INTRODUCTION

The School of Public Health is an establishment within the Mekelle University System (MUS). It was initially established in 2003/04 under the auspices of the College of Health Sciences of Mekelle University as a department of Public Health. The School of Public Health started Upgrading Health Officer Training Program (UHOTP)” in collaboration with the Tigray Regional Health Bureau in 2003-2004. Soon after the graduation of the first batch of Upgrade Health Officer students, the Accelerated Health Officer Training Program (AHOTP) was launched in August 2005 in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH). The AHOTP program was historically known in achieving the countries health workforce demand through producing the required number of graduates in the five years time. Thereafter, enrollment of generic BSc in Public Health students started since 2011 which still continues annually. The Department of Public Health was upgraded to School of Public Health in July 2015.

The School of Public Health (SPH) is staffed with 87 academic staff consisting of seven departments and one unit under its jurisdiction.

The departments are named:
  • Department of Biostatistics,
  • Department of Environmental Health and Behavioral Sciences,
  • Department of Epidemiology,
  • Department of Health Systems,
  • Department of Health Officer
  • Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Department of Reproductive Health, and
  • Health Informatics Unit

Currently, the SPH is running three Undergraduate Programs (UG): 1) BSc in Public Health, 2) BSc in Environmental Health and 3) BSc in Health Informatics. Students for the former program (PH) are enrolled from national level, whereas, for the two latter programs, students undertake their education under Post Basic training which is executed in collaboration with the Tigray regional health Bureau. Since 2017-2018 (EFY 2010), new batch of students for both environmental health and health informatics started to be enrolled from the Federal Ministry of Education.

For more than ten years, the School of Public Health has been striving to contribute its share by training health officers for deployment at the grass-root levels of the rural and urban communities of Ethiopia. In the recent years, the SPH is progressively working in increasing the programs of post graduate (PG) studies. The track fields of PG increased from three to seven in number. The tracks include: General MPH, MPH in RH, PH in nutrition, Field epidemiology, Biostatistics and Health informatics, Masters of Health Care Administration and Monitoring and evaluation. In line with the University’s vision and the Growth and Transformation plan (GTP), The SPH aspired to enhance the capacity building of the human workforce through opening the PhD program of Public Health. Then, the School of Public Health launched the PhD program in collaboration with the Addis Continental Institute of Public Health in 2012-2013 and it continued to enroll the two consecutive batches of 2nd and 3rd cohort of PhD students independently through the support of Ministry of Education and by searching International grants.

The School of Public Health, under College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University graduated two students in PhD in Public Health for the first time in the history of Mekelle University in July 2016. In the near future, the School expects to harvest the fruits of the other remaining three students.