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Public health specialist Dr. Allan Zulu has provided excellent on-the-ground support for alleviating the disease burden in Zambia.
A part-time university lecturer and a PhD research advisor, he has been involved in curative services.
“I had been a clinical officer at rural and urban health centers and hospitals, to some extent, and was involved in assisting health professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses.
As a clinical officer, Dr. Zulu managed Sexually Transmitted Infections (SITs), especially among the youngsters in the country, administering drugs and therapy and monitoring their progress.
“This unfortunate situation sparked my interest in public health,” said Dr. Zulu, who completed his PhD in Public Health at Texila American University (TAU).
There was a lack of doctors in hospitals, and the services of a public health specialist became more pronounced to get around serious problems such as these, he said.
Most of the youth start seeking medical help when their health condition deteriorates and becomes complicated, resulting in the loss of many enterprising years of their lives as well as self-esteem.
So, I soon realized that rather than waiting for the youngsters at the screening room, I could bring about a change by going out there, talking to them, and educating them about STIs — its implications and their impact on their future, Dr. Zulu said.
Dr. Zulu, who worked as a UNDP volunteer, said, “Focusing on community awareness about the problem surrounding us is the priority.”
As part of this, we formed support groups and worked hard to generate awareness among the masses about health issues. I can say with pride our efforts paid off, and there has been a reduction in STI cases.
He has run a programme for the management of tuberculosis and HIV prevention across 84 hospitals in Zambia.
As a university faculty member, Dr. Zulu today draws complete satisfaction in imparting knowledge at several levels to students.
This former research scholar of Texila says the distinct approach to learning and delivery of knowledge at the university was the highlight of his experience there.
“Everything was unique about Texila — its faculty members, programme structure, and the campus.”
Starting with the modules to delivery of the information, Texila excelled, he says.
Texila hosts students and faculty members from six continents, and diversity was one of its biggest strengths.
“The multi-cultural environment helped us exchange ideas, knowledge and helped us understand why certain things happened the way they do,” Dr. Zulu says.
He said that the student coordinators suggested many ideas for improvement and were constantly in touch with the students’ progress. Dr. Zulu, who lives with his family in Lusaka, said there should be serious efforts at closing the gap between the rich and the poor besides ensuring equity in education.