Student Highlight – Oyewale Shiyanbola is a doctoral student in the department of Health Services Research and Administration. He is from Southwestern Nigeria and completed his MPH in Public Health Administration at the UNMC College of Public Health. He has a medical degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and has worked as a general medical practitioner in both urban and rural settings. His work with rural populations in Nigeria stimulated his interest in public health. The impact of preventive services in maintaining a healthy population and reducing the spread of disease became more apparent as he became increasingly involved in community vaccination and health education outreach programs. In some instances, administering preventive services in rural communities was challenging due to conflicting beliefs regarding certain health interventions, such as vaccine use. Additionally, he observed how inefficient health care organization and delivery led to poor health outcomes. Hence, he decided to pursue a degree in public health, focusing on the administration and policy track.
Working as a medical officer, particularly in rural settings, gave Wale the opportunity to work with multinational agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Some of the rural communities where he worked were still dealing with childhood killer diseases such as polio, which had been eradicated in most parts of the country. Hence, these agencies assisted with preventive services by providing health care personnel training as well as medical supplies, such as vaccines. Most importantly, they collaborated with the government both at federal and local levels in combating health challenges.
Wale’s research interests include health outcomes, policy, and economic analysis of health interventions. He hopes that in the future, his research and expertise will be useful in the United States and Nigeria in achieving health care improvement by influencing public policy and organizational decision making.
According to Wale, the College of Public Health has “worked hard to establish a wonderful learning environment.” He is impressed at the amount of resources available for faculty and students to further their research and develop themselves intellectually. He notes that the faculty and students are appreciative of everyone’s cultural background and that this has helped international students like him to fit in well, both in the college and in the city of Omaha.