This course proposes an overview of current global health challenges drawing on the insights of several academic disciplines including medicine, public health, law, economics, social sciences and humanities. This interdisciplinary approach will guide the student into seven critical topics in global health.
Course coordinators: Prof. Antoine Geissbuhler, MD, Prof. Louis Loutan,
MD, Dr Slim Slama, MD and Dr Didier Wernli, MD, MA
Course director: Dr Samantha Battams, PhD
Course assistant: Dr Rafael Ruiz de Castaneda, PhD
Our globalised world has posed new challenges for global health. Infectious diseases have the potential to travel quickly and spread widely
across countries (e.g. due to increased international travel). The determinants of health (such as the food system) are across country borders, leading to a growing burden in non-communicable diseases in both developed and developing countries. Issues
in traditionally non health sectors such as climate change or trade
can have dramatic and worldwide effects on health and health systems.
These short examples illustrate what Global Health is about: issues
that not only cross national boundaries but also disciplinary territories.
In our interdependent world, more and more health issues cannot be addressed
by a country nor by a sector alone and require collaboration, coordination
The course will draw from academic personnel working across disciplines and the
wider community in international Geneva (e.g. international
organisations, NGOs). It will utilise an ecological or 'systems' perspective, along with a social determinants and human rights approach to health.
Week 1. Introduction to global health concepts
Week 2. Emerging trends in global health: Infectious diseases
Week 3. Emerging trends in global health: Non-communicable diseases, mental disorders and disability
Week 4. Governance for global health, health systems and financing
Week 5. Foreign policy, trade and health
Week 6. Research, development, innovation and technology for global health
Week 7. The environment, sustainable development and health
Week 8. Summary and Assignments
No background is required; all are welcome!
This course consists of the course guide, including discussion forum activities and assessments (multiple choice questions to complete every week and a final peer assessment), along with video lectures (10-20 min in length) by a range of presenters. Your enjoyment and benefits from the course will above all depend on your participation within this course, and we very much look forward to your participation through the discussion forums and peer assessment activities.
Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class activities and final assessment will receive a Statement
of Accomplishment signed by the instructors.
However, no credits will be awarded.