Struggles for Global Health Equity: Local Knowledge and International Partnerships will explore how individuals, families, communities, and institutions define and pursue health; and how they respond to gaps, barriers, and inequities in this pursuit. We will define health broadly to include the physical and mental health of individuals at various points in the lifespan, but also the broader contexts – political, environmental, economic, cultural, historical, and scientific – out of which individuals’ health experiences and needs emerge and to which they contribute.
This 360 aims to help students begin to understand both significant problems of and promising approaches to the practice -- and study -- of community health promotion. By exploring how disciplines in science, social science, and the humanities define and investigate health, students will learn how an interdisciplinary perspective can inform research and practice. Through a complementary, three-pronged experiential component, students will also learn from grassroots practitioners.
Global Health Equity Courses:
History 336: History of Disease and Medicine(s) in Africa
The course, taught by Kalala Ngalamulume, will focus on the issues of public health history, social and cultural history of disease as well as the issues of the history of medicine. We will explore various themes, such as the indigenous theories of disease and therapies; disease, imperialism and medicine; medical pluralism in contemporary Africa; the emerging diseases, medical education, women in medicine, and differential access to health care. We will also explore the questions regarding the sources of African history and their quality.
Independent Programs 311: Reproductive Health and Justice
Taught by Kaye Edwards. This seminar examining disparities in reproductive health outcomes, access to sexual health care, and protections of reproductive rights within Nicaragua and the United States. Topics include maternal mortality, contraceptives and abortion, cervical cancer, domestic and sexual violence. These will be examined in their historical and political contexts, based on published literature in public health, human rights, and gender and sexuality; dialogues with health providers, gender rights activists, and grassroots community groups; an 8-day educational delegation to Nicaragua over fall break. This seminar will analyze the influences of poverty, religion, and patriarchy on reproductive health and justice and the potential for activist groups to improve health outcomes and secure women’s rights.
Social Work 563: Perspectives in Social Welfare: Local to Global
Taught by Cindy Sousa. Globalization fundamentally shapes the contexts of our daily lives. There exists impressive evidence of “globalization from below”-the proliferation of on-the-ground, affirmative connections between people, including global partnerships for the promotion of health, social justice and well-being. At the same time, “top-down” globalization bolsters neoliberal models that promote unequal relationships related to trade relationships, aid programs and program development; the privatization of previously public goods and services; the de-regulation of hard-won labor and environmental policies; and an increased attention to the individual and the private sector. This course prepares students to both critically engage in global trends and issues and to examine their own role in global practice.