Bachelor of Environmental Health


Program Description

The Environmental Health Program is a multi disciplinary course for all Environmental Health Professionals in the public and private sectors. The programs trains students to become specialists in various environmental health fields such as environmental health scientific officers, health promotion and education, occupational health and safety, waste management, food quality control, environment and sustainable development, pollution control, vector control and pest control, water and sanitation and health quarantine. The important role of a graduate of this course is to prevent diseases and illness in population that may arise through defective environments and community settings.

The Bachelor of Environmental Health is designed to develop students to achieve their full potential in their knowledge of environmental health as well as their skills in solving EH problems and their attitude and behaviour towards the people and communities they serve.

The course promotes cognitive, research and analytical skills as well as problem solving skills. The basic Environmental Health units include: Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Environmental Microbiology, Health Communication, Health Law and Prosecution, Waste Management, Infectious and Life Style Diseases, , Water Resources Management, Vector Control Measures and Quarantine, Food and Nutrition, Occupational Health and Safety, Health Promotion and Education, Civil and Disaster Management, Environmental Health and Project Management, Environmental Health Impact and Risk Assessment,  Environmental Toxicology, Environmental Health Research, Environmental Psychology, Food Safety Monitoring and Assessment, Environmental Pollution and Sustainable Development.



Duration of Study

The program is a four year program of full-time study leading to the award of the Bachelor of Environmental Health (BEH). The program is divided into four main areas of study: Basic Sciences, Public Health and Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, and Environmental Health laws and Management.





Study mode and Location

Full time on Campus, Divine Word University, Madang



Requisites to complete the award

Achievement of 320 credit points or 40 credit points each semester.




Entry requirements

School Leavers must have gained a minimum of “B” grades in English, Mathematics and Science subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) at grade 12 levels.


    
Units Offered

Year One

EH 118 Chemistry 1

EH 121 Introduction to Human Biology

EH 115 Management Principles

IS 117 End-User Computing and Word Processing

RS 234 Christian Ethics

EH 114 Physics

EH 116 Health Communication

EH 117 Plant Biology and Microbiology

EH 119 Chemistry II

HE 124 Human Structure and Functions

 

Year Two


EH 215 Environmental Microbiology

EH 217 Professional Ethics for Environmental Health

EH 220 Building and Housing Environment

EH 221 Infectious and Life Style Diseases

EH 222 Liquid Waste Management

EH 213 Food and Nutrition

EH 214 Water Resources Management I

EH 218 Vector Control and Quarantine

EH 223 Solid Waste Management

EH 224 Health Promotion and Education

Year Three

EH 306 Occupational Health and Safety I

EH 307 Civil and Disaster Management

EH 312 Public Health Law II

HM 301 Biostatistics and Epidemiology

EH 310 Occupational Health and Safety II

EH 311 Water Resources Management II

EH 314 Food Safety Assessment and Management  

HM 303 Research Methods

Year Four

EH 308 Environmental Health Impact and Risk Assessment

EH 405 Environmental Health Research I

EH 406 Environmental Health Management

EH 407 Environmental Toxicology

EH 408 Environmental Health Research II

EH 409 Environmental Psychology

EH 410 Air and Noise Assessment & Control

EH 411 Environment and Sustainable Development

 

Reserve Units

EH 216 Public Health Law I

EH 219 Public Health Engineering

EH 305 Health Promotion


Program Unit Descriptions

EH 118

EH 118 Chemistry 1 - 8 Credit Points

This unit provides the elementary principles of physical and organic chemistry as foundation for other studies of science. The students demonstrate understanding of quantitative analytical methods, the physical chemistry of aqueous solutions, qualitative analysis and organic chemistry.

HE 121

HE 121 Introduction to Human Biology - 8 Credit Points

In this unit, students gain knowledge of human biology. Students examine the cell structure and function as the basis of life; the cell membrane and its function as a basis of cell integrity; how cells form into organized and specialized tissues and/or organs; cell division involving meiosis and mitosis and the mechanisms controlling cell divisions; body cavities and their importance; body fluids including body water and different cellular compartments; body metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fats that provide energy to cell functions while noting the basis of disorders such as diabetes mellitus; and homeostasis; and knowledge of vital signs of what is normal and what is abnormal.

