INTO THE SYSTEMATIC REVIEW … My intership experience!!

– Prativa Basnet –

During the orientation courses of public health programme we had been informed about some of the organizations that we could possibly work as an intern and gain hands-on experience in the field of our interest. I deeply wanted to get involved in some research work to learn and contribute to the publications but was not hopeful I might find any opportunity.

In one of the lectures for the course Research Process in Public Health, I had an opportunity to know more about the Finnish Institute of Public Health and the cochrane review work. I didn’t wait longer to send my CV and express my interest to work as a volunteer in a systematic review. Fortunately, my call was heard and I was invited for an interview and then after solemn discussion on my experience, interest and motivation the reaction was positive.

Things started to roll on. I was assigned to work in an existing systematic review already done by the Cochrane Work Review Group. The main author of the paper was Henk Van der Molen from Netherlands. I got introduced with him on the second day of the internship. He was happy to include me in his team and that made me even glad to begin the work as a team. I had to update the recent evidences and publications on the subject we were working in. Basically as the process of systematic review, with the existing search strategy we retrived all the articles published after September 2012. The articles were screened in the webtool considering the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Initially the title screening was done followed by the abstract screening. From the filtered articles, the full text review was done and we choose the articles for the recent update that met the selection criteria. The PICO answer format for each article was followed. The data extraction was done from each of the articles and tallied the information with the team and agreed upon for every component. For each of the article the risk of bias assessment was done and using the software RevMan5.3 the information was updated and analysed. Though I have worked for many years in health programs in my country, working in a systematic review like this was something I was doing into for the first time. I was fortunate because the team members were so kind and patient to brief me in detail. So in a positive team, I got to learn and complete the work in a very smooth manner. We had interrupted time series studies that I had to deal and understand. To learn to interpret the results and summarize the most current scientific evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to prevent injuries associated with construction work; grading the quality of each evidence based on GRADE approach was interesting. After months of hardwork, finally the review work was complete and so was my term of internship. I am hopeful the publication will be soon available publicly!


– Sujala Mathema-

I am Sujala Mathema from Nepal and I did my internship in Cochrane work. Cochrane Work is one of the branches of Cochrane. Cochrane is a non-profit organization that works in producing systematic reviews on health care interventions and promotes use of clinical trials. However, Cochrane work reviews topic related to effectiveness of occupational health interventions. These interventions help to improve adverse health outcomes at work like exposure to hazardous agent at work, harmful behaviors at work, occupational diseases, disorders, injuries, disability or sick leave. Nevertheless, the interventions also help in health promotion at work.

I learned about systematic review in my Master’s program in public health. I wanted to utilize my acquired knowledge into practice. Cochrane work has given me a platform to make use of my knowledge and work independently on systematic review. I was lucky enough to have this institute in Kuopio where I am living currently. The working environment is very flexible and comforting. The staffs in the institute is very welcoming and humble. It is a wonderful place to work if you want to take your study and internship simultaneously. This experience will not only make you learn about systematic review but give you an experience to work in a Finnish working environment. I highly recommend this institute to those students who have interest to learn about systematic review.

So, what we do in Cochrane???? You can find out about Cochrane review from the link given below.

If you want to know more about Cochrane work, here is the link for it

Kia Ora from Aotearoa!

– Lucy Wu –

Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand and translates to the ‘land of the long white cloud’. I am incredibly fortunate to call this stunning country my home. Below is one of our famous black sand beaches from the west coast of the North Island.

Finland and Aotearoa are on opposite sides of the world, so here are a few facts about Aotearoa…

– Kia Ora means ‘to be well/healthy’ and is used as a greeting, farewell and expression of thanks
– Aotearoa is made of 2 main islands, North Island and South Island, with around 600 smaller islands within its waters
– Our national bird is the Kiwi; we also refer to ourselves as Kiwis
– We have the longest place name in the world
‘Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu’ which is roughly translated as “the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as the land-eater, played his nose flute to his loved ones”.
– First country to give women the vote in 1893
– Wellington is the southernmost capital in the world
– We have a very diverse and multicultural population with people from all around the world
– Auckland is the largest city where about 1.5 million people live; this is just over 1/3 of the county’s population
– Sir Edmund Hilary was first to climb Mt Everest and is on the $5 note
– We are a very friendly country where it is normal to smile and say hello to people you pass on the street, even when you don’t know them!

I went to Finland to complete a Master’s in Public Health and came back to complete an internship at a primary health organisation in Auckland called ProCare Health Ltd.

During this internship I worked on a project to help with the government’s goal of Smokefree 2025 where they aim to have less than 5% of the population smoking. The current rate is just over 15% with great variation depending on ethnicity, age and socioeconomic status. The internship itself was very challenging and it was a taste of how national policies and programs are actually implemented in the field. I was fortunate enough to attend many community events, below is the annual lantern festival where we got some delicious food!

Aotearoa is a very complex country from the health lens as it is not a homogenous population. There are specific needs for each population, which makes it incredibly hard to decide from the local to national level which issues to focus on and dedicate funding too. Though the country is highly developed, very blessed geographical and possess an open mind-set over all – there are still many challenges to overcome. In light of all the challenges and complexities, Aotearoa offers unique opportunities to make an impact and learn a great deal along the way. The country is fortunate enough to provide the opportunity to be at the forefront for many disciplines, from rowing to farming to earthquake engineering. The people, the nature and the food are definitely worth the long flight down to the bottom of the world.

Welcome to read Public Health students in action blog! This blog gives you glimpses into what it's like to be a public health master´s degree student in practical training. Here you will find posts by our international students who are doing their internships in Finland or abroad.