Master of Science in Community Health & Development (MSc. CH&D)


In line with the philosophy of the university, the philosophy of the MSc CH&D is to harness knowledge in community health and development for the service of humanity.


Needs Assessment/market survey

The Master of Science degree programme trains specialists in community health capable of reducing disease burden for good health and sustainable population health. Adequate knowledge, skills and appropriate attitudes and practice are important for community health improvement and maintenance for sustainable levels of population health. Opportunities for quality training in community health are limited in eastern Africa and the rest of Africa, unlike the many opportunities for training programmes in other fields, many of which support human activities that lead to and eventually impact on people’s health.

The proposed Master of Science in Community Health & Development degree aims at producing specialists with appropriate knowledge and skills for promoting community health attitudes and practices. This will go a long way to check the imbalance by building capacity for community health in Kenya and the neighbouring African region for addressing improvement and maintenance of community health. The rationale of the programme, therefore, is to bridge the gap between tier one with higher tiers of health provision which for a long time have not been having the appropriate personnel, hence there is need to create a critical mass for health provision.

Justification of the need for the programme

Most of the community health and public health programmes offered in East Africa region and Horn of Africa do not have community health & development courses that can drive good policies capable of addressing the poor health outcomes, it is therefore anticipated that launching of this programme will go along in producing graduates who have the capacity to manage health problems at community level which are currently ironically managed at the facilities and thus decongest those facilities through management of some conditions at the household level.

Some countries like Kenya have developed career progression guidelines which require training of such cadres to enable them progress from one level to another.  Further to this, the re-engineering of primary health care places emphasize on strengthening the community pillar of which the graduates of Msc CH&D will play a big role.  Currently many universities in the East and Horn of African region are training Bsc CH&D degrees that may require furthering their education to Masters Level and thus the need to launch this programme to bridge that gap.


The goal of the MSc. CH&D programme is to enable students acquire competences to improve the quality of community health services through development of evidence-based community health policies and effective management of the community health care systems.


To be a centre of excellence in public health training, research, consultancy and community service.


To provide world-class public health education, research and innovation for preventive and promotive health care that contributes to individual transformation and sustainable global development.


 Learning Outcomes

The MSc. CH&D Programme aims at producing community health specialists capable of addressing community health issues from a global perspective and who can critically analyze community health related problems along with the social determinants of health with a view to proposing practicable home grown and long lasting solutions.

By the end of the programme, the graduate of MSC. CH&D programme shall be able to: –

  • Provide professional leadership in the practice of community health, including planning and implementation of community health programmes for health promotion, and disease prevention and control.
  • Advice policy makers and community health administrators on appropriate measures for health promotion, and disease prevention and control.
  • Provide leadership for the conduct of community health surveillance and inspection for identification of health risks / hazards for the prevention of related disasters and adverse effects.
  • Plan, implement and evaluate training programmes for community health practitioners including health professionals and community members.
  • Participate in and contribute to the conducting of community health research and dissemination of information.
  • Participate in and contribute to formulation, development and dissemination of community health policies.
  • Contribute to and participate in Continuing Professional Development of community Health.

Functions and Responsibilities

The functions and responsibilities of community Health Specialist have been formulated taking into consideration the current and future work environment under which s/he will perform in the health sector and also guided by the existing government career progression guidelines. The Community Health and Development specialists will be adequately prepared to undertake the following functions in community health and development:

  • Participating in planning, implementation and evaluation of preventive and promotive community health services
  • Applying appropriate community health measures for prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, including conducting disease surveillance and health promotion.
  • Planning, implementing and evaluating training programmes community health workers and practitioners, including professionals and community members
  • Conducting relevant scientific research and disseminating information on community health issues.
  • Formulating, developing and disseminating community health policies
  • Assessing the need for and participating in continuing professional development.

Career Opportunities

The modern health care systems are faced with a lot of challenges, i.e. that of dealing with rapidly increasing population and the need to improve and maintain the health of populations, mainly through promotive and preventive health care.  The health systems are overwhelmed by the numbers of people seeking curative care services that is ever increasing. Graduates of the Master of Science in Community Health and Development Programme shall be able to work in different types of health care organisations at various levels to enable the organizations to promote provision of community health services for health promoting and disease preventing, hence reducing the need for more curative care by reducing morbidity and ultimately the consequent unnecessary mortality. The Master of Science in Community Health and Development graduate is shall also be able to conduct research on the distribution and determinants of different health conditions and diseases, providing evidence for policy development and implementation.