BS 115

BS 115 Management Principles - 8 Credit Points

This unit serves as an introduction to the principle and practices of management and the role of managers. The unit will mainly evolve around the basic functions of managers, specifically planning, organising, leading and controlling. Apart from providing the students with the beginning level of understanding management principles, PNG case studies will analysed using various and appropriate strategies and techniques base on relevant principles and theories.

IS 117

IS 117 End - User Computing and Word Processing - 8 Credit Points

This unit provides an introduction to the PC including its structure and place in the home or small office environment. It seeks to develop basic computer literacy and typing skills. Included is an understanding and facility with the use of a graphical user interface. Students are also provided with skills to use an Office suite of software, email, Internet and an intranet. Word Processing is an essential skill in the home and the small office and for student assignment writing. Students are given a comprehensive introduction to the basics of text formatting using word processing software.

RS 234

RS 234 Christian Ethics - 8 Credit Points

Ethics is a systematic, critical study concerned with the evaluation of human conduct to help male decisions about the future. It is concerned about what is right, fair, just or good; about what we ought to do, not just what is the case or what is most acceptable or expedient. Christian ethics is the critical evaluation of human conduct from a Christian perspective. In this course, students will explore the understanding, sources and importance of ethics in everybody’s personal and professional life.

EH 114

EH 114 Physics - 8 Credit Points

This unit provides students with the basic knowledge on abiotic factors that impinged on the health of the natural environment and human health and the ecosystem as a whole. The topic covers the principles of heat; temperature; electro-magnetic waves; light, half-life of chemical; the different forms for radiation as some of the topics that influence the overall health of the ecosystem; human health; and the environment. This unit integrates other environmental units taught across the faculty.

EH 116

EH 116 Health Communication - 8 Credit Points

This unit provides an overview of various theoretical aspects contributing to health communication and education strategies. Students will become familiar with some of the factors that contribute to people changing their beliefs and attitudes that may lead to better health in individuals and communities. This unit will consider principles for successful communication including involvement of targeted audience, multifaceted strategies, design features, and basic steps involve in planning a strategy. The importance of partnership, consultation and evaluation is emphasised.

EH 117

EH 117 Plant Biology and Microbiology - 8 Credit  Points

In this unit, students explore the diversity of animals, plants and micro-organisms. Emphasis is placed on biological diversity, evolution, the relationship between structure and function in selected groups of organisms, how organisms are adapted to their environment and how organisms interact with one another. This topic is designed for environmental health students.

EH 119

EH 119 Chemistry II - 8 Credit Points

This unit extends learning in Chemistry 1 and relates it to practical aspects of chemistry in the field of environmental health, for example occupational health and safety or public health protection. The students demonstrate skills in the preparation and applications of properties and hazards associated with some organic substances that have major uses in industry. It provides an introduction to the principles of sampling and the analytical methods in occupational health, food, and water and air analysis. Also, the principles of the corrosion of metals are taught.

HE 124

HE 124 Human Structure and Functions - 8 Credit Points

This unit provides students with general knowledge of structure (anatomy) and functions (physiology) of the human body. Students are able to distinguish the normal structures and functions of a human body from a diseased state of a human body. They examine changes that occur in the normal structures and functions of the human body; and reflect on the importance of this knowledge as a prelude to their studies in medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology.

EH 215

EH 215 Environmental Microbiology - 8 Credit Points

This unit provides a comprehensive coverage of public health microbiology, including food, water and soil microbiology, environmental hygiene, control of microbial growth and industrial microbiology. Students discuss microbiological culture techniques, soil microbiology, composting, bioremediation and biofilms. Other areas include microbial flora in foods, food spoilage, and food poisoning organisms. Students gain a firsthand experience of being a practicing microbiologist. Research skills and reviewing of current scientific journal articles is strongly recommended during the length of course. Students explore aspects of microbiology through field trips, mock disease outbreak investigations, lectures, and performing laboratory work.

 

EH 217

EH 217 Professional Ethics for Environmental Helath - 8 Credit Points

In this unit, students explore professional ethics of environmental health officers as they deal with legal, administrative, technical and partnership issues at different levels of the community. Students discuss a variety of contexts from villages in the rural environment to the urban (towns and cities), to the Non-Government Organization and private sectors. Students consider the importance of professional ethics and how to improve and maintain professional balance and status. Quality of professional ethics not only raises professional standards but also boosts the confidence of clients in the Government’s environmental standards stipulated in the environmental health laws.

