HAS 914 Master In Public Health

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HAS 914 Master In Public Health

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HAS 914 Master In Public Health

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Course Code: HAS 914
University: University Of Wollongong

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Country: Australia

Apply a holistic approach towards health promotion planning using the knowledge and skills gained in HAS 914. Consolidate and critically apply the knowledge and skills gained in the subject to specific health issues. Review, apply and justify chosen responses to health promotion challenges using appropriate project design, management, evaluation and communication skills. Understand the benefits and limitations of different health promotion competencies.Consistently perform the health promotion competencies laid out by the Australian Health Promotion Association as being integral to professional practice. 

University students are vulnerable to food insecurity because they are at a risk of poverty and financial stress and it is the food insecurity that might affect their academic performances (Mansour 2014).
As per the health needs assessment it has been found that the food security still remains poor for the economically backward class of students studying in the Wollongong University. Many students are forced to buy cheaper and unhealthy food, eat less by limiting the portion sizes and skipping the meals (Mirabitur et al. 2016, He et al. 2012).  Some of the main predictors of food security among the Wollongong university students has been found to be financial stress, high prices of the available good food, different food patterns due to cultural diversity, distance and the transportation to the shops (Mansour 2014). In order the address the food insecurity among the university students,  an array of strategies have been undertaken, such as setting up lobbies and the stakeholders for the construction of the university committee involving the service providers, university authority and the government officials to construct food canteens within the university premises and other cheap food outlets around the committee especially for those who are still receiving education (Farmar-Bowers, Higgins and Millar,  2012). This paper will evaluate the potential health impacts of the strategies taken on the Wollongong university students.
The potential health impact of the strategies are mainly positive, such as it will decrease the consumption of unhealthy and synthetic food (Johnston, Fanzo and Cogill 2014). Consumption of fresh fruits and the vegetables from local food outlets selling healthy food at low prices would help in controlling the chronic diseases like diabetes and the obesity (Maroto et al. 2015).
Such initiatives would potentially help to mitigate the food insecurity as construction of the local food outlets within the Wollongong community and the university canteens supplying nutritious food at cheap prices would increase the accessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables (Maroto et al. 2015). Construction of the lobby groups involving politicians and university committee would also help in enhancing the importance of the issue (Mansour 2014). One of the risks associated to such initiatives are that the whole strategy might be time consuming and constructions of food outlets throughout the Wollongong community supporting the needs of the students can be difficult as it would require extensive funding and time (Cady 2014). Furthermore arranging a food aid program would require sufficient funding, which university authorities might not want to bear. Another drawback is that the entire program is based on the survey conducted in the university premises and might not represent the entire community.
The interventions are mainly meant for the members of the Wollongong students belonging to low socio-economic background, especially of the Illawara area. Hence, construction of university committee would give a greater emphasis on the incidence of food insecurity among the university students (Lawrence, Lyons and Wallington 2013). The education that will be provided in the food aid program will be important for the students as it will help them to understand about the pros and cons of having cheap and unhealthy foods (Mirabitur et al. 2016). Further instructions should also be given on cooking methods for the restoration of the nutritive value.
Considering the negative impact of such approach; such as the unavailability of the proper spaces and the unwillingness of the university to spend extensively on the food aid program and huge amount of time required to arrange for the government funding.
The monitoring of the health impact will be done by the conduction of surveys and interviews to investigate any health improvement taking place within the Wollongong university students. The data will be tallied with the data collected before about the health status of community people.
Hence it can be said that that the construction of university community, university canteen and food outlets providing cheap and  healthy the food, a food aid program to provide education- are the ways of addressing the food insecurity among the local and the international students of the  Wollongong University.
Advocacy plan
Public health advocacy is one of the important duty of the health care professionals. It has already been mentioned that in order to address the food insecurity among the Wollongong University students, government funding and extensive support from the stakeholders such as the university authority and student representative is required. Getting in touch with the politician, federal or local government might accelerate the interventions that is the construction of the university committee and the construction of food outlets supplying healthy foods to learners (Lawrence, Lyons and Wallington 2013)..
The target audience for the advocacy plan are the Wollongong students. The main stake holders for the advocacy plan are the university authority and health care professional and the nutritionist for the needs assessment and a member of government official.
The goal of the advocacy plan is to decrease the food insecurity among the Wollongong students by addressing the issue like high prices of nutritious food and increasing the accessibility to good food by the construction of the food outlets where nutritious food will be available at cheap prices (Lawrence, Lyons and Wallington 2013).
The key message for this health advocacy plan is that students are requested to refrain from fast foods, high caffeinated drinks, sweetened and alcoholic beverages as that might lead to obesity and other chronic diseases (Cady 2014).
A more detailed research about the food security among the university students are required. The food aid program would provide recommendations to the students about health life style and how the university authority and the government would soon be funding for provisions of cheap healthy food within the university canteen or provision of nutritive foods in different oulets, which the students can obtain by showing their university cards.
The indicators for the strategies is that the service committee will be in action within two months of the nutritional assessment program. Finally the evaluation survey after nine months will evaluate the effectiveness of the survey.
Media releases and letter to the editors, letters to the politicians and meeting with politicians, can be the important advocacy tools to take the grievances to the government as well as disseminate information about the initiative to the Wollongong university students.
Cady, C.L., 2014. Food insecurity as a student issue. Journal of College and Character, 15(4), pp.265-272.
Farmar-Bowers, Q., Higgins, V. and Millar, J. eds., 2012. Food security in Australia: Challenges and prospects for the future. Springer Science & Business Media.
He, M., Tucker, P., Gilliland, J., Irwin, J.D., Larsen, K. and Hess, P., 2012. The influence of local food environments on adolescents’ food purchasing behaviors. International journal of environmental research and public health, 9(4), pp.1458-1471.
Johnston, J.L., Fanzo, J.C. and Cogill, B., 2014. Understanding Sustainable Diets: A Descriptive Analysis of the Determinants and Processes That Influence Diets and Their Impact on Health, Food Security, and Environmental Sustainability–. Advances in nutrition, 5(4), pp.418-429.
Lawrence, G., Lyons, K. and Wallington, T., 2013. Food security, nutrition and sustainability. Earthscan.
Mansour, R., 2014. Food security among students at University of Wollongong.
Maroto, M.E., Snelling, A. and Linck, H., 2015. Food insecurity among community college students: Prevalence and association with grade point average. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 39(6), pp.515-526.
Mirabitur, E., Peterson, K.E., Rathz, C., Matlen, S. and Kasper, N., 2016. Predictors of college-student food security and fruit and vegetable intake differ by housing type. Journal of American College Health, 64(7), pp.555-564.

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