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Pursuing an MPH to Advance Public Health Around the World

Meleki Wamulume headshot

March 29, 2022

Now more than halfway through the Master of Public Health (MPH) in Global Health program at the Dornsife School of Public Health's (DSPH), Meleki Wamulume has completed a good portion of the coursework. This includes classes on biostatistics and epidemiology, public health foundations, global health ethics, and more.

The Global Health MPH is an online program designed for students like Wamulume to learn from Dornsife's global health faculty who are actively engaged in the international community, working on critical global health issues including hunger, infectious disease, maternal and child health, occupational health, immigrant health, and urban health.

Specifically, he hopes to contribute to prevention efforts in his career. "Public health is wide-ranging, which makes it exciting, but prevention is key when healthcare is limited in availability for many people. We’re going to have more viruses and we’ll need systems put in place to protect us."

Wamulume saw the impact of infectious diseases on communities firsthand while growing up in Africa, which heavily influenced his decision to pursue public health. He was born and raised in Luanshya, Zambia, and moved to the U.S. at the age of 11.

"I witnessed how infectious diseases such as cholera and malaria can have a devastating impact on a community," he said. "When I compare the mortality of these diseases in the western world, I want to make the same advanced treatment modalities available in my homeland and around the world."

In addition to pursing his MPH, Wamulume also works at Drexel's Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services (commonly referred to as "11th Street" for short) as a Fitness Coordinator offering coaching services for individuals, staff, and groups. This role enables him to work across disciplines tending to the needs of diverse clients.

"The people I come across demonstrate an unprecedented level of courage as they maneuver though harsh realities and show up for themselves individually and as a collective," he said. "Now more than ever, public health is measured holistically. I am most proud to be able to contribute to an individual's physical and mental health by engaging them in wellness."

Wamulume is also part of Undoing Racism Group at 11th Street, which examines the roots of American racism and how it has penetrated individuals' lives, systems and structures that enforce and perpetuate racism and health inequity. "We use this knowledge to dismantle racism and create intentional and systematic changes within the organization where our anti-racism commitment is reflected in the life and culture through behaviors," he said.

In the spring of 2023, Wamulume is projected to complete the Global Health MPH program. “Upon graduation, I would like to head into the health administration field to oversee the daily operations of a healthcare site in underprivileged communities. I want to help develop and manage the facility’s work to ensure patients are receiving high-quality, holistic and preventative care."

Learn more about Dornsife's online Master of Public Health (MPH) in Global Health