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SPH IH 777: International Health Culminating Experience Seminar
Graduate Prerequisites: For International Health concentrators with more than 24 earned credits. Must obtain permission of instructor prior to registering.
This seminar course has two main purposes: first, to enable participants to respond to one another's work, examine issues in the writing process, make improvements from draft to draft, and complete a well-researched, well-argued concentration paper; second, to explore issues in international health that are the focus of their research and emerge with a greater understanding of the questions they raise for policy and practice. Papers go through three drafts, and students will have the opportunity to give and receive feedback in peer review sessions. Background readings and regular participation in class critiques and discussions are required. Students must be working on their culminating experience to be enrolled in the class.
SPH IH 781: Nutrition and Public Health in Lower Income Countries
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PH709 or recent college- level course in biology with B+ or better grade AND basic knowledge of Excel.
This course introduces students to public health nutrition in the developing world. Topics include 1) the major nutritional challenges facing low-income countries (including macro- and micronutrient deficiencies, HIV and infant feeding, nutrition in emergencies and obesity) 2) nutrition through the life cycle 3) potential causes of poor nutrition including health behavior, societal norms, and economic factors 4) innovative approaches to addressing undernutrition 5) monitoring and evaluation efforts to track changes in nutritional status and feeding behaviors, and 6) policy-level responses to malnutrition, especially among women and children. While some class time is devoted to clinical nutrition, equal emphasis is placed on behavioral and programmatic issues including successful community-based nutrition interventions, national and international responses to under-nutrition and how these can be coordinated. This course also briefly reviews the evidence base for each approach. By the end of this course, students will be able to broadly describe the literature on international nutrition and to use Excel to clean and analyze data on infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices.
SPH IH 792: Capacity, Cost & Need: Balancing the Equation Â A Quantitative Exercise in Health Systems Planning and Analysis
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH health policy and management core course requirement and working knowledge of Excel.First semester students must get instructor permission before registering and should take HPM core concurren
Strong health systems are essential to achieve global health goals. Using health systems planning models, decision makers can evaluate the impact of policy alternatives for medical care service access and delivery, balancing limited financial, human, infrastructure, and material resources. In this course, students work in teams to gain skills in health systems planning through building and manipulating a complex planning model for the fictional country of Lapalia. Topics include measuring and estimating performance measures for capacity, utilization, and productivity; manipulating cost data; scenario analysis; and interpreting data for decisions. The course requires basic knowledge of Excel.
SPH IH 795: Global AIDS Epidemic: Social & Economic Determinants, Impact, & Responses
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH core course requirement in Soc. and Behavioral Sciences; may be taken concurrently.
AIDS is one of the most important pandemics and human development challenges of our time. This course explores the determinants and impacts of the AIDS pandemic and examines best practices in prevention, care and treatment and impact mitigation. Students will explore the relationship between human rights, gender and vulnerability to HIV; examine effective multi-sectoral responses; and evaluate the benefits and limitations of major multi- and bi-lateral AIDS initiatives. Students will also examine the major debates in the AIDS field and explore different, at times contradictory, perspectives.
SPH IH 800: Clinical development of a new medicinal: A case study about licensing a new vaccine for the developing world
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH core course requirements in biostatistics and epidemiology.
Vaccines are arguably our most potent public health tools. The clinical development of a new vaccine is a massive undertaking, spanning many years, and typically costing hundreds of millions of dollars -- yet the process by which new vaccines are developed, tested, licensed, and used is poorly understood. In this course, students will participate in an extended simulation of the clinical development of a new vaccine. Students will design a Phase I through Phase III clinical development program; at each step, decisions the students take will influence future events, making the course highly iterative and flexible. The course is taught by an infectious disease specialist who recently led a clinical development team at Novartis Vaccines that led to licensure of a new meningococcal vaccine in over 33 countries. This course requires a substantial amount of time working in groups outside of the scheduled class time.
SPH IH 803: Antimicrobial Resistance: Facing a Future without Effective Medicines?
Graduate Prerequisites: The epidemiology MPH core requirements and PH709 or 1 year recent college biology with a B or better or consent
The global emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), coupled with a weak pipeline of new antimicrobials means there is a frightening possibility that we and our children will live in a world without effective antimicrobial agents. This course introduces students to the ecology, epidemiology,and health policy aspects of resistance to antimicrobial agents against important bacterial and viral infectious agents, providing a framework for considering the important local, national and international scientific and policy questions. Specific topics include the basic physiology/ecology and evolutionary biology of AMR; mechanisms of resistance in agents of diseases such as TB, HIV, malaria; epidemiology, behavioral, and environmental factors promoting and ameliorating resistance; and the ecology of resistance and antimicrobials in the food chain. Students will also explore the clinical and economics impacts of AMR and local, national and international health policies for surveillance, prevention and control.
