University of Namibia Community Medicine Department
The community Medicine department is geared towards preparation of students taking a degree in Medicine to be to a graduate who will demonstrate competence as an outstanding doctor, a scientist, and medical educator who is competent to assume future leadership roles in medicine, science, and society.
In our department we are concentrating on modules related to Community and Family Medicine at undergraduate level. The module covered in our department include: Primary Health care (including Disease Preventive and Health Promotion), Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Research methodology, Clinical and Public Nutrition, Environmental and Occupational Health, Health Systems Management (Leadership and Management, Health Policy and Health Economics) and Community Based Education and Services (COBES). Others include coordination and supervision of Rural Field Attachments in the third year, and coordination and supervision of fourth year medical students during District Hospital rotations. All Community Medicine modules are taught from year one to year four of medical training.
The education and training of students at the School of Medicine sits on a tripod: students; patient and the community. Much as the patient is the clinical “laboratory” so is the community the laboratory for learning and practice of social skills, health systems management, primary care, health promotion, disease prevention, rehabilitation and restoration. Of special importance to our school is the program of COBES. During COBES training , each students is attached to a family where he/she spends at least two hours every week for a period of one year. During this attachments students gain understanding of the important concepts and principles of social justice, equity, social action for health on the one hand and strategies for realizing national as well as international goals for high standards of health for all the people. The program allows students to understand the root causes of health conditions and advise those families on ways to prevent infections and improve the health status. It also exposes the students to challenges which the families are faced with and identify local resources within the families which may be used during healthy care needs . This program help the student to understand cultural diversity, community strength and social economic conditions which may help in designing of intervention programs.