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Nick Mawani Canadian Nick Mawani is President and CEO of Go Natural Health & Nutrition Centre Inc., Oshawa, Canada, and a current student on the University of Liverpool’s online MPH (Management of Health Systems) programme.

His passion is natural health care and in 2013 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to his community and country, specifically for the promotion of health care and healthy living; and for contributing significantly to the expansion of the use of Natural Health Products in Canada.

“I am most grateful to the University of Liverpool MPH programme for contributing to my academic learning, which I believe helped me articulate the value and importance of health in general, and the role of Natural Health Products (NHPs) in particular, to Canadian Health Policy at the highest political office in Canada.”

Why did you choose to study for an MPH with the University of Liverpool?

The University of Liverpool meets the criteria of having a reputation of excellent academic standards, being a member of the Russell Group “Ivy League” with eight Nobel Laureates and years of successful online MPH programme history.

I contacted Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and was told I would be able to apply for my PhD in Public Health if I had an MPH from the University of Liverpool. This confirmed to me that an MPH from the University of Liverpool would be recognised in Canada. The University also offered the exact MPH curriculum that I was interested in.

For a working professional like me, the only practical method of studying is online. It’s very convenient to be able to go to class any time, anywhere and get access to the University library 24/7. I absolutely love that flexibility.

What was your motivation for pursuing the MPH Management of Health Systems?

Given the global fiscal constraint and collapse, I believe that our health care systems are at formidable risk. Specialising in management of health systems will empower me to contribute my ideas in cost saving strategies without compromising quality of care.

How are you able to use the knowledge gained on the MPH programme to make a difference?

My company, Go Natural, aims to help people achieve optimal health “naturally”. It also has a political mission to educate, motivate and inspire leadership in the government of Canada to “go natural”, especially in Public Health. I have had many meetings with Members of Parliament and government ministers and I knew that an MPH would greatly enhance my ability to interact with the political leadership. Thanks to my MPH study, my political work has gained credibility and authenticity.

How do you balance and manage your time between your studies, work and personal commitments?

The key to success is discipline and focus. I choose a particular place and time set aside every day dedicated to my study. If I happen to get hectic days, I pre-plan my work so it does not and cannot overwhelm my ability to complete the required reading, discussion question and assignments. Studying at Liverpool has become my top priority and as such, all my family, friends and associates are acutely made aware, so they are very understanding and supportive.

Who did you interact with the in the online classroom?

So far, I have met students in the online forum from developed as well as developing countries who have greatly enriched my experience. They are from places as varied as Bermuda, Kenya, Nigeria, Oman, Malaysia, Trinidad, USA, UK, Canada, and Switzerland. They include social workers, nurses, doctors and a professor in microbiology. The students are truly international, from different cultures, religions and ethnicities, both men and women.

What is your top tip for staying motivated?

I constantly remind myself of the impact MPH can and does have on my ability to serve in public health. I visualise this every day.

What are your hopes and expectations as a future MPH graduate?

I expect to impact health policy with my MPH, particularly in evidence-based natural health product use in public health in Canada.

Evidence-based natural health products

In Canada, companies that legally sell natural health products (NHPs) – for example vitamins and herbs – have to provide evidence to show that the products are safe and effective. Nick Mawani has worked with others, including Canadian government officials, to expand the use of NHPs in Canada. “I believe evidence-based NHPs have not been utilised to the fullest extent and therefore they have great potential in particularly preventative medicine and treatment of chronic diseases,” he said.

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