SPH IH 804: mHealth
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH Biostatistics core course and IH720. Students should also have completed or be enrolled in IH704.
Located at the nexus of technology, informatics and public health, mHealth (defined as medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices) is rapidly emerging from its pilot stage to become an important component of public health programs. In this course, you will learn how to design, develop, implement and evaluate a mHealth program. You will learn the basic terminology of mHealth programs, how to develop, design and evaluate a mHealth intervention as well as learn the current state of the field and major international mHealth implementers. Using a theoretical base, you will also learn the technical skills of developing an application based on a case study that can be deployed and used on a mobile phone. This course is suited for students who are at least in their second semester and who are familiar or interested in learning more about how mobile technology intersects with the health sector.
SPH IH 805: Controversies in Global Control and Eradication of Infectious Diseases
Graduate Prerequisites: The biostatistics and epidemiology MPH core requirements.
This is an advanced level seminar course. It focuses on areas of active controversy regarding past and current eradication/control campaigns. This class will consider the biological, epidemiological, sociological, political, ethical, and programmatic features that allowed the smallpox eradication campaign to succeed. Other diseases that are currently candidates for global eradication campaigns that will be covered in this class include polio, measles, malaria, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, and dracunculiasis. Public health policy decisions ultimately rest on basic and clinical scientific research. This course approaches this topic through a series of focused readings drawn from the primary scientific literature. The goal is to prepare students to better participate in these debates themselves.
SPH IH 808: Research Proposal Development: A Practical Approach to Team Grant Writing
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH Epidemiology and Biostatistics core course requirements. Formerly IH760.
The main objective of this course is to equip students to develop a research project in a developing country. The scope of the proposal can include baseline data collection for needs assessment, monitoring and evaluation of an existing program, or identification of predictors associated with health or disease outcomes. Students learn practical skills associated with writing a proposal including creating project objectives, sampling methods, calculating sample-size, developing a work plan and budgeting. Students work in teams throughout the semester to develop the proposal. Proposals from this class have successfully competed for funding.
SPH IH 811: Applied Research Methods in International Health
Graduate Prerequisites: The biostatistics & epidemiology MPH core requirements.
The objective of this course is to teach student teams how to collect and analyze both quantitative and qualitative data to answer study questions. Student teams will conduct a research study with multiple research methods including a cross-sectional survey and their choice from a variety of qualitative methods. The scope of the research questions addressed will be limited to minimal risk research conducted with students on the Boston University Medical Campus in the space of a semester. Each team will design a questionnaire, administer it, and enter and analyze the data using EpiInfo or other statistical software. In conjunction with the cross-sectional survey, each team will also use some form of qualitative method, such as in-depth interviews or focus group discussions (FGD). The student teams will integrate the results of the cross-sectional survey and the qualitative research and present a report with findings and recommendations to their peers and faculty members. Students completing the course will have the skills to be able to collect and analyze data in a wide variety of settings.
SPH IH 820: Global Issues in Pharmaceutical Policy and Programming
Pharmaceutical policies are changing rapidly in developing countries. Ensuring access, maintaining quality, and promoting rational drug use are the priorities. This course examines national drug policies, selection issues, medicine pricing and availability, financing, health insurance, donations, and the role of the private sector and approaches to improving drug use. The impact of global treaties and particularly the TRIPS agreement WTO and access to AIDS drugs will be addressed. The course will also examine the role of global and bilateral donor programs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The course will utilize a seminar format and will require substantial reading to prepare for small group discussions and activities.
SPH IH 854: From Data to Dashboards: Building Excel Skills to Support Health Program Decisions
Graduate Prerequisites: Basic excel proficiency; for upper level MPH students.
In these uncertain times, managers need, more than ever, to make sound decisions based on data. Good spreadsheet models are important tools in this process. Build your Excel "toolbox" by learning and applying robust formulas, graphing and dashboarding techniques, and data analysis in a wide range of real-world case study examples, such as cost and utilization analysis, estimation of revenues and expenses, and performance dashboards to monitor and evaluate performance of health interventions. Students will have the opportunity to build their own models to apply to a health service challenge of their choosing. This course is appropriate for upper level MPH students who have basic excel skills.
SPH IH 870: Managing Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
The incidence and severity of public health emergencies due to violent armed conflict and natural disasters continues to affect large numbers of people and even larger amounts of property. Complex humanitarian emergencies (CHEs) now affect most regions of the world, and the violent and chaotic nature of CHEs has produced an enormous burden on relief efforts due to population displacement, morbidity, and mortality. This course prepares participants to function effectively in emergency relief situations. Topics covered include causes and consequences of disasters, initial responses, and meeting basic needs such as food, water, healthcare, and shelter. Specific attention will be paid to potential public health problems and interventions. This program also emphasizes critical field management, coordination, logistical skills, project design, and monitoring and evaluation. Methods to phase out emergency relief efforts and manage the transition to longer-term sustainable development are also explored.
