Disease, Epidemics and Society

3130:
Discipline: Anthropology
Instructor: Shepherd
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1300
End: 1415
Field Class: Day 1 in Cape Town - Wednesday, 25 March and Day 1 in Walvis Bay - Thursday, 02 April | Disease, Epidemics and Society Download Syllabus

Topics covered in this course will include emerging diseases and leading killers in the twenty-first century, disease ecology, disease history and mortality transitions, the sociology of epidemics, the role of epidemiology in the mobilization of public health resources to confront epidemics, and the social processes by which the groups become stigmatized during disease outbreaks.  This is a course that seeks to present a holistic view of global health by drawing on work crossing several disciplines, including anthropological demography, epidemiology, history of public health, disease history.   This is not a course in medical anthropology narrowly conceived.  The focus is primarily on acute outbreaks of communicable disease and the societal response, and will include analysis of recent outbreaks in some of the countries we visit.

Field Class

Day: 1 in Cape Town - Wednesday, 25 March and Day 1 in Walvis Bay - Thursday, 02 April

We have scheduled 2 half-day required field labs for the course, in Cape Town on the afternoon of 25 March and in Walvis Bay on the afternoon of  2 April. PART I - CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA We will be the guests of Hope Cape Town Association in our visit to Blikkiesdorp in the Township of Delft, a settlement of 1500 shacks and as many as 10,000 people, many of them children.  In Blikkiesdorp (“tin can village”) electricity is limited and there is a supply of water, but the sewer system is inadequate so that as many as 40 people must share one toilet.  We will meet with the Association’s co-founder  Rev. Fr. Stefan Hippler who will discuss the Association’s work at Tygerberg Children’s Hospital, which provides specialty pediatric care for infants with HIV/AIDs, TB or various cancers. We will also meet Pauline Jooste, a senior nurse responsible for the training of all HOPE Community Health Workers, and Izane Reyneke who manages projects in community based HIV care.  We will meet with community health workers and volunteers to discuss the challenges they face in bringing health care and sanitation to a very low income population living in a community with few resources and little health or sanitary infrastructure.  Hope Cape Town Association is a nonprofit organization which offers community outreach, education and counseling focusing on HIV/AIDS and TB in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.  Through this experience participants will gain insight into HIV/AIDS and poverty in South Africa and the implications for families and societies.  Please plan ahead to bring one or two items to donate to Tygerberg Children’s Hospital. Academic Objectives: 1.           Allow students to experience what an international effort is like to combat infectious diseases. 2.           Allow students to learn how national policy and strategy is formulated in an African country to tackle infectious disease. 3.           Allow students to gain a better perspective of how developing countries utilize resources to combat infectious diseases. PART II - WALVIS BAY, NAMIBIA The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Walvis Bay area is a staggering 28%.  We will be introduced to this plague by visiting the Walvis Bay Multipurpose Centre Trust, which has been established (through USAID and other sources) to help deliver HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs along with a host of other services including literacy and business clubs. Academic Objectives:

  1. Allow students to experience what an international effort is like to combat infectious diseases.
  2. Allow students to learn how national policy and strategy is formulated in an African country to tackle infectious disease.
  3. Allow students to experience first hand the challenges of community development and public health work in a resettlement project lacking water, sewer and basic infrastructure  and the variety of community outreach efforts used to empower community members.
  4. Allow students to gain a better perspective of how developing countries utilize resources to combat infectious diseases.