According to the World Health Organization, one in three deaths is from an infectious or communicable disease, about 17 million deaths per year.
As a former registered nurse in Cameroon, Dr. Martin Ayong Ayim, now an endowed professor of health education at Grambling State, knows just how devastating this problem can be.
To help address this worldwide issue, the professor has authored a book titled Communicable Diseases for School and Community Health Promotion.
Besides writing the book, Dr. Ayim noted, “I will donate 10 percent of the book’s proceeds to fund an academic scholarship program benefiting orphans of victims of communicable diseases.”
Published by Authorhouse Publishing in 2011, the textbook is designed to inform both professional and non-professional health readers about the 132 communicable diseases.
Ayim says the book is reader-friendly and highly recommended for college courses in epidemiology or communicable diseases.
“During a community outreach session at the Nursing School in Bamenda, Cameroon, I remember going into a village and being told by an individual that intestinal worms were not bad for the body,” he explained. “From that moment on, I dedicated myself to learning more about infectious diseases so I could one day write a book that would help educate professionals and lay persons on the subject.”
To accomplish this task, Ayim attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where he received a B.S. in health administration and M.P.H. in community health education. He later earned a Ph.D. in health education from Texas A&M University.
Originally published in English, the book can now be obtained in French, and Ayim hopes to have a Spanish version in the near future.
“My book is really a dream come true,” the professor explained. “It is intended to provide health students and professionals, especially health educators and epidemiologists, the necessary information to be able to educate people about the transmission and control of infectious diseases.”
Ayim is certified in his field as Master Certified Health Education Specialist and has won the GSU Faculty Community Service Award.
“The government of Cameroon has adopted the publication for use in all medical and nursing schools as well as Schools of Community health and high schools,” he said.
As the chair of the Diaspora Health Literacy Advocacy Team, he is also leading the team effort to contact various countries and governments in developing countries in an effort to get them to infuse health education and health promotion as a subject in their K-12 curricula within the framework of Comprehensive School Health Education.
“I am passionate about this because there is a need,” he said. Ayim has developed a 100-page policy document titled “Blueprint for Comprehensive School Health Education in Developing Countries,” which he intends to use to conduct seminars and workshops in developing countries (www.minorityhealthpromotion.com).
Ayim, working with GSU students, developed the “INDICATE Model” a culturally-based health promotion program planning model which was published as a refereed article in the LAHPERD Journal. He has served on the Louisiana Grade-Level Expectation Task Force for Health Education.
Ayim won the Health Educator of the Year Award in 2004 and the Louisiana Ethnic Minority Award in 2005. He has served as president of DELTASOPHE Chapter of the Society for Public Health Education.
He is a GSU faculty athletic representative at the NCAA and serves on the Academic Performance Rate Task Force of the SWAC. Ayim also serves on the GSU Faculty Senate.
The book can be purchased at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, Barnes and Noble nationwide outlets, email@example.com, and www.authorhouse.com. The 496-page book lists for $65.99 in soft cover and $9.99 as an e-book.