International Public Health (BMED)
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Area of Study
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
• Understanding of basic concepts and theories used in the field of IPH
• General knowledge of all aspects involved in international public health, such as the main infectious and chronic diseases, sexual and
reproductive health, child & youth health, nutrition, and the environment.
• General knowledge of country level issues regarding health, how they relate, and how they are influenced by global trends
• Being able to critically analyze (search, select, interpret) data and information in the field of international public health and present them in writing and orally
International public health (IPH) is a field that comprises health issues affecting low- and middle-income countries and deals with health challenges transcending national boundaries. Due to the globalizing world, these challenges become more and more complex. It concerns the development of specific interventions and health care facilities that are accessible, affordable, and appropriate for the entire population. The specific focus is on low- and middle-income countries with high mortality and morbidity rates and often inadequate operating health services.
International public health is grounded in a large variety of scientific disciplines, e.g. epidemiology, biomedical sciences, health sciences, management, psychology, anthropology, policy sciences, ethics, and sociology. Therefore international public health is predominantly an interdisciplinary field. Its second main feature is the emphasis on “equity”. The basic principle is that the obtained knowledge about good health should benefit all groups in the society. The third feature is related to worldwide trends, e.g. urbanization, migration, technological development and globalization. These trends have an enormous impact on health and sickness. Studying the worldwide trends is a major aspect of international public health.
This course provides a general overview of all aspects involved in international public health, with a specific focus on health issues in
low- and middle income countries, as well as how countries deal with their health care issues.
First the general context and background of international public health will be addressed, including the growing burden of disease and
determinants of health. Then, throughout the course, diseases that constitute major parts of the global burden of disease will be elaborated. These include: infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and intentional and unintentional injuries. Other major areas
such as sexual and reproductive health, child and youth health and mental health will also be covered. Among important determinants of
health, nutrition and environment will also be covered. Health issues in complex emergencies, including conflict and war, will be provided as it is an area of growing concern in the international health arena. The course will end with an outlook towards how science and technology can provide solutions to global health issues.
Lecture 28 hours
Assignments (workgroup sessions & group assignment) 75 (10 + 65) hours
Self-study 55 hours
Exam 3 hours
TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
Your final grade is built up as follows:
- 50% final exam
- 50% group assignment (presentation 10% + portfolio 40%)
A minimum score of 5.5 for all components is required in order to pass.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Some courses may require additional fees.