SEOUL NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
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국제보건/국제개발협력 분야 종사자 인터뷰

Asmamaw Atnafu (학생연구원)
  • 작성자국제보건연구센터
  • 날짜2018-05-17 13:35:34
  • 조회수501

[Asmamaw Atnafu (학생연구원)]

Please give us a brief introduction of yourself.

Hello, I am Asmamaw Atnafu from Ethiopia and I have been here for 3 and ½ years for my Ph.D. study. I majored in medical laboratory technology during undergraduate study and I studied hospital and healthcare administration in my master’s study. I worked in a hospital as a medical laboratory technician and technologist for 5 years, and I have worked in a university as a lecturer, associate dean of students, and assistant registrar.

Why did you choose to study public health policy?

During my services in hospital and university, I realized that public health policies are very much important but there is shortage of professionals and researchers so that their implementation are without sufficient evidence. Therefore, I decided to study public health policy and want to contribute to the improvement of population health in my country. As I mentioned earlier there is shortage of professionals in health policy so that decision are made without sufficient evidences. In order to tackle such problems provision of education in health policy area for under-graduate and postgraduate is essential.

Why did you choose to study in Korea? And Why Seoul National University?

While I was looking for studying health policy at the first I was very much interested to study in Europe or the US. However, I had a brother who was studying at Korea University and he insisted me to apply for Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP), I applied and I got that chance. Given the fact that SNU is one of the most prestigious university in the globe I decided to study here.

Please tell us about project or program you have participated in the field of public health.

I have participated in different programs of public health especially in health care financing and health insurance in Ethiopia. The health care financing projects were conducted in collaboration with Korean foundation for international health (KOFIH) and SNU graduate school of public health. The projects were conducted by KOFIH and SNU in order to support the Ethiopian healthcare financing system. In those projects we recommended different health care financing strategies including Community-based health insurance and Social health insurance in Ethiopian context.

What kind of challenge or difficulties have you encountered while implementing this project?

In the projects, we have found many policy-relevant information and provided the information to the Ethiopian health insurance agency via KOFIH. Many of the challenges of the project implementation were related to awareness of the local administration and communities. Moreover, most of the policy recommendations of the projects are donor driven which may not have considered the local context so that it affects the success of the projects. In order to increase the awareness it is important to have community awareness creation activities are required. Moreover, the awareness creation activities should be extended to the politicians, local administrations, and other professionals. Additionally, awareness creation activities should be supported by local mass medias to enhance information transmission.

What is the most necessary health issue in Ethiopia?

Ethiopia as a developing country is facing many health problems. Infectious diseases were the most prominent problems in the country, however, currently non-communicable disease and traffic accidents are becoming prominent.

What would you like to do in the future? (related to public health)

Thus, when I go to my job I would like to focus on teaching student, researching, and consult the government and other non-governmental organization regarding public health policies. Moreover, I would like to share my Korean experience to my coworkers and students.

Please give an advice for people who are studying or interested in the field of global health.

People who are interested to study global health need to have prior information about public health issues in their country as well as the global health problem. Additionally, global health is multidisciplinary and multispectral problem which needs multidimensional information and knowledge.

Thank you for your time for this interview. 

Thank you. 

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