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Countries in the developing world face numerous health and population related challenges, including controlling population growth, enhancing the reproductive health of women and men, combating the AIDS pandemic, stopping the spread of infectious diseases, reducing the incidence of maternal death in childbirth, setting health priorities equitably, and strengthening national health systems. This course will examine these and other issues with an emphasis on how you as an actor in the health and population sector can intervene to improve health conditions for the poor.
The course is neither pure theory nor pure management. Rather, it integrates the two. It is divided into four sections. In the introductory part of the course we will explore two critical issues concerning health in developing countries: the complex determinants of health outcomes, and the ethical bases for promoting health. We will then move on to a set of health and population problems that have particular impact upon the poor: family planning and fertility, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality and morbidity, and female circumcision. These problems are all linked by a concern with reproductive health, which will enable us to draw connections and develop themes across sessions. In the third part of the course we will consider some of the fundamental difficulties in health governance and policy: governing global health, setting health priorities and strengthening health systems. In the fourth and final part of the course, you will present and participate in a public symposium, engage a topic selected by the class, and participate in a session that synthesizes material from throughout the course.