Epidemiology is the study of the frequency, distribution, and determinants of disease and health related states and events in human populations. Epidemiologist study the variation of disease in relation to age, sex, race, occupational and social characteristics, place of residence, susceptibility, exposure to specific agents or other relevant characteristics. Also of concern are the temporal distribution of disease, the examination of trends, cyclical patterns and intervals between exposure to causative factors and onset of disease.
The scope of the field ranges from study of the causes of disease to the control of prevention of disease and distribution of health resources. It should be emphasized that epidemiology focuses on health problems in population groups rather than on an individual. Epidemiology is a relatively young field with constantly expanding boundaries.
The range of activities which may be at least partly epidemiologic includes investigation and control of disease outbreaks, study of environmental and industrial hazards, evaluation of new, preventive or curative clinical treatment, determination of the health needs of the populations, and evaluation of effectiveness of health services.
Many of the tools of epidemiology are borrowed from other fields such as statistics, demography, medicine, medical geography, microbiology and immunology. There is a growing core of purely epidemiologic methodology. This methodologic core includes not only statistical methodology and principles of study design but a unique way of thinking which is beyond the rote memorization of rules.
The contribution of epidemiology to any study involving groups of people is increasingly being recognized and demanded. An epidemiologist may work in a wide variety of settings, including international health agencies, Government and non-government organization, health maintenance organizations, colleges and universities, and numerous research institutions, both privately and publicly sponsored.
Since 2008, the Department of Epidemiology starts its journey at Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences to reduce the disease burden in human populations through research, education, and service. The mission of this Department is to provide rigorous training in the fundamental and practice of epidemiology, to contribute to the understanding of the etiology and prevention of disease, and to improve the health of the public through excellence in research.
We have an enthusiastic and productive faculty. The wide range of faculty interest areas and affiliations leads to numerous research opportunities for students in many areas of human health and disease, including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, injuries, maternal and child health, mental health, musculoskeletal conditions and infectious diseases. Nutritional, genetic, molecular, metabolic, demographic, environmental, medical, psychosocial, socio-economic and behavioral factors associated with disease risk and disease outcome are also under study. The faculty’s research is highly interdisciplinary and often is conducted in collaboration with outside institutions, as well as with many departments within the University. The Department of Epidemiology offers undergraduate degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics and MPH in Epidemiology under the faculty of Public Health.