DWU FACULTY OF HEALTH SCIENCES
The Faculty of Health Sciences incorporates the programs in health management and physiotherapy, offered on the DWU campus, and the programs in environmental health and health extension, offered by the former College of Allied Health Sciences. The Faculty also incorporates the nursing programs offered by the affiliating Schools of Nursing. The Faculty also works in close association with the Modilon Hospital with a special teaching agreement.
The Faculty of Health Sciences comprises of the Department of Health Management, Department of Physiotherapy, Department of Environmental Health, Department of Health Extension, and affiliating nursing colleges.
The Department of Health Management aims to assist the PNG health sector with good managers possessing appropriate skills to manage the health care needs of the nation. The program presents a balance of theory and application with thorough direct instruction and the stimulation through short-term field excursions. The degree program commenced in 2001.
Programs offered within the Department of Health Management are:
Physiotherapy is a health care profession. Physiotherapists work in the fields of prevention and treatment of movement disorders that result in functional problems in daily life activities of people. Target populations for physiotherapy are people with permanent disabilities both within institutions such as hospitals and rehabilitation centres, as well as people in the community. In the hospital setting, physiotherapists work with patients with surgical, medical and paediatric disorders. People in Papua New Guinea who may benefit from physiotherapy assistance include for instance: people with amputations, brain damage, spinal cord injury, Cerebral Palsy, poliomyelitis, leprosy, burns, nerve or tendon damage, or congenital deformities such as clubfeet and spina bifida. Though physiotherapy in PNG emphasises services for people with permanent disabilities, also people with joint pains, back and neck problems and sports injuries can benefit.
The program in physiotherapy emphasises continuous learning, creativity and skills necessary for problem solving in an environment with limited resources. The course encourages questioning and critical thinking, to enable students and graduates to constructively contribute to health care within multi-disciplinary teams in a socially responsible manner.
Teaching methods in the program encourages the students to further develop an approach to learning characterised by questioning and critical thinking. Teaching methods include a combination of theory and practice in lectures, tutorials studios, seminars, classes, fieldwork, workshops, projects, clinical experience, summative assessment and some formative assessment through study, readings, research, assignments. Students often work in groups on case studies with an emphasis on problem solving.
Program offered within the Department of Physiotherapy:
The Environmental Health Officer manages the environmental health activities in the provinces, districts and towns of Papua New Guinea. They are specialists in the health environment field and they aim to help the local communities improve environmental health conditions through advising, educating and planning environmental health measures. The program aims to educate a person who will be able to, through health education, motivate communities and accept responsibility for a healthy and clean environment.
The Bachelor of Environmental Health degree program requires four years of full-time study.
The program is divided into five main areas of study: Basic Sciences, Administrative Management and Law, Communication, Community Health, and Technical Studies.
Program offered within the Department of Environmental Health:
The Bachelor of Health Sciences in Rural Health program focuses upon the preparation of Health Extension Officers for District Health Centres in the rural areas. These Health Extension Officers are responsible for patient care in the rural areas, the daily administration of the rural health centre, and the coordination of community health services.
The Health Extension bachelor program requires four-years of full-time study leading to the award of the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Rural Health. During the program there will be extended periods of placements in hospitals and health centres for practical application of learning.
Program offered within the Department of Health Extension:
- Bachelor of Health Sciences (Rural Health)
- Advanced Diploma in Emergency Medicine (Flexible Learning)
The prevalence of blindness and visual impairment throughout PNG is high. These conditions not only affect people’s quality of life, but have substantial economic implications for the community and government, through loss of productivity, and eye and health care costs.
An estimated 58,000 people over 50 in PNG are blind, with an additional 10,000 cases each year. Cataracts account for 70% of blindness, followed by refractive error, corneal diseases and trauma - all commonly treatable conditions. A further 550,000 are estimated to have low vision. The good news is that approximately three quarters of blindness and visual impairment is treatable. Eye care interventions are amongst the most straightforward and cost effective health care interventions, as long as eye health professionals have had appropriate training to provide the interventions. The bad news is that PNG is presently extremely under-resourced in eye health professionals. The one year Postgraduate Diploma in Eye Care (PGDEC) aims to address this gap by training up eye care professionals.
Program offered within the Department of Eye Care:
Affiliating Nursing Colleges
With the affiliation and/or amalgamation of a number of nursing colleges, Divine Word University will also present new opportunities in nursing education within PNG and the Pacific area. With the establishment of an experienced and qualified Faculty of Health Sciences, DWU brings an expertise and experience in the field of nursing education. DWU draws upon an accumulated experience of many years of involvement in the provision of nursing education through the established schools of nursing at Lutheran School of Nursing Madang (affiliated June 2001), College of Allied Health Sciences Madang (amalgamated February 2002), St Mary's School of Nursing (Vunapope) and St Barnabas' School of Nursing (Alotau).