EH 220

EH 220 Building and Housing Environment - 8 Credit Points

This unit deals with housing and links human physical and psychosocial needs, environmental and technical issues and design aspects for the effective provision of safe and healthy buildings and housing. It introduces students to the basic interpretation of appropriate housing plans, design and construction as detailed in the building code of PNG. The unit assists students to understand the principles of the cultural and social standards of housing in rural communities, and physics in the contexts of environmental health and housing. Students demonstrate the relationships between building development and the role of the environmental health professional.

EH 221

EH 221 Infectious and Life Style Diseases - 8 Credit Points

In this unit students differentiate the types of illnesses categorized as Communicable (Infectious) and Non-Communicable (Life-Style) diseases in Public Health. They analyse the burden of these diseases and conditions as they affect health and life in PNG as well as internationally. Students examine the changing pattern of diseases in the population groups and explore various methods or procedures on how to prevent and control these diseases from a public health, environmental, technical and cultural aspects. Students assess ways to promote stakeholder engagement and partnerships.

EH 222

EH 222 Liquid Waste Management - 8 Credit Points

In this unit students explore the various liquid and sewerage disposal principles, systems and practices internationally and locally. They analyse international literature and construct the differences in management and technology for domestic (private) and communal (public) systems. With the focus on PNG, students examine and compare the characteristics of the most appropriate liquid wastes disposal systems for urban and rural settings. Appropriate legislative requirements in the Public Health Act, Building Act, Environment Planning Act and Physical Planning Act are also studied.

EH 213

EH 213 Food and Nutrition - 8 Credit Points

This unit provides students with a basic understanding of nutrition which can be applied to their everyday lives and future professional careers. It introduces students to principles of food composition, food processing and preservation, the relationship between food and health and the health promotion strategies related to nutrition. This basic knowledge on nutrition equips the student with the background knowledge in order to facilitate community nutrition programs.

EH 214

EH 214 Water Resources Management 1 - 8 Credit Points

This unit introduces to the students the common rural water supply schemes focusing on feasibility and sanitary survey. In addition, the unit discusses the procedures involved in water supply survey, design, and construction integrating the five principles of the Ottawa Charter. The administration of water supply project development and sustainability issues is also discussed from the National, Provincial, and District Health Services including various stakeholders of interest. Students demonstrate the practical skills required to conduct sanitary and feasibility surveys of potential water supply sources.

EH 218

EH 218 Vector Control and Quarantine - 8 Credit Points

This unit teaches the theoretical and practical application of the various vector control measures and diseases controlled by quarantine. Students gain an understanding of insect vectors and the diseases of public health significance that are transmitted in PNG. Students examine the impact and cost-effectiveness of the various control measures including the biological, chemical, physical and environmental aspects for community and personal protection. With international travel, there is always a risk that new and serious diseases could enter PNG, it is therefore necessary that students know of quarantine regulations nationally and internationally.

EH 223

EH 223 Solid Waste Management - 8 Credit Points

Engineering has played an important role in public and environmental health, specifically in the areas of safe water, clean air, and safe waste disposal. This topic covers the basic principles of civil and mechanical engineering as they apply to environmental health. This unit will be solid waste management strategies and principles for domestic, commercial and industrial waste. They will analyse the various methods for storage, collection, transportation and disposal of the different types of wastes. It will further highlight the importance of safe handling and management of different waste to safeguard public health. The students will also conduct a detailed study of the sanitary landfill, composting, incineration and recycling processes in Madang town. The PNG legislation requirements and standard code of practise will also be studied.

EH 224

EH 224 Health Promotion and Education - 8 Credit Points

The unite introduces the historical development of health promotion as a public health measure to promote wellbeing in individuals and populations with a particular focus on developments since the Ottawa charter, Jakarta declaration and the Bangkok charter. Medical, behavioural and socio environmental approaches will be explored and examined with recognition that there is a continuum of health promotion practice that requires multiple interventions to make a difference. The students will develop knowledge in the practice of health promotion that reflects cultural considerations and community aspirations. The students will also understand the importance of theory and its links to practice of technical subjects. The students will be introduce to key concepts of health promotion practice, including needs assessment, planning and evaluation to provide the foundation for practice and more in-depth study in these areas as the course progresses. As this is a practical unit, the students will usually be required to work with a community organisation to implement their program.

