PHN Section Student Member Spotlight: Eunice Dube, RN, BS, Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (UK), Midwife (UK) MPH Candidate
My career spans three Continents over four decades. I trained as an RN in what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) my birth country. At that time, pre-independence, everything was segregated with the minority white regime getting the best of all resources including land. I and my family were privileged because we lived near a mission station so we had access to schools, health services and of course religion (Christianity). Most of the health problems in that area were mainly childhood communicable disease especially measles, and then malaria, both of which claimed many young lives. I decided to continue my education in Scotland, graduating as a midwife and then Public Health Nurse (Health Visitor) which has been my life's passion.
I then went back to Africa, Botswana where I worked as a Public Health Nurse and managed to study for a Bachelor's degree in nursing science through distance learning University in South Africa, with a focus on Community Health. I went back to England where I spent several years working as a Health Visitor in London and Luton. After migrating to the USA, I have worked as a Public Health Nurse in Baltimore, Community Health Nurse in Howard County and then decided to go back to school and enrolled in an online MPH Program through the University of Liverpool. I am at the dissertation phase of my studies and continue working as a staff nurse at the VA in Baltimore. My anticipated MPH credentials will place me in that team player position in the interest of public health.
Why are you passionate about public health nursing?
Growing up in rural Zimbabwe, and several years later going back to serve that community as a Public Health Nurse/Midwife, I realized that it is true that “prevention is better than cure” as we were taught in school. During the war for liberation/majority rule, many communities were displaced and consequently immunization, nutrition, sanitation and family planning programs that were provided through the mission hospital in my neighbourhood were disrupted. A lot of rebuilding was then necessary. Needless to say those epidemics such as measles and the new diseases such as HIV/AIDS were at their peak. At independence, the Government needed Public Health Practitioners to re-engineer services, and guide health policy. Thirty years later this process is still ongoing. I believe there is a need to train a high caliber of Public Health Nurses with research and management skills to provide leadership and evidence based arguments for policy changes.
Where do you plan to practice public health nursing upon graduation?
When I get my MPH (all being well in October 2017) I hope to work for USAID or WHO as my specialization area is International Health. My dissertation is focused on Hepatitis B among refugees and asylees resettled in my current neighborhood in Maryland. My other interest is Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). My team leader and I conducted a study on IPV among women of child bearing age in a rural village in Kenya, which has not yet been published but was presented at the Psychiatric Association Congress in Cape Town, South Africa recently. I am interested in research and hope to be able to practice as a researcher or community practice work teacher.
What led to your desire to be involved with APHA and the PHN section?
I believe the African adage that "It takes a village to raise a child" stands true in Public Health. There is so much to do to in health promotion and disease prevention that it is a shared responsibility. Being the ninth of my parents ten children means that I have always had support from those around me. I learn and share with my public health colleagues.
The Public Health Nursing Section is proud to announce:
Public Health Nursing Section creates action plan for APHA policy statements
Kay Henry, Carolyn Nganga-Good and Patricia Scott have been selected to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Public Health Nurse Leaders program.
Congratulations to each of these Section members!