239941 Teaching global health challenges: An opportunity for fostering scholarship of application and integration?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:20 AM

Alex Otieno, MPH, PhD candidate , Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, Arcadia University, Glenside, PA

This study highlights the use of case studies as a strategy for training undergraduate and graduate students to understand global health issues which the Institute of Medicine's (2003) landmark study “Who Will Keep the Public Healthy? Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century” recognized as increasingly important owing to public health professionals being called upon to address problems that transcend national boundaries. Course objectives, student reflections, final projects and course evaluations in two courses (international health and human rights and introduction to global public health) are used as data illustrating how teaching and learning about global health challenges provide opportunities for fostering scholarship of integration and application in the classroom.

Lesson learned

The history and contemporary situation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo provided a case from which students learned the intersection of health and human rights in gender-based violence, forced migration and epidemic diseases. Students were able to draw on social theory and ecological models as tools for explaining the dire situations. Additionally, graduate and undergraduate students with prior limited exposure to global health challenges demonstrated acquisition of project planning and implementation skills and the recognition of the role of advocacy in improving health outcomes.


Ongoing systematic analysis of implementation of global health curricular are needed to reveal the application of multidisciplinary approaches in illuminating the intersection of health and human rights as well as use of representational and “facilitational” health advocacy in health promotion and tackling health inequities in specific country case studies.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe how the Democratic Republic of the Congo was used to explore the scholarship of application and integration by focusing on the intersection of health and human rights in several iterations of graduate and undergraduate courses focusing on global health issues. Discuss the use of multidisciplinary theories and reflexivity as tools for preventing the potential of reinforcing misconceptions about developing countries in global health curricular.

Keywords: Advocacy, Human Rights

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed the health and human rights course for the graduate program in public health and introduction to global public health course for the undergraduate minor in public health and have offered both causes every year to students at Arcadia University. I have been conducting research on teaching about global health issues for several years now and have presented some of my previous findings at conferences such as the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.