from clinical medicine to preventive medicine in a structured, task-oriented and productive environment. I am thankful to the academic team of SPM who made me capable to prove my skills for innovative, critical and constructive thinking in front of the world. I am successful and confident to present my work at a Global level in front of high officials of the developed world.

Learning with a multicultural background in classes of SPM opened new ways to analyse and understand global challenges. I enjoyed my learning methods such as discussion, presentations, online quizzes, seminars and exams. One year at SPM has embedded the most unique and unforgettable memories with Malay, Chines, Indian, African, Arab and Iranian fellows. I wish to come back again to University of Malaya for my PhD and Post Doctorate to feel again the same satisfaction of achievements.

Gracefully thanking University Malaya for making my life successful for my current position in the field of Public Health. I am working with the Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as “Program Coordinator HIV, Malaria & TB”. Ministry has welcomed me with honour and dignity to serve the Arab World with my knowledge and skills to improve existing systems. My Master’s education enabled me to introduce new preventive programs at the district and provincial levels. There is no doubt in my mind that I made the best decision by choosing to earn my MPH degree from SPM – University Malaya

Dr Awais Farid, MBBS, MPH (Malaysia), Program Coordinator Malaria, AIDS & TB, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Alumnus Master of Public Health 2012

Ashiru Hamza Mohammad, PhD

A story from Nigeria

Before coming to Universiti of Malaya, I was working in the ministry of health in Jigawa State, Nigeria and realised that for me to contribute meaningfully to the development of the health of the communities; I needed to know the intricacies of public health and to apply the principles to my work, and so had to train further on something that will offer me a lot of practical experience and education.

The Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM) has prepared me to be a scholar and a technocrat by providing me with some great opportunities for workshops, research and teaching in a supportive environment. I was able to take a range of useful workshops and seminars and my supervisors worked closely with me throughout my study period. The support and encouragement by a number of professors in the department also made my experience memorable. They served as genuine mentors to me and encouraged me throughout both my teachings and research.
In UM, I found the diversity of the SPM department to be one of its greatest strengths. I also found my colleagues and the international student community to be supportive and a lot of fun. We worked and developed a community that is welcoming and still academically engaging.
With the knowledge and skills I’ve developed during my time at Malaya, I now feel more qualified and confident to apply my skills to health projects that need expertise and thoughtful collaboration and to carry out my function most effectively. I have been able to grow in my own thinking and depth, not just as a student, but as a human being
Overall, I’d recommend the public health programs of the University of Malaya (UM) to prospective applicants who are seeking to strengthen their knowledge and skills in an environment that is both thoughtfully diverse and academically accommodating.

PhD Alumnus

Dr Yusuf Misau

A story from Nigeria

I am privileged to be a member of the Social and Preventive Medicine University of Malaya since 2008 after enrolment as a Master of Public Health and subsequently as PhD Student. I had an offer to study at University of Mahidol, Thailand, but changed to Malaya after considering a near similarity of religious and cultural backgrounds between Malaysia and Nigeria. I am highly vindicated at the University of Malaya, I studied in an atmosphere of love, care and concern for all the people I came across. My MPH class was global in the spread with students from virtually all continents.

Sophisticated advancement in ICT made learning very easy and the tutors were versatile, friendly and have always demonstrated an interest in matters of international students. There were limited opportunities for career development at Malaysia after my MPH, hence, I had to return to Nigeria to start afresh and save funds for my PhD program. However, skills acquired at SPM Malaya serves as a turning point in shaping my approach to life. With better abilities to have broad perspectives on public health issues, I am able to make a difference in not only my life but that of many others. The credit of my successful sojourn as public health physician goes to SPM department of the University of Malaya.

Alumnus Master of Public Health 2008