This course provides an overview of global health challenges in the world today. It is essential to understand the links between health and education, poverty, and development with an appreciation of the values, beliefs, and cultures of diverse groups. The first half of the course will review critical global health issues from biosocial, cultural and environmental perspectives. A biosocial approach to global health inequity is the underlying theme. The second half of the course will review various health systems in the World Health Organization geographic regions and will compare and contrast the various regions, as well as countries within regions, with regard to the specific health challenges they face.
This course carries both the Writing flag and Global Cultures flag. We will use writing to improve on critical thinking skills and understanding of global health issues as well as to improve on ability to formulate ideas with an emphasis on the ASA writing style. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from writing assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group. This course may be used to fulfill the social and behavioral sciences component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, empirical and quantitative skills, and social responsibility.
- Describe global health issues, trends, and policies
- Understand how population growth, disease, environmental changes, and economic and political activities impact global health
- Assess and analyze global health program interventions and their impacts
- Compare and contrast health issues and policies between economically developed countries and developing countries
- Synthesize findings to highlight common patterns and unique differences in health challenges between and within major world regions
Required Text and Readings
Farmer, Paul, J.Y. Kim, A. Kleinman and M. Basilico. 2013. Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction, University of California Press
Journal Articles: In addition to above textbook, other course materials including additional readings will be posted on Canvas each week. Readings should be completed for the week they are assigned.
There are three paper assignments and two quizzes. The assignments are due at the beginning of class and must be turned in as hard copies. E-mail attachments will not be accepted. Late papers will not be accepted without prior approval.
Assignment 1: Short papers (10%)
These writing assignments are intended to encourage understanding of the assigned readings, develop critical analytic skills for understanding 21st century global health issues, enhance in class discussions and refine writing skills. Instruction and criteria for evaluation will be posted on Canvas.
Assignment 2: Individual paper (30%)
Each student is required to write a research paper (5-6 pages) about a global health issue. This assignment should allow the student to critically examine a global health issue in depth. There will be peer reviews as well as instructor comments on this assignment. You will submit a memo detailing your revisions with the final draft. Detailed instructions and criteria for evaluation will be posted on Canvas.
Assignment 3: Group project paper & presentation (25%)
Students are required to form a group to prepare a short presentation at the end of the semester and to write a research paper (not more than 10 pages). Students should work together as a team to analyze the political, social and economic determinants of health and analyze how delivery systems for preventive and curative health services might be strengthened in developing countries. Group members will conduct an evaluation of their fellow group members for the final project and presentation. Detailed instructions and criteria for the group project and criteria for evaluation will be posted on Canvas.
Two quizzes (20%)
Class participation (15%)
There will be weekly small group discussions. Each group member will be required to participate and contribute substantially to small group discussions. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in in-class discussions as well.
You are allowed three non-penalized absences during the semester. Students who miss more than three classes, regardless of the reason, will have their semester grades reduced by one grade.
I will allow make-up quizzes for pre-approved reasons (e.g., observing religious holidays) or in the case of documented medical or other emergencies (death of significant others, job interviews, etc.). If you anticipate missing a quiz, please make an arrangement with me at least two weeks in advance. Students who miss quizzes without prior approval or without a documented emergency will receive zero points on that exam.
Every student will be actively involved in classroom discussions. In order for everyone to feel comfortable voicing opinions or asking questions, a climate of tolerance and respect is essential.
Use of laptops in class for taking notes: Use of laptops and cell phone in class is not permitted.
A 93-100 % B+ 87-89.9 % C+ 77-79.9 % D+ 67-69.9%
A- 90-92.9 % B 83-86.9 % C 73-76.9 % D 63-66.9%
B- 80-82.9 % C- 70-72.9 % D- 60-62.9%