This course is designed to acquaint the student with the variables associated with population and public health and to provide ideas about how to address these issues.
The health of populations has an intimately reciprocal relationship with human history and cultural development. When we study population health and disease prevention, we are studying patterns of disease in order to better understand the causes of disease as well as methods of prevention for these diseases. We know that the causes of disease vary throughout the world and across the life span, and we also know that we must adapt our disease prevention interventions to the demography and culture of the target populations. These interventions will vary at the individual, community and population levels. This class will help students explore different cultural influences, including psychological, sociological, political, religious, and economical factors that influence population and public health. We’ll conclude with a practical project that includes programmatic and theoretical steps to “solving” a population health issue.
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Date: September 27, 2018
As we examine the importance of public health practices, we will visit the Ghanaian Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service headquarters in Accra. While there, we will meet with administrators to examine the practices and objectives of their offices, focusing on maternal and sexual health, prenatal and infant health, nutrition, and communicable disease prevention. We’ll discuss financing and budgeting, prioritization of health concerns, needs assessments, and future directions. We’ll also discuss successful and failed previous efforts to gain a better understanding of the difficulties and strategies of implementing a public health effort. Finally, we’ll contrast this with the current health system in the US, which is reactive and focuses mainly on lifestyle diseases such as cancer and CVD. The experience will conclude with a student project, wherein the student will develop and describe a future public health project for Ghana, using past projects as models of success and failure. Learning Objectives: Explore current trends in public health behaviors and solutions in countries with different approaches to healthcare.