EH 306

EH 306 Occupational Health and Safety II - 10 Credit Points

Occupational health and safety is a broadly based review of the nature of hazards in the occupational environment and how the risks of injury or disease as a result of exposure to these hazards may be minimised. Students discuss a wide range of occupational illnesses such those affecting the respiratory system, nervous system, kidney, reproductive system, musculoskeletal system and occupational cancer. This unit places specific emphasis on competencies needed to improve safe working practices and a safe and healthy environment, while maintaining and optimising opportunities for employment and productivity.

EH 307

EH 307 Civil and Disaster Management - 10 Credit Points

This unit introduces the nature of hazards and the concepts of risk assessment and management of natural and man made disasters. Causes, characteristics and effects of natural and environmental hazards are assessed. Different warning and mitigation and control strategies of hazard preparedness and reduction are analysed. Various types of natural and environmental hazards are explored covering geophysical hazards eg (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and landslides), climate or meteorological hazards (tropical storms, cyclones, droughts, floods and frosts), technological hazards both chemical and biological, and human hazards (disease epidemics including HIV/AIDS).

EH 312

EH 312 Public Health Law II - 10 Credit Points

This unit builds on students’ knowledge of PNG legal and governance systems and integrates students’ understanding of environmental health and law, legislative and management tools for the control of public health nuisances and other statutory responsibilities in different settings. The prosecution process and gathering of evidence are discussed along with a detail discussion on the environmental health practitioners’ role under the Public Health Act, Environmental Protection Act and other related legislation.

HM 301

HM 301 Biostatistics and Epidemiology - 10 Credit Points

The unit is introduces students to basic statistical procedures and concepts in relation to health management. Students study biostatistical concepts and procedures that they require in their study of epidemiology. Students develop the knowledge and skills to work with abstract data, concepts and raw materials, and frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution or range of solutions to a problem.

EH 310

EH 310 Occupational Health and Safety II - 10 Credit Points

This second unit in Occupational Health and Safety explores the hierarchy of controls in the workplace settings. The fast growth industries especially manufacturing industries, mining and forestry pose a thread to the local workers. Many employees are exposed to physical, biological, and chemical hazards because many companies and employers do not provide protective garments to prevent them from getting occupational diseases or injuries. Students assess some workplace practices in Madang and apply their knowledge to prevent and manage risks using various control mechanisms.

EH 311

EH 311 Water Resources Management II - 10 Credit Points

The unit provides the knowledge and practical skills required to monitor, collect water supply samples, and analyse and interpret results to improve and maintain the quality of water supply provided to the people in a community. The unit focuses on the factors that directly or indirectly cause stress to the health of the drinking water source, raw water sources, and recreational water sources which affect the overall health of the water. This includes microbiological, chemical, and aesthetic parameters. Health aspects of water chemistry are explored. Structural and managerial solutions are discussed.

EH 314

EH 314 Food Safety Assessment and Management - 10 Credit Points

This unit provides comprehensive knowledge of food, particularly food safety. The unit focuses on food microbiology, food hygiene, the application of the hazard analysis critical control point, design and construction of food establishments, food processing and preservation, food standards code and the food sanitation act and regulations.

EH 303

HM 303 Resource Methods - 10 Credit Points

This unit covers theories of qualitative and quantitative research, and research methodology from the setting up and execution of research projects, through definition of research problems, selection of research objectives, project design, data analysis and presentation of results. The unit helps students to get started in research and identifies the basic steps in research design, that is, the way a research idea is translated into a feasible research proposal and the steps that must be taken thereafter to implement the proposed study. The unit culminates in student presentations of manageable research proposals.

EH 308

EH 308 Environmental Health Impact and Risk Assessment - 10 Credit Points

This unit introduces students to techniques and methodology forf conducting investigative studies to assess environmental impacts on health. This unit deals with systematic process, designed to identify, analyze and evaluate the environmental effects of a project on health in a public and participatory manner. Strategic environmental assessment is introduced, as are a wide range of environmental management tools including: risk assessment, environment reporting, economic instruments, codes of conduct and best practice, ISO 14000, life cycle analysis, environmental auditing, public disclosure, public environmental reporting and conflict resolution.

EH 405

EH 405 Environmental Health Research I -10 Credit Points

This unit develops students’ research skills through individual project work. Students develop a research question relevant to environmental health, plan and conduct a research program to investigate the problem taking into consideration scientific, social and legal aspects. Topics covered include preparation of questionnaires for ethics approval, preparation of a research proposal; and literature review. The unit develops students’ research skills as appropriate to environmental health. The unit emphasises self-directed learning by enabling the student to determine the research topic and approach.

