Jyotsna Srinath, Public Health Analyst at Essex County Council, kindly answered some questions about her public health journey. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
1. How did your journey start in public health?
My journey to public health was not traditional. I was training as a dentist in India, and during my undergraduate course, I understood a pilot study to count the effect of liquorice root extract lollipop on caries causing bacteria in a sample of children. Overseeing every aspect of the study quite attracted me to the impact of public health and how it can lead to widespread impact (Needless to say, I had a very happy sample of schoolchildren at the end of the project :)
This prompted me to do a master's in public health and epidemiology, and when I had the opportunity to study at LMU, I had to take it!
2. What areas of public health are you the most passionate about?
Very passionate about chronic diseases, epidemiology, Global health, i.e., carrying out projects in low and middle-income countries working with local communities to reduce health inequalities. I am also really interested in the epidemiologic impact of climate change and what we, as public health professionals can do to mitigate it.
3. What attracted to you become a public health analyst?
Looking at my interests, being a public health analyst felt like a natural next step to me. It would allow me to work closely with communities and see your work have an impact in real-time.
4. What training did you undertake to become a public health analyst?
There are always new skills and technologies, and you constantly need to upskill to keep up. I had training in office tools like excel, word, literature research, data analytics tool like STATA, RStudio, SAS. I am currently training in PowerBI.
5. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the different projects that are being carried out. Things like JSNA (Joint strategic needs assessment) give the opportunity to "tell a story" about what is happening in the community.
6. What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
COVID related work comes with a lot of responsibilities. You need to provide timely reporting to help the public health consultants and health protection boards take appropriate decisions.
7. What is your top tip for someone starting their career journey in public health?
I would like to repeat what I heard from another public health professional when I was a master's student. In public health, you really have a chance to save lives. But even though you don't actually see in front of your eyes, it translates to lives saved from an outbreak or averting years of lives lost to obesity, diabetes, poor mental health, and I think that's really meaningful.