About the Department

Over the last decades, Epidemiology has entered new phases in terms of its philosophical and scientific basis.  Firstly, the field has expanded from “risk factor” epidemiology or what Susser’s coined as ‘the black box paradigm’, which largely focused on studying infectious disease. Secondly, the era of “Big Data” has brought large scale biological, social, and environmental data which can be considered as an opportunity. The increasing availability of collected “data” on the health and behaviors of individuals and societies has prompted enthusiasm about enhancing disease surveillance through alternative data streams, methodological advancements in epidemiology, biostatistics. Nonetheless, despite its advancement, as the global population is growing, public health challenges is also expanding, hence the world continues to suffer from repeated outbreaks of infectious diseases.  Moreover, “neglected” infectious diseases challenge low and middle-income countries (LMIS). 
The aforementioned challenges call for the need for epidemiological research and practice toward improving public health and health care and to understand the causes of diseases in populations search for causal relations and the improvement of public health. In response, epidemiology is in rapid flux and has entered an intellectual rebirth and has been fundamentally framed in terms of means of communication, its methodologies, its access to data, its values, its population perspective. 
Accordingly, the Department of Epidemiology was established in 2005 with the aim of training component master level graduates both in general public health and epidemiology specialty in response to country’s demand of competent professionals. Additionally, master of public health in field epidemiology was launched in 2016 in collaboration with the federal Mistry of Health, and Ethiopian Public Health Institute.  Currently, the department has the following graduate programs:

  1. General MPH
  2. MPH in Epidemiology
  3. MPH in Field Epidemiology

Currently the department has prepared itself to launch shortly doctoral level trainings in biostatistics (curriculum endorsed) and epidemiology (curriculum is in the process of endorsement).  
Vision of the Epidemiology Department: 
The department of Epidemiology aspires to be center of excellence in public health and epidemiology research, training and services to contribute to health and development of the country. 
Mission of the Epidemiology Department:
The mission of the department is to give appropriate training that equip students and other organization staffs with relevant and applicable knowledge and skill integrated with services as part of disposing national and international responsibilities in producing skilled human resources, render service and participate in research undertakings.
Objectives of the Epidemiology Department:

  1. To achieve its mission, the department has the following objectives:
  2. To train master and doctoral level competent graduates who are well equipped with advanced health research skills capable of leading and conducting independent research at both national and international levels.
  3. To deliver common course and educate professional career development in epidemiology, biostatistics, research methods, disease control and prevention and disaster management through graduate degree program, and to further educate individuals in the public health forces by enhancing their knowledge and skills to solve community problems.
  4. To conduct ethically and scientifically sound health researches that contribute to health and development of the country;
  5. To play active participatory role and give professional support in emergency and epidemic situations;

Provide services to the local community, conduct trainings and consultancy services based on interests and needs of stakeholders.
Strategic Directions:
In line with strategic of Jimma University the Department of Epidemiology gives emphases on the following:

  • Collaborations with local stakeholders for trainings of its graduates and research undertakings;
  • Conducting researches on priority health problems that have high possibility being funded;
  • Creating links with local and international institutions to foster collaborations in teaching, researches and grant applications;
  • Competing in research consultancy services in order to increase staff and student engagement.