Summer course in Arctic Health

Course content

This course will address human health in Arctic areas and is intended for MSc students and health professionals who want an insight into health patterns and health conditions in Arctic areas. The course qualifies both for those working in health systems and with those working with health-related issues in Arctic areas.

Traditionally, health patterns in human populations in the circumpolar Arctic are characterized by high rates of communicable (infectious) diseases and low rates of non-communicable (chronic) diseases such as e.g. coronary heart disease and diabetes. However, these health patterns are changing following the transition of Arctic societies from those of hunting societies to those of western societies, and the significant social transitions impacted upon Arctic communities over the past decades. Furthermore, climate changes affect Arctic populations to a larger extent than many other populations.

This course will address health patterns in Arctic populations in light of these changes. The course will address living conditions and vital statistics for Arctic populations; determinants and risk factors for health, including genetic susceptibility, environment, social factors, diet and nutrition, smoking, alcohol and substance use; and consequences in terms of the particular patterns of diseases observed in these populations including genetic, infectious and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, obesity, injuries and violence, mental health and suicide, and maternal and child health. Special emphasis will be placed on new research results, in particular on the interplay between genes and environment.

Besides health patterns, the course will address health systems, challenges and solutions to delivering of health care to small populations in remote areas with limited health care facilities.

Education

MSc in Global Health - electives

MSc in Public Health Science - electives

The course is a part (1/4) of the overall course in Arctic issues offered by the University of Copenhagen, 2017/18, but can also be taken as a separate  course.

Learning outcome

On completion of the course the students should be able to:

Knowledge

  • Describe the patterns of communicable and non-communicable diseases in Arctic populations including the North American North, Greenland, and Northern Scandinavia

  • Describe the influence of health determinants including changes in living conditions and climate changes on the health patterns of Arctic populations

  • Describe health systems and challenges to health care delivery in in Arctic regions

Skills

  • List prevalent diseases and health conditions over time in Arctic populations and indicate differences from health conditions in western countries

  • List major risk factors and determinants for health and disease in Arctic populations

  • Describe health systems and list challenges to health care delivery in Arctic regions

Competencies

  • Discuss, analyze and critically examine data on health and disease from Arctic areas, and discuss and criticize previous and current priorities in health policies

  • Be able to work with and in health systems in Arctic areas, based on the acquired, above mentioned knowledge and skills regarding health patterns and systems in Artic areas

  • Argue for a prediction of patterns of health and major diseases beyond 2017, based on emerging and actual changes in environment, demography and wealth, and envisage how health may be impacted in Arctic areas

Teachers will be researchers and professionals working with/in the Arctic health systems. Teaching and learning is research-based, and will highlight areas, which the academic staff, their collaborators, and the health professionals, are actively engaged in. The teaching methods include formal lectures, problem-related group work and a final project.

The text book ‘Health Transitions in Arctic Populations’ by T. Kue Young and P. Bjerregaard (eds.), University of Toronto Press, will serve as basic literature. Specific parts of the book will be required to be read in advance. Additional literature will be uploaded from individual teachers.

Health professional or professional in academic area relevant to the Arctic
Practical experience within the field of health or experience with work in the Arctic

For medical students: Obtained BSc in Medicine
For public health science students, nursing and midwifery students: Obtained Proff. BSc
For health professionals: mid-level training of minimum 3 years
For other academics: Obtained BSc degree in area relevant to the Arctic

ECTS
5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral defence, ??
Oral presentation and defense of final project
Aid
Without aids

No aids are allowed for the oral presentation

Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Ingen eller intern censur?
Criteria for exam assessment

To pass the exam the student needs orally to present and defend a final group project made through the last week of the course. The student needs to demonstrate knowledge, skills and competencies according to below to the degree this is relevant to the subject of the group project:

Knowledge

  • Describe the patterns of communicable and non-communicable diseases in Arctic populations including the North American North, Greenland, and Northern Scandinavia

  • Describe the influence of health determinants including changes in living conditions and climate changes on the health patterns of Arctic populations

  • Describe health systems and challenges to health care delivery in in Arctic regions

Skills

  • List prevalent diseases and health conditions over time in Arctic populations and indicate differences from health conditions in western countries

  • List major risk factors and determinants for health and disease in Arctic populations

  • Describe health systems and list challenges to health care delivery in Arctic regions

Competencies

  • Discuss, analyze and critically examine data on health and disease from Arctic areas, and discuss and criticize previous and current priorities in health policies

  • Be able to work with and in health systems in Arctic areas, based on the acquired, above mentioned knowledge and skills regarding health patterns and systems in Artic areas

  • Argue for a prediction of patterns of health and major diseases beyond 2017, based on emerging and actual changes in environment, demography and wealth, and envisage how health may be impacted in Arctic areas

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 60
  • Project work
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Preparation
  • 53
  • English
  • 138