Global Health Practicum - Africa

African Elephant The Global Health Practicum - Africa, part of the Public Health degree curriculum, is an introduction to multidisciplinary theories and techniques for assessing and addressing global health issues. The program will use HIV/AIDS as a program area to illustrate factors that contribute to ill-health in developing countries, including but not limited to culture, social-economic status, access to health services, food security, environment, human rights and public policy. The course is intended to prepare students to think-outside-the box, have a much broader perspective, when looking at public health challenges.

The practicum will be based in Zambia, a landlocked county in southern Africa which is home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world – the Victoria Falls, and arguably the most peaceful country in southern Africa. Students enrolled in this practicum will participate in classroom and field experiences to reinforce public health concepts discussed during the semester and will have the opportunity to see and reflect on life as it is lived by Zambians, and to marvel at the natural wonders, animals in games parks, interact with a people so hospitable and experience Africa’s development prospects. Keystone faculty, including Dr. Owen Simwale – a native of Zambia, in tandem with local nurses and physicians will guide participating students in making this opportunity a safe and experience of a lifetime!

The course will involve a pre-travel 8 hour preparatory classes, 40 hours of intensive coursework on global health to prepare students for field work, 16 hours on field work in Africa, participating in a public health evaluation of a public health program in Africa, and publishing a peer-reviewed article on an evaluation of a public health project in Africa. In the field students will be involved in  evaluating and writing a 5 page thesis on any of the following antecedents of  global health; HIV/AIDS surveillance and prevention., food security and health, population and culture, environmental and engineering. After completing this course, students will have acquired knowledge and skills necessary to support delivery of public health in developing and developed and developing countries.  Students learn the biological, social, political and economic context within which maternal and infant health problems arise.

To learn more about this trip and others, visit the trip opportunities for students, on the Study Abroad website.