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Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Together for more healthy years
Aletta Jacobs School of Public HealthAletta's Stories

Marieke van Dijk

Resilience - partner

Marieke van Dijk, public health consultant GGD Drenthe

I was born in Chile and grew up in Colombia. We lived there until I was 11 years old. My parents worked in development cooperation. I did not have the ambition to become a doctor when I was younger, but I did know that I wanted to be committed to people dealing with poverty and injustice. When I finished high school I decided to study medicine. Once I started studying I realised I wanted to know more about the broader developments in society and after my second year I also started studying Cultural Anthropology and Sociology of Non-Western Societies. In the end I completed both. For a research, I went to live in Peru for a year, in a small village at 4000 meters high. There I interviewed Indian women about how their view on contraception. I did my internships in Curaçao and Mexico. I stayed in Mexico and continued my research on sexual and reproductive health and rights. After eight years I wanted to return to the Netherlands and I started working for an organisation that focused on, among other things, mother and child care in Indonesia. After three years I made the switch to health care in the Netherlands. I wanted to work for the health of people in the area I was a part of myself.


My name is Marieke van Dijk. I am a public health consultant at GGD Drenthe. The GGD is an organisation focused on public health. When I came to work here, I realised how many different tasks the GGD has, particularly in the area of ​​prevention. We work for and with the Drenthe municipalities. The National Prevention Agreement is currently a hot topic. I think the biggest challenge in my position is that the effects of prevention can only be seen in the long term. At the same time, I think it is extremely important to continue to focus on prevention. I think that the collaboration between Aletta and the GGDs certainly has added value. Aletta can do scientific research on public health issues. The GGD has a lot of information about what people or municipalities encounter, what issues are involved, or what type of public health knowledge is needed. There are also GGD employees who would like to participate in research projects. The recommendations and results based on the scientific research can again be applied in practice. If you make that connection properly, you can make a difference.

Marieke van Dijk
Last modified:16 May 2019 12.45 p.m.
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