I earned my bachelor degree in Public Health at Airlangga University, Surabaya with GPA 3.60 from 4.00 scales. I have put my interest in Epidemiology since I was in the 4th semester. It is interesting for me because there are not so many people that truly understand it, yet it is very important especially in disease control measurement. I also have read a lot of sources that telling me what epidemiology can do as one of the basic medical science in disease prevention.
Right after finishing my final paper, I have trusted to help my research advisor with his project on Surveillance of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis in East Java, led by East Java Health Department in collaboration with Faculty of Public Health Airlangga University and KNCV (NGO funded by Netherland government). Now that I am working for Institute of Tropical Disease owned by Airlangga University as junior researcher, I am currently involved in Phase III Clinical Trial of AVIMAC as a new candidate of caustic medication for Dengue fever. Even though I am only responsible in data entry for these two projects, I gain a lot of knowledge related to my interest in epidemiology. I finally understand the importance of doing epidemiological research since the result can be used as the basic consideration for decision-making process in health sector. The result of disease surveillance will describe the frequency, distribution and factors related to a disease among society. The result of clinical trial will determine whether a new medication can be given to the patients safely or not.
I am interested in Epidemiology because it is a study of the distribution, frequencies and factors related to certain type of disease. It will help health worker to identify the risk factors of diseases. This information will be useful in determining the preventive action of certain type of disease. Together with Biostatistic, the study designs in epidemiology will become a solid tool to investigate the correlation between the presence of exposure and the occurrence of disease. I believe that the major area of epidemiology such as disease control measurement, disease surveillance, clinical trial method, outbreak investigation, will be such a great investment to achieve a better health status especially for Indonesian people.
I believe that getting the opportunity to learn Epidemiology in United States would be a life changing experience and I want to share it by being a lecturer. I am willing to be a lecturer in Faculty of Public Health and actively conduct some epidemiological researches in Institute of Tropical Disease Airlangga University after my returning to Indonesia. Now that I already work for University, I think it is very possible thing for me to do.
In July 2010, I attended the Asia Pacific Forum held by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology which then made me experienced the atmosphere to learn outside of my home country. I made a lot of friends and we are still keeping in touch though it already passed 2 years. I learned a lot from that event, not only about the main topic that has been set by the committee but also the cultures brought by the across nations participants. I feel challenged and that was the point when my intention in pursuing my master degree abroad getting bigger. I even bought a book about study abroad. I have received a lot of support from my family, my friends, and some of my lecturers about my future plans. They always courage me to send the application and it is amazing to finally experience this Fulbright journey. I asked a lot of things from my lecturers that have achieved their higher degree abroad and they are very helpful. They gave me an overview on how is the difference of education atmosphere abroad compare to Indonesia.
I have worked in Institute of Tropical Disease for 8 months now. As junior researcher in Tuberculosis study group, I expected to come up with some new research ideas. But I cannot propose any research proposal yet because some research funding requires the researcher to at least owning master degree. The same requirement also applied to be able to be a lecturer in Faculty of Public Health Airlangga University. I believe that there still a lot of things I have to learn about epidemiology especially in principle of clinical trial, the epidemiology of infectious disease, and some other major in epidemiology. Therefore, this scholarship will mean so much for me.