Public Health in Colombia 2020

Students at INS in BogotaThis course explores 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 Monday 8 June until Friday 26 June 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 a transcript to apply for credits at their home university if required.

The Course Schedule

WEEK 1: THE STRUCTURE OF THE COLOMBIAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

The course will begin with a critical analysis of the Colombian healthcare system structure. Students will discuss the challenges and successes of health policy and public health provision in Colombia, and the impact of current policies on different sectors of society. Practical site visits will provide students with the opportunity to learn how different institutions navigate the system, and will enable participants to formulate their own perspectives on the overall status of health policy and public health in Colombia.

WEEK 2: PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGES IN COLOMBIA: CONFLICT, MIGRATION, AND ACCESS TO CARE FOR RURAL POPULATIONS

During week 2, the course will examine a wide selection of Public Health challenges facing the country. Since 1958 an estimated 220,000 people have died in Colombia due to the civil conflict and more than six million have been forcibly displaced. Students will analyze how this conflict has affected the health of the population and impacted on the healthcare system itself.  They will explore recent challenges such as the arrival of many Venezuelans migrants since 2018, and the access to healthcare and medicines for rural populations and remote communities. Site visits will include the Red Cross in Colombia, the National Institute of Health’s Surveillance System (SIVIGILA), Administrative Department of National Statistics (DANE), National Cancer Institute, Profamilia (women’s reproductive center), and non-governmental organizations working with communities affected by the conflict, and with Venezuelan migrants.

WEEK 3: THE ROLE OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN RESPONDING TO PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGES IN COLOMBIA

The final module of the course will focus on how the National Healthcare System in Colombia has evolved and how the system and the country have responded to historical and current public health challenges. Site visits will include the National Health Observatory and other health care providers that have offered innovative solutions to the challenges. Students will work with communities affected by conflict or with migrant population to co-design healthcare solutions according to their context and needs.

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 Monday 8 June until Friday 26 June 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 8 June until Friday 26 June inclusive.

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