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MS & PGD MEDVC Programme 

MS & PGD Programme in Medical Entomology & disease Vector Control (MEDVC)

The MS and PGD in MEDVC offered by the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. MS is a two year course programme, while PGD is one year Programme. Both courses are administered by the Health Services Academy (HSA).


Goal of the MEDVC Programme

Pakistan, other neighboring and  Regional countries  are suffering from a hosts of vector-borne diseases such as Malaria, leishmaniasis, plague, Dengue, DHF, CCHF and other arboviruses that keep resurging or re-emerging, causing morbidity, mortality and disability. But unfortunately Pakistan and other neighboring countries are experiencing an acute shortage of qualified people to plan and manage disease vector control programmes at all administrative levels of health. In case of Pakistan this training programme nicely fits into the priority need for training arrangement for the vector control staff that are being recruited by the Ministry of Health, Pakistan, for each of the district (136 districts of the four Provinces) under the recent national strategy and planning. On technical basis it is estimated that each district needs at least 2 vector control staff. Therefore, this training course needs to be run for at least ten years to fill the existing gap of trained manpower in this specialized field The goal of this course is to fill this gap by training qualified students in the area of MEDVC.

Graduates from this course will initially go into operational disease vector control programmes in Pakistan at each District level. The critical mass of experts produced will also fill the gap of non- existing indigenous applied research in Pakistan and some of them will go for higher degree studies and teaching positions.


Objectives of the MEDVC Programme

Upon completion, the graduates of the Medical Entomology and Disease Vector Control should be able to:

  • Identify major vector-borne diseases and the vector species/pests responsible for transmission
  • Plan, implement, monitor and evaluate vector control programmes based on integrated vector and disease management approaches in accordance with the prevailing epidemiological, social and economic conditions.
  • Apply acquired knowledge in the control and prevention of vector-borne diseases in the country.

This will be achieved through acquisition of a matrix of skills acquired from seven modules including:

  • Knowledge of the major vectors and vector-borne diseases of relevance to the Region;
  • Skills to conduct entomological surveillance and operational research;

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Programme Organization and Structure

The intensive curriculum emphasizes basic principles of disease vector transmission and epidemiology with a focus on epidemiological/entomological investigations, vector control methods and programme planning, monitoring, evaluation and management.  The course programme will be conducted in a modular form building upon and integrating with each other in a total of 13 Modules organized in four semesters running for a total of 24 month period as follows:


First Semester

The semester will start with a one week orientation period for all students.  During this time students will be introduced to the Health Services Academy and its staff.

Module no 1 (DVC-301): Fundamentals of Medical Entomology, Vector bionomics and vector borne disease:

Module no 2 (DVC-302):  entomological Investigations: Introduction – sampling and rearing methods, vector identification, vector incrimination and vector surveillance.

Module no 3 (DVC-303): Entomological Investigations: Analysis and applications.

Module no 4 (DVC-304): Vector Control Vector control: Introduction to control tools and techniques

Module no 5 (DVC-305): Vector control: Methodology and analysis of Vector control

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Second Semester

Module no 6 (DVC-306): Epidemiological Investigations and Statistics

Module no 7 (DVC-307) Field training I: Malaria and Dengue vectors, Surveillance and data collection.

Module no 8 (DVC-308): Field training II:  Leishmaniasis vectors, Data analysis and report writing.

Module no 9 (DVC-309): Principle of programme management:


Third Semester

Module no 10 (DVC-310): Synopsis and thesis writing Applied field research proposal and evaluation

Module no 11 (DVC-311): Elective courses: Multi sectoral and sustainable approaches for integrated disease vector management.

Module no 12 (DVC-312): Research project and Dissertation


Fourth Semester

Module no 13 (DVC-313): Practicum (On-the-job assignment)

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Programme Organization and Structure for Post graduate Diploma Programme

First week will be orientation period for all students.  During this time students will be introduced to the various aspects of programme, the Health Services Academy and its staff.