EH 406

EH 406 Environmental Health Management - 10 Credit Points

This unit develops management skills for rural and urban activities of environmental health officers in relation to national health policy directives. Some of the activities includes: water, food, quarantine, sanitation, environmental health impact assessment, occupational health, housing, sustainable development, vector control, health promotion, environmental health component of the affected environment and populations of disasters. Both modern and traditional techniques for resource management are explored. Methodologies for resources, program/activity planning and management of specific resources for sustainable use are outlined.

EH 407

EH 407 Environmental Toxicology - 10 Credit Points

Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms including humans. Students explore factors in the environment that exert a harmful effect on human health and the quality of life. Students learn basic toxicology terminologies and their definitions, dose-response relationships, processes involved in producing harmful effects, and the dynamics and kinetics of xenobiotics (toxicants, toxins, poisons etc) including exposure routes. Students are taught methods of monitoring and assessing human populations at risk. The process of toxicant absorption, circulation, metabolic pathways, reabsorption and accumulation of toxicants and its elimination are discussed. Ethical issues are discussed.

EH 408

EH 408 Environmental Health Research II - 10 Credit Points

This unit develops students’ research skills in environmental health through individual project work. Students develop a research question relevant to an environmental health issue, plan and conduct a research project, taking into consideration scientific, social and legal aspects. The unit covers research methodology; data collection and analysis; and presentation of research findings. This unit and EH405 Environmental Health Research 1 are taught and assessed as a continuum. Students must enrol in both topics in the same academic year. The unit emphasises self-directed learning by enabling the student to determine the research topic and approach.

EH 409

EH 409 Environmental Psychology - 10 Credit Points

The study of human behaviour and the factors operating in the social and cultural environment which affect behaviour are explored. Areas studied include; motivation, attitude formation and change; social learning and perception and relations; cultural influences; group influences; conformity and persuasion; decision making; risk and social psychological aspects of environmental health.

EH 410

EH 410 Air and Noise Assessment Control - 10 Credit Points

This unit provides theoretical and practical studies of environmental noise and air pollution commensurate with the role of environmental health professionals. Students are exposed to the various definitions and types and classifications of environmental noise and air pollutants and the impacts on human health. Methodologies for environmental noise and air pollution measurement and assessment are outlined. Students do field surveys and investigations and consolidate their findings with laboratory sessions and internet search. Students critique the PNG Environment Protection Act and other related laws.

EH 411

EH 411 Environment and Sustainable Development - 10 Credit Points

This unit introduces students to environmental science and the important concept of sustainable development at village, national and international levels; and from different perspectives of different disciplines: ecological, social, economic and political. Students explore the purpose of environmental policies and issues of governance in Papua New Guinea relating to environmental management and resource planning, development regulation and biodiversity conservation. Students study the environment policies in Australasia and the Pacific including environmental policies promoted by international agencies, both bilateral and multilateral and regional policies of the South Pacific Regional Environment Program.

EH 216

EH 216 Public Health Law I - 8 Credit Points

The unit examines the framework of the PNG legal system. Some of the components of this unit include the PNG constitution, the criminal code, contract law, the law of torts, the organic law and divisions of law. The unit provides students with an understanding of how the laws are made, enforced and executed. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of the courts in health policy development and health protection aspects. Students study and practice the court prosecution procedures and other elements associated with courts in PNG that deal with health and environmental issues.

EH 219

EH 219 Public Health Engineering - 8 Credit Points

Engineering has played an important role in public and environmental health, specifically in the areas of safe water, clean air, and safe waste disposal. This topic covers principles of civil and mechanical engineering as they apply to environmental health. This unit has two parts. First, the students explore solid waste management strategies and principles for domestic, commercial and industrial waste. The second part enables the students to compare and contrast the various excreta disposal methods appropriate to the cultural, geographical, social and economic status of communities in PNG. The PNG legislation requirements and standard code of practice are studied.

EH 305

EH 305 Health Promotion - 10 Credit Points

The unit introduces the historical development of health promotion as a public health measure to promote wellbeing in individuals and populations. Medical, behavioural and socio-environmental approaches are explored with recognition that there is a continuum of health promotion practices that require multiple interventions to make a difference. Students develop knowledge in the practice of health promotion that reflects cultural considerations and community aspirations. Students link theories of health promotion with practice and are required to work with a community organisation to implement a health promotion program.