Public Health in Colombia 2020

Students at INS in BogotaOur course will explore Public Health in Colombia within the context of the country’s armed conflict and recent peace agreement.

Through a series of lectures, seminars by guest speakers, and site visits to medical, governmental, and educational organizations, students will explore the country’s Public Health provision, its challenges and successes, and the impact of the recent peace agreement on access to healthcare throughout the country.

The course is open to undergraduate and masters students from a Public Health, Medicine, Psychology, or related Social Science background, and to students interested in pursuing careers in international development and healthcare governance.

The course will be taught in English, and  run from Tuesday 9 June until Friday 3 July 2020.  To find out more, or to register for an application, please contact us.

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 will guide students through case studies taken from their own research projects.

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 evening and weekend activities in the social program.

Students will generally have morning sessions taught on campus, where Professors will use diverse methodologies to teach the program modules, including case studies, class discussions and presentations. The afternoons 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.

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 university 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.

Next summer’s course is provisionally scheduled to run from Tuesday 9 June until Friday 3 July 2020. An induction session, providing you with essential information about the course, social activities, and studying in Colombia, will take place at the student residence on Monday 8 June 2020. Accommodation will be provided from Monday 9 June until Friday 3 July inclusive.

Price per participant: $3,900 USD. Applications will open in September 2019. To find out more, or to register for an application, please contact us.