As the population exceeds 20 million people in a small country like Sri Lanka public health challenges could expand tremendously. The practice of global public health has expanded to include a network of practicing epidemiologists working together and with other public health practitioners to address commonly shared challenges and opportunities.
Epidemiology is the key scientific discipline underlying some of the most important areas of medicine including public health, clinical research, clinical trials and health services research. Epidemiological studies and research has become an important tool in the study of aetiology of diseases, natural history of infectious and non-infectious diseases and in assessing health effects in populations. Epidemiological information is used to plan and evaluate strategies to prevent illness, as a guide to the management of patients and in animals in whom the disease in question has already developed.
There are increasing concerns about the adequacy of current training in epidemiology for public health practice. In preparing epidemiologists for the expanded scope of problems relevant to public health intervention, the proposed M.Sc/ Postgraduate Diploma course in Applied Epidemiology is designed to provide excellence in teachings of epidemiological, bio statistical concepts and methods. The emphasis will be given to practical applications of epidemiological methods in clinical and in public health settings.