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Global Health 15 hp (part of the program Development and International relations 120 hp)

Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Environment and Technology, Department for Environment and Tourism
Syllabus, Lecture, Seminar, Course material, Readings, Exercise
Thematic Area
Factual description
A search was made for courses dealing with complex issues at the School of Natural Sciences, Environment and Technology. Within the program Development and International relations four courses we found, the curricula and course materials were analysed and a focus group interview was conducted with the responsible teachers.

The course addresses the multidisciplinary problem area of global health. The focus is on common, but often neglected, infectious diseases, especially in low-income countries, and the consequences of epidemics and disease progression for spread, prevention and control. The focus is also on differences in quality and validity of different health indicators. Underlying statistical data and consequences for usability and evaluation are discussed, including the global sustainable development goals. The students conduct in-depth analyses of health factors and how they influence the health status and health development of populations in societies with different cultural and structural conditions. Health organisation and cooperation, as well as changes to and the consequences of health policy and health systems at different structural levels are analysed. The course is based on different theoretical perspectives in political ecology on global health in order to analyse how socio-economic and cultural conditions, human rights, gender and the environment affect health development. The course problematises and analyses central processes and their development within global health based on different theoretical approaches.
Relevance in complex systems
This course was selected because of the multidisciplinary and complex topic. Health indicators form the basis of the course and explanations to differences are sought in a variety of environmental, social, political, and cultural factors. Through a project work the students are challenged to address the complexity of a particular and situated health problem and formulate an idea for solution. The course also contains a lecture and seminar on health systems which provide an opportunity to do an exercise on systems analysis based on a variety of health actors and institutions, and their relations.
Strong points
Connecting microbiology to environment, to social and political issues. Highly valuable and relevant in the covid 19 situation, which served as an excellent example and experience.
Transferability potential
The approach to engage with the entire spectrum from microbiology to society can be transferred to other courses as well as to other programs