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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Stephen S. Gloyd
HSERV 531
Seattle Campus

COPHP Population Health

Considers the elements that determine a population's health including the social determinants of health. Groups are challenged to question their innate views of health and what produces it by comparing the United States with other rich and poor countries, considering structural factors affecting health. Offered: A.

Class description

The course explores relationships between political, socioeconomic, cultural and demographic conditions of developing countries and their impact on health and health services. A major focus of the course is the evolution of primary health care and alternative responses to health problems. Other topics addressed include structural adjustment, population dynamics, child survival policies, water and sanitation, AIDS, appropriate technologies, international organizations, traditional healing, pharmaceutical policy, and human resources development. The material is presented in a format that includes both guest lecturers and case studies. Content of the discussions is shaped by the international experience of the students and lecturers.

Central Themes

Several major questions will be addressed throughout the course. These fall into two basic categories: the determinants of health in the Third World and the nature of the responses to Third World health problems.

Determinants of Health What are the major factors that determine poverty and health in the Third World? How does social and economic development influence disease patterns? What are the roles of education, population pressures, and land reform on health and well being? How do countries differ with respect to the complex tapestry of systems, values, politics, and socioeconomic processes that influence health? How are health and disease distributed among different social classes within countries?

Responses to Health Problems What have been major responses to the world health situation, and how have they evolved over the past several decades? What is the mix of biological, technical, socioeconomic, and political responses? How do technical or disease-specific interventions affect the overall pattern of disease causation? Who makes decisions about priorities and health related policies? On what basis? For what end? How much local community involvement exists in decision-making? What difference does it make? What is the nature of international responses to health problems? What assumptions and intentions underlie aid programs? How do different approaches to improving health affect different countries and different groups within countries of the Third World?

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

The course is designed for students having some familiarity with developing country living and working conditions who would like to work in the health field in resource-poor settings.

Class assignments and grading

The grade for this course will be based on the following:

1. A case study presentation. Case study analysis and presentation will be done in small groups of students and the groupís performance will be graded (i.e., all members of each group will receive the same grade). 40% of course grade.

2. A critical analysis (1500-2000 words) of a controversial question in international health. 50% of course grade.

3. A one page position statement written to a key decision-maker on a subject pertaining to health in developing countries. 10% of course grade.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Julie A. Beschta
Date: 08/16/2001