SPH IH 880: Confronting non-communicable diseases in the developing world: the burden, costs and health systems challenges
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH epidemiology and biostatistics core course requirements
A combination of lower fertility rates and changing environmental factors and lifestyles has led to aging populations and epidemics of tobacco addiction, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, and other chronic ailments, aggravating the persisting burden of infectious diseases in the developing world. This advanced course aims at providing a thorough understanding of the risk factors, epidemiology, burden, and economic consequences of the most prevalent non-communicable diseases and the fundamental policy considerations regarding intervention strategies for their prevention and control in resource constrained settings. This overall goal will be achieved by marrying economic approaches with those of epidemiology, clinical medicine and public health.
SPH IH 881: Evidence-Based Program Design for Reproductive Health
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH epidemiology core course AND SPH IH703 or IH704 or PM702. May take IH704 or PM702 concurrently.
This course focuses on the evidence underpinning strategies to address major reproductive health RH) problems among adults in developing countries. For each RH problem, we will consider the key factors contributing to possible solutions ? e.g., biological, social, epidemiological, health system, political and technological factors. Topics will include: maternal mortality, cervical cancer, family planning, abortion, HIV/AIDS, and infertility. Students will chose a specific topic and evaluate the evidence base, and write a 15-page program recommendation document for a ministry of health, NGO, or international agency.
SPH IH 885: Global Trade, Intellectual Property and Public Health
Graduate Prerequisites: For upper level MPH students with instructor consent or DrPH students
On the broadest level, any person interested in international public health, needs to know about globalization and trade. Globalization rewards creative and technically skilled workers and places its largest pressures on lower-skilled workers. A specific example of globalization is that of India and their embrace of new intellectual property (IP) laws. The implementation of these IP and trade rules lies somewhere between outright opposition to reforming global IP rules and an unthinking acceptance that doing so will encourage biomedical innovation and improved health outcomes. The effects of stronger IP standards on health and innovation in medicines and diagnostics are ambiguous and thus need to be subjected to empirical analysis. This course will explore the complex and ambiguous relationship between global trade, intellectual property and its impact on public health.
SPH IH 887: Planning and Managing Maternal and Child Health Programs in Developing Countries
This course provides a practical framework to enable students to design, manage, and evaluate services for children and women, with an emphasis on child health. The course covers the major health challenges with a focus on children and explores specific interventions to address these challenges. Topics covered include diarrheal disease, acute respiratory infection, immunization, malaria, micronutrient deficiencies, HIV/AIDS, safe motherhood and neonatal health. The final six weeks of the course will give students the opportunity to identify the technical, political, organizational, and environmental factors necessary for a successful program. Students will work in teams to respond to an RFP for improving the health of women, children, or newborns in a developing country. Teams will attend a bidder?s conference and then prepare and present a written and oral proposal to an outside grants committee. Students cannot take both IH744 and IH887 for MPH degree credit.
SPH IH 888: Seminar on International Health Policy Issues
Graduate Prerequisites: Advanced MPH (> 16 credits) or SPH doctoral students
This seminar focuses on policy formulation related to public health problems in low- and middle-income countries and is intended for students who have some experience. How is policy formulated in different settings? Who sets the policy agenda? Why do some issues get the attention of policy-makers, while other equally important issues fail to gain traction? And what approaches can be used to improve the chances of a particular policy being adopted? Students will carry out a policy analysis on a policy issue of their choice, using the policy analysis approaches and tools presented in class.
SPH IH 890: Quantitative Methods & Modeling for Public Health Decision Making
Graduate Prerequisites: Completion of the MPH core courses in Biostatistics, Epidemiology,& Environmental Health and strong background in mathematics or permissionof instructor.
In designing health interventions and programs, decision makers must structure and clarify complex policy issues and explore the implications of different courses of action in the face of dynamic complexity and uncertainty. This advanced course introduces three model-based analytical methods-system dynamics, risk analysis and decision analysis-to equip students with the analytical skills necessary to formulate and use models for policy analysis. The course develops hands-on skills with two practical modeling building and simulation software programs, Stella and Crystal Ball, for application to public health and health care systems problems. Examples of public health applications may include infectious disease control and prevention, such as HIV/AIDS, obesity prevention, drug use, and health effects of exposure to environmental chemicals. The course is suited for students interested in career opportunities in health policy research and analysis.
SPH IH 950: Culminating Experience in International Health
Graduate Prerequisites: Registration is allowed after a student who completion at least 25 credits of approved coursework and has submitted the required paperwork to the IH Department.
Zero-credit option for completing the required culminating experience in international health. Students may register in fall, spring, or summer. Students must select a culminating experience option, complete the required documents with the Academic Services Coordinator, and register online for the class. Registering accords the student part-time status. Students who do not finish their culminating experience in the semester in which they registered for IH950 must register for IH951 in the next semester.