Community Health

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Course Description

Community Health is a branch of medicine that is concerned with the health of the members of a community. The emphasis in community medicine is on the early diagnosis of disease, the recognition of environmental and occupational hazards to good health, and the prevention of disease in the community. It provides comprehensive health services ranging from preventive, promotive, curative to rehabilitative services. It focuses on the health problems of communities, as well as on those of individuals who are part of the community. This discipline is the key factor to achieve health for all.

This program allows students interested or involved with health care, the opportunity of experiencing cultural immersion while acquiring the Spanish language and engaging in hands-on field work in community health. Students will be able to combine Medical Spanish classes while working alongside Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia's physicians in clinics and health centers in low-income areas.

Students will work at one of the many health establishments associated with the program, 25 hours over the course of 5 weeks. They will receive 3 weekly hours of theoretical classes on Community health. On afternoons, 15 weekly hours of Medical Spanish classes will be offered on campus.


Field work and participation (40%)
Final project (30%)
Final exam (30%)MODULE 1

Organization of the Ministry of Health. Organization at the central level. Line of command. Technical administrative and assistance aspects. Organization and categorization of health centers.
Supply and demand of health facilities. Health needs. Characteristics and general operation of health facilities of primary care. Social participation in health. The social actors of a health center. Needs of the community. Community health: planning ahead and involvement of social actors.

Field work: Getting to know the health center, medical and administrative staff, history, daily activities.


Working outside of the health center:

1.-Members of the community. Their active role in the process of managing health.
2.- Importance of community census.

Population in epidemiological risk: Identifying families and individuals at risk.
Attention to demands and needs: Interviewing the patient. Health and disease and their relationship with the natural and social environment. Patient's and family's perception of the disease. How the disease affects their lives and the patient's familiar, social and working relationships.

Field work: Making a map of the community and recognizing its organization. Community census: primary care and comprehensive household visits. Other extramural activities.


Primary healthcare. Background and current situation. Organizational and conceptual aspects. Decentralization, regionalization and municipalization. The community and family-based comprehensive model of medical assistance (MAIS-BFC). National health strategies. Health insurance and social security. Historical background. Problems and perspectives.

Field work: The community and family-based comprehensive model of medical assistance (MAIS-BFC). Child, adult, pregnant women and senior care. Pharmacy.


Management of a primary care health center. Community diagnosis. Field epidemiology at a primary care health center level.

Field work: Epidemiology at a primary care health center level. Epidemiological surveillance. Immediate notification, weekly notification, negative notification. Case studies. Ministry of Health epidemiological form. Interview with the patient. Comprehensive health insurance system. Pharmacy.

  • Course Name

    Community Health

  • Sessions Available

  • Host University

    Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

  • Location

    Lima, Peru

  • Area of Study

    Health Science

  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units

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