“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” This phrase may be the best summary of the importance of rehabilitating and preparing specialized personnel in the field of public health, especially at the present time, which has witnessed the spread of epidemics and viruses, which have confused people’s lives and shook economies, which necessitate drawing up public policies to maintain public health in the community, develop sustainable preventive programs, and work hard to reduce the effects of chronic diseases.
Although the realization of the importance of this health field was represented years ago by issuing a decree establishing a College of Public Health at Kuwait University, the university administration recently came up with a decision to merge this college with the College of Allied Medical Sciences, in contrast to the current situation as it is a separate college, which provoked reactions Rejecting this trend, based on the importance of providing qualified cadres to lead the public health sector in the country, reports a local Arabic daily.
Specialists and medical experts continue to express their conviction of the importance of this college which is vital for the availability of qualified public health cadres in the country. They were unanimous that the field of public health concern “takes double importance in the recent period, based on its importance in addressing epidemics, health disasters, reducing the risks and spread of chronic diseases and other areas.
They indicated that the importance of public health “was represented globally, by including it within the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, as well as the need for government institutions in the country for the college’s outputs, which calls for maintaining this educational entity to provide specialized cadres,” stressing that the trend to abolish the college is a waste of public money.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Red Crescent and the former Minister of Health, Dr. Hilal Al-Sayer, stressed the importance of having the College of Public Health, especially at the present time.
Al-Sayer is of the opinion that, “it is wrong to merge the college into the College of Allied Medical Sciences, and we had been pleased with its establishment years ago, and we do not agree with converting it into a scientific department.”
He added, “If integration is necessary, it is a fortiori to integrate it into the College of Medicine,” pointing out that public health is “an urgent and indispensable necessity, to prevent the spread of epidemics, combat and confront chronic diseases, and spread health awareness in the country,” stressing that “the present time, which is witnessing a remarkable spread of epidemics and viruses, the tendency to cancel or merge the college does not serve the public health interest in the country.”
The Director of the Awareness and Community Nutrition Promotion Department at the Food and Nutrition General Authority, Dr. Mona Al-Sumaie, that the authority needs to cooperate closely with the outputs of the College of Public Health, during the preparation of its programs aimed at preserving the health of the community, stressing that “merging the college will negatively affect the completion of the Kuwaitization policy.”
Al-Sumai stressed that the preparation of preventive programs cannot be completed without the use of the outputs of the fields of public health, as they are the most familiar with how to formulate preventive policies to confront diseases, epidemics and behaviors that negatively affect the health of society.
Public health specialist Dr. Muhammad Al-Saedan, said that the College of Public Health “plays an important role in protecting society, by developing public preventive policies and sustainable health behaviors.”
Al-Saedan pointed to “a global trend to support the areas of public health, represented in its inclusion in the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, as well as the country’s tendency to support the field of its utmost importance.”
And he indicated that investing in a project such as the College of Public Health “has just begun to bear fruit, so why do we blow up a project that will produce specialized cadres for us in an important field such as public health?”, pointing out that this “is considered a waste of effort and public money, especially since benefiting from the college’s outputs has become evident.”
The nutrition consultant, Deputy Director-General for Community Nutrition Affairs in the former General Authority for Food and Nutrition, Dr. Nawal Al-Hamad, stressed the importance of having a public health college in the country, to qualify and graduate the necessary cadres in the fields of public health and to formulate health and preventive policies in the community, noting that the importance lies in identifying ways of prevention, raising food and nutrition awareness, and developing programs to protect society from exposure to risk factors caused by diseases. Chronic diseases such as overweight and obesity, blood pressure, high blood sugar and their complications, which reduce expenditures from the budget on such diseases.