The one year course will comprise of seven modules

Module 1: Medical Entomology, Disease Vectors and Vector-borne Diseases –

Module 2: Epidemiological Investigations and

Module 3: Entomological Investigations – sampling and rearing methods, vector identification, vector incrimination and vector surveillance.

Module 4: Vector Control – principles of vector control: methods and approaches,

Second Semester

Module 5: Essential Principles of Programme Management in the context of Integrated Vector and Disease Management

Module 6: Supervised Field training (2 months)

Third Semester

Module 7: Dissertation (3-4 months)

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Programme Duration, Credits and Medium of Instruction for MS programme

The MEDVC programme extends up to twenty four (24) months comprising four semesters. The first two semesters are dedicated to course work, culminating in an end-of-semester examination. In the third semester, the examination is held by mid-semester, and the remaining time is to be used to complete student dissertations. During the first three semesters, students are expected to attend all classes at the HSA; however, during the fourth semester, they may return to a job environment and carry out an on-the-job assignment as part of their practicum and submit a short written report and an appraisal from the immediate supervisor/mentor. All semesters are followed by semester break of up to four weeks’ duration. In the third semester all students have to conduct a field project leading to a dissertation. The total programme consists of 60 credits. One credit is equivalent to 16-18 hours of formal teaching/contact hours or 48-54 hours of practical fieldwork. Practical fieldwork is defined as consisting of individual fieldwork, group fieldwork, field visits, individual assignments and class exercises. English is the medium of instruction and examination for the MEDVC programme.


Programme Duration, Credits and Medium of Instruction for PGD

The first two semesters (module 1-5) will be dedicated to course work. In the end of each semester a written examination will be held. During this time all students are expected to attend all classes at the Health Services Academy. This will be followed by Module 6, a 2 months of supervised field training. During the third semester students are also expected to identify (with the support of a faculty member) and conduct a 3-4 months project leading to a dissertation. The total course programme consists of 60 credits. One credit is equivalent to 16-18 hours of formal teaching/contact hours or 48-54 hours of practical field work. Practical fieldwork is defined as consisting of individual fieldwork, group fieldwork, field visits, individual assignments and class exercise. English is the medium of instruction and examination for the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Entomology and Disease Vector Control programme.

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Semester-wise Distribution for MS

The distribution of the courses in the three semesters is given in the following tables.

Semester I:Credits 16 (All Core Courses)


Semester II: Credits 16(All Core Courses)

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Semester III: Credits 16(Core [c] as well as Elective* [e] Courses)

* Three out of seven elective courses need to be taken.

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Semester IV: Credits 12 (Practicum)


Semester-wise Distribution for PGD

The distribution of the courses in the three semesters is given in the following tables.


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Method of Assessment/Examination

Students are evaluated during each course on the basis of:

Formative assessment which is a mix of the tests, end of course examination, class and home assignments, class participation, interactive discussions, practical exercises and/or group works depending on the course outline (ongoing assessment);

Summative assessment based on the end of semester examination papers. Summative assessments are held at the end of first two semesters and comprise of two semester papers

each. In the third semester, the students are examined in the mid-semester summative assessment before the start of the Dissertation work. The Dissertation work is assessed through a viva voce examination on the basis of a structured format covering the quality of the project, work performed in the field, data generation and analysis and presentation of results, discussion and conclusions presented as a written report. In the fourth semester the students go back to their workplaces and apply the skills learned in the first three semesters. At the end of the semester an on-job written report will be submitted by the students in addition to the written appraisal by the designated supervisor/mentor. A joint agreement has to be made with the supervisor/mentor and the faculty advisors at HSA prior to the beginning of the fourth semester. This will be finally assessed by the senior faculty of HSA. Fifty percent marks shall be reserved for the ongoing (formative) assessment and fifty percent for the semester examination paper and dissertation (summative assessment). Candidates obtaining less than 50% in any of the examinations will be deemed to have failed in that paper/semester. A student failing in a paper (when scores of semester examination and ongoing assessment are less than fifty percent), will be allowed to clear that paper in the supplementary examination to be held within 3 months of the declaration of the result of the semester. However, a student accumulating more than two failures at any stage shall cease to be a student of the University. Each credit corresponds to 50 marks in the examination. 25 marks per credit are for the formative (ongoing) assessment and 25 marks for summative (end semester exam) assessment. The distribution of marks for each examination is:


