Global Health

We conceptualize our planet as a global village. Nowhere is our degree of interdependency more evident than in the area of health. We live in an age in which a case of fever that that sends an Asian poultry farmer home sick, also sends chills down the backs of financiers in Europe and the United States. No longer can we afford to see AIDS as a single pandemic that might, in this single instance, necessitate providing advanced medicines and medical technology for the developing world. We are now in an age where the so-called developing world is creating both medicines and health programs that are being exported to other nations. It is essential that we see health as a fundamental human right, one that need not be imported, but rather is indigenous to all nations and all peoples.

This module will focus on international aspects of health sciences. Participants will explore the ways in which culture, economics and technology intersect to create access to health care as well as health care disparities. Controversial issues in health sciences such as the access to reproductive health care and the use of developing nations as testing sites for new medicines and health technology will be examined in order to help participants develop an appreciation for multiple perspectives and diverse opinions about the role and purpose of health science in the world. Home-grown health initiatives and programs will be explored as a way of both examining best practices and our own biases about the nature of “good” health care.

  1. Identify the social, political and economic factors that lead to health inequities around the globe
  2. Discuss the impact of education and technology in addressing global health concerns and health inequalities
  3. Understand the importance of cultural competency in understanding and addressing global health issues
  4. Explore their own preconceptions and biases about the nature of health and medicine