Public Health in Colombia

Universidad Javeriana

Launched in 2018, ‘The Colombian Healthcare System and Public Health in Colombia’ summer program will be offered for the second year running by the prestigious Institute of Public Health (Instituto de Salúd Publica) at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) in Bogota, Colombia.

Through a series of lectures, seminars by guest speakers, and site visits to medical, governmental, and educational organizations, students will explore Public Health in Colombia within the context of the country’s armed conflict and recent peace agreement.

The course is open to undergraduate and masters students from a Public Health, Medicine, Anthropology, or related Social Science background, and to students interested in pursuing careers in international development and healthcare governance. Full details of the 2019 course will be released soon. In the meantime, please click here to download the 2018 program leaflet.

Academic Content

Taught in English with an interdisciplinary approach, the program will be delivered by academics from different backgrounds, including physicians and politics, economics, and public health academics.  The in-class lectures, led by professors from the Institute of Public Health who have extensive expertise in their field, will guide students through case studies taken from research projects developed by PUJ Institute of Public Health faculty.

The program incorporates sociocultural site visits to governmental and educational organizations such as the Ministry of Health, the National Center of Historical Memory, the Military Center for Rehabilitation, family planning and non-profit organizations (NGOs), the Association of Midwives, the Epidemiology Surveillance System, health management organizations, and public and private hospitals.

The four-week academic program will consist of 120 contact hours in total, supplemented by the additional activities in the social program.

Students will generally begin classes at 8.30 a.m. with the theoretical component taught on campus until 12.30 p.m. Professors will use diverse methodologies to teach the program modules, including case studies, class discussions and presentations. The afternoons (2.00 – 5.00 p.m.) will normally be dedicated to the site visits and sociocultural excursions.

Following successful completion of the course, students will be provided with a certificate and an official transcript to apply for credits at their home university if required.

The Course Schedule

Week 1: The History of the Colombian Armed Conflict and its impact on Public Health in Colombia

 The first module will explore the recent transformation of Colombia to a post-conflict society, and the terms of the recent peace agreement, with particular reference to the national healthcare system within the country. Participants will visit the Military Center for Rehabilitation, the Center for Historical Memory, and CINEP (the Center of Research and Education for Peace), an NGO whose reports and education projects work to support human rights and a sustainable peace in Colombia.

Week 2: The National Healthcare System in Colombia and its evolution

 The second module will focus on the current system for governmental provision of public healthcare in Colombia and access to the General Social Security System for Health (SGSSS). Site visits include the Ministry of Health, public and private hospitals, the National Health Observatory and JaveSalud, a primary health care provider affiliated with the university.

Week 3: Population demographics and disease burden in Colombia & the Ten- year Public Health Plan (PDSP 2012-2021)

 During week 3, the course will present the demographic transition in Colombia and its impact on health conditions, covering topics such as maternal mortality and transmissible diseases. Students will visit the National Institute of Health, the Bogota Secretary of Health, and ARTEMISA and Profamilia, NGOs and clinics dedicated to the provision of family planning services and the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights.

Week 4: The Mental Health Status of Colombian Civilians and Ex-Combatants & Harm Reduction

 The program’s final week will explore chronic disease, mental health, and injury Harm Reduction in the Colombian context. Students will have the opportunity to visit the National Institute of Oncology (INC), the governmental Group for the Comprehensive Management of Mental Health, the Secretary of Mobility, and the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences.

Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ)

Since being founded in 1623, Pontifica Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) has built a prestigious reputation as one of the leading private universities and research institutions in Latin America.  The university emphasizes the importance of public service, and all PUJ students are involved in public service projects in the urban communities that neighbour the university campus as part of their contribution to the university’s mission which is dedicated to the positive transformation of Colombian society.

Each year, PUJ hosts a number of national and international symposiums and conferences tied to an extensive research base across all faculties and departments.  The university’s Peace and Reconciliation studies and Public Health academics have led the way in developing these international collaborations.

PUJ has a  proud community of “Javerianos” who take enormous pride in their beautiful campus in the heart of Bogota.  The university extends the sense of community beyond the campus boundaries through its constant emphasis on social service, particularly in Colombia.  All students participate in some form of community service- a contribution towards Javeriana’s mission to advance the development, orientation, critique, and constructive transformation of society.  

Institute of Public Health (Instituto de Salúd Publica)

Instituto de Salud Publica logoThe Institute of Public Health (ISP) at PUJ is an academic research institution dedicated to improving the wellbeing and quality of life of the Colombian public.  The Institute of Public Health is responsible for the program administration and academic course delivery of PUJ’s Masters in Public Health, delivered in partnership with the departments of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, and Natural Sciences.  The mission of the Masters in Public Health program is to build the skills and capacities of the future leaders and researchers of public health in Colombia.  ISP aims to direct academic expertise and research towards shaping the social practices of local communities and influencing the decisions of politicians whose decisions on a macro level impact the social determinants of health for Colombians.

The Campus and Facilities

The university is located in a prime location in the midst of Bogota’s central neighbourhood, Chapinero, and offers a calming respite from busy city surroundings as soon as you walk onto campus.  The university hosts state-of-the-art facilities with an expansive library and well-equipped gym which are accessible to all students enrolled in the Public Health course.  There are a variety of study spaces including cafes and outdoor green areas, and Wifi is available across the entire campus.

For more detail and images of the campus and facilities, scroll to the ‘Explore Pontificia Universidad Javeriana’ section below.

The Program Package

The course includes an accommodation package and a busy calendar of social activities so that you can get to know your fellow students as you explore Bogota.

Students are housed as a group and you will be provided with comfortable accommodation close to the Javeriana campus. Red Tree Study’s program coordinators will be housed in the same accommodation for the duration of the course and will be on hand to help with any questions and in case of emergency.

The evening and weekend social program includes a variety of activities – from excursions to discover Colombia’s beautiful landscapes to group meals offering participants the chance to sample typical Colombian cuisine. These activities are carefully selected to enrich your understanding and enjoyment of the country. For more details, check out these 2016 program and 2017 program photo galleries, or send us an email.

This 4 week academic program will begin with an induction day on Monday 10 June 2019 and will run until Friday 5 July 2019. 

Price per participant: $3,900 USD. To find out more, or to make an application, please contact us.