Semester I (Credits 16)

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Semester II (Credits 26)


Research Project


Semester IV (Credits 2)

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Final Evaluation

Candidates passing all the semester/annual examinations shall be declared to have passed the MEDVC programme and shall be awarded the degree. The final evaluation of the students will be as per the existing university regulations. The minimum passing marks in each of the subjects will be 50%; however the overall cumulative minimum marks required for passing the MSc. MEDVC will be 60%.


Method of Assessment/Examination for PGD

Students are evaluated during each course on the basis of: Formative assessment which is a mix of the tests, end of course examination, class and home assignments, class participation, interactive discussions, practical exercises and/or group works depending on the course outline (ongoing assessment); Summative assessment based on the end of semester examination papers. Summative assessments are held at the end of first two semesters and comprise of two semester papers each. In the third semester, the students are examined in the mid-semester summative assessment before the start of the Dissertation work.

The Dissertation work is assessed through a viva voce examination on the basis of a structured format covering the quality of the project, work performed in the field, data generation and analysis and presentation of results, discussion and conclusions presented as a written report. Semester I and II consist of six Modules all of which contain in-course assessment tasks which must be completed. The assessments for modules 1-5, will each contribute 8% to the overall GPA, i.e. a total of 40%. The assessment for module 6 will contribute 10% to the overall GPA. At the end of term 2, students will sit a three-hour written examination that will contribute 20% to the final assessment. The dissertation will contribute 30% to the overall GPA.Marking of written examinations and in-course work will be done anonymously so that teaching staff are not aware of which student’s work they are marking, except where the assessment method precludes anonymity. Students will be assigned a candidate number for this purpose. Assessed work which contributes to the final degree result will be marked independently by two members of staff. Where discrepancies in marks occur, the two members of staff discuss jointly and agree a final mark.

Grading of course work for MS and PGD is as under:

Grade “A” 80% or higher

Grade “B” 60% to 79%

Grade “C” 50% to 59%

Fail Less than 50%

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Programme Evaluation

The programme will not be static, it will respond to feedback from students to help design for the future. Evaluation will be of two types: Modules: this type of evaluation provides feedback on the various parts of the course and is by questionnaires completed for each Module. There are open-ended as well as closed questions to allow full expression of your opinions: the evaluation will be carried out at the end of the course preferably when students submit their dissertations, and will use structured discussions on different aspects of the MS Programme. These discussions will be coordinated by the Course Organizer and the student representatives.


Programme Quality Validation

A selection of assessed work will be reviewed by an external examiner. In addition, the course should be externally reviewed every 2 years. This will provide essential information on the quality of the course offered and areas that need improving.


Admission Criteria and Procedures

The Health Services Academy abides by its strict merit-based criteria with absolute transparency to select its students for the MSc-HEM programme. Every year, the number of Pakistani and foreign students is fixed by the Board of Governors.

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Eligibility Criteria

Basic Qualifications

The candidate should possess one of the following qualifications or an equivalent degree from a recognized university or accrediting body.

Basic Qualifications for MS 16 years education in Biology/Zoology/Microbiology

Environmental Health

Agriculture

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Doctor of Medicine

Relevant MSc Degree

Basic Qualifications for PGD

14 years education in Biology/Zoology/Microbiology/Bio Chemistry

Environmental Health

Agriculture

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Doctor of Medicine

Relevant MSc Degree


Experience

Priority will be given to applicants with relevant work experience (minimum of 1 year) in public health-related fields especially in vector disease control programmes of ministries of health, environment, municipalities, armed forces, agriculture as well as the private sector. Applicants with no relevant experiences but with good scores in their undergraduate courses will also be considered.


Fee Structure

Will be updated soon.