Title: Tropical Medicine and Public Health
Country: Germany
Institution: Germany - Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Berlin
Course coordinator: Dr. Hans-Friedemann Kinkel
Date start: 2021-09-06
Date end: 2021-12-17
About duration and dates: 15 weeks, including 5 working days rest and recovery.
Classification: core course
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location:
Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health,
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Campus Virchow-Klinikum
Post address:
Augustenburger Platz 1
D-13353 Berlin
Visitors’ address:
Augustenburger Platz 1
Campus address: Südring 3b
ph: +49 (30) 450 565 752
fax: +49 (30) 450 565 989
email: mscih-student@charite.de
Website: http://internationalhealth.charite.de/en/
TropEd representative: Dr. Hans-Friedemann Kinkel
ECTS credit points: 20 ECTS credits
600 student investment time
400 direct contact hours
200 hours student self-study
Language: English
By the end of the core course, students should be able to:

- identify and analyse interrelated determinants of health and major health problems of populations in a cross-disciplinary perspective in low- and middle income societies.
- critically collect, analyse and appraise qualitative and quantitative data relevant for the improvement of health and health care in low and middle income societies.
- plan sustainable improvements of health systems considering the diverse intercultural settings as well as social and ethical responsibilities.
- clearly communicate and work professionally in a multi-disciplinary team.

Introduction and Orientation (1 week)

At the end of the module the students should be able to:

Setting the Scene:
- describe the principles of the Masters Programme in International Health at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the mobility concept of tropEd advanced modules;
- define the term international health taking into account its historical perspective;
- access the university’s facilities and services, e.g. computer and library resources;
- apply common scientific standards for presentations.

Concepts and Research Methods (Social Science, Epidemiology/Statistics, Research Design; 3 - 5 weeks)

Specific course objectives (see also tropEd core course objective 2)

At the end of the module students should be able to:

Social Sciences:
- describe basic anthropological definitions, appraise key concepts and methods with relevance to international health;
- Demonstrate a clear understanding of the key factors such as globalization that determine the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged populations in low and middle income countries;
- Critically reflect on social, socio-cultural and gender-related determinants of health;
- Identify and analyse inequalities and inequities and relate them to the determinants of health;
- define, discuss and apply basic principles of health systems research, quality management and evaluation methods;
- make use of qualitative research methods, set up appropriate research designs and interpret results critically for implications in policy and practice;
- explain definitions of basic epidemiological measures and estimators;
- define, distinguish and compare different epidemiological study designs;
- conceptualise an epidemic outbreak investigation;
- critically assess and analyse routine epidemiological data and draw epidemic curves;
- identify and analyse potential confounders and biases in the different study designs and explain ways of minimising them;
- understand the basic concepts and the role of biostatistics in epidemiology;
- describe sampling variation and the way of establishing minimum sample sizes;
- design, implement and analyse data from an epidemiological survey;
- run basic operations of the epidemiological software tools EPI DATA, EPI INFO and STATA;
- be able to practice questionnaire design, data entry, data analysis and power calculations by using EPI DATA, EPI INFO and STATA;
- be able to design a basic epidemiological study on a study question of their choice
- critically analyse a published epidemiological paper

Research Design:
- correctly apply the tropEd thesis guidelines;
- formulate international health relevant research questions and set up a methodologically sound research outline in order to prepare the proposal development;
- employ proper scientific writing principles and methods;
- describe the dimensions of plagiarism and be able to work according to internationally agreed scientific standards.

Health Problems (Major Endemic Diseases, Child hood / Nutrition, Reproductive Health, Adult Health / Violence, Environmental Health, Health in Transition; 3 - 5 weeks)

Specific course objectives (see also tropEd core course objective 1)

At the end of the module students should be able to:

Diseases of International Health Relevance:
- describe, recognise and differentiate diseases with international health relevance including disease patterns, transmission cycles, prevention, treatment and control;
- identify and estimate the impact of major diseases of international health relevance.

Disease Control and Prevention:
- describe and critically analyse treatment, control and prevention strategies related to diseases of international health relevance;
- compare and appraise global disease control initiatives.

Laboratory Practice:
- Identify and describe the most important parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi and vectors of international health relevant diseases.

Reproductive and Child Health:
- identify, describe and analyse major reproductive and child health issues in low-and-middle income societies;
- discuss and critically reflect on sexual and reproductive health related concepts, rights and strategies including maternal mortality, family planning, safe motherhood, management of STI’s, management of gynaecological problems and perinatal health.

Other International Health Issues:
- identify and analyse other international health issues concerning non-communicable diseases, environmental health, water supply and sanitation, nutrition, mental health, etc.
- debate and appraise the impact and consequences of international health threats and problems challenging the global community.

Health Systems Management and Communication (Health Policy / Planning, Health Economics, Health Promotion, Management; 3 - 5 weeks

Specific course objectives (see also tropEd core course objectives 3 and 4)

At the end of the module students should be able to:

Health Care and Health Care Services:
- describe and critically analyse health care concepts and structures of health care services in low-and-middle income countries, e.g. current primary health care strategies, district health concepts, and health sector reform approaches, etc.;
- identify and analyse the challenges and problems of emergency interventions and humanitarian assistance;
- discuss and evaluate the provision of essential drugs in low and middle income countries and drugs for neglected diseases.

Health Policy, Planning and Management:
- discuss, analyse and use the most important policies related to international health, e.g. the concept of health promotion, sector wide approaches, poverty reduction strategies etc.
- appraise appropriate strategies, methods and tools for health planning and management on the basis of sound epidemiological data;
- design and relate planning and management concepts to different international work settings;
- analyse and manage potential gender-related and intercultural conflicts in group dynamics occurring in international work settings;
- be able to communicate clearly and professionally in international work settings.

Health Economics and Financing:
- identify and evaluate economic and socio-economic factors influencing the health status of populations and the quality of health care services in low and middle income countries;
- describe, use and assess basic principles, concepts and tools of health economics, health care financing and social security systems.

Major Players in International Health:
- discuss and analyse the roles of major players and stakeholders in the field of international health;
- critically assess and compare the guidelines and recommendations of important health policies developed by major organizations in international health.
Focus or specific features:
The Berlin course:
- emphasises natural and medical sciences related to international health (as compared to more social-sciences oriented courses);
- has a balanced mix of younger and more experienced, medical and non-medical participants as well as basic research and practical field work orientation;
- has an international student body originating from all continents.
Assessment Procedures:
• Three written closed book examinations (online) of three hours each (multiple choice and open-ended questions) in week 5, 11 and 15, contributing 63% to the overall mark (Concepts and research methods 21%, Health problems and responses 21%, Health systems, management and communication 21%)
• One overall oral examination (online) at the end of the course assessing the integrative understanding of the core course’s major components, contributing 33% to the overall mark (Epidemiology 11%, Tropical Medicine 11%, Public Health 11%)
• One group presentation (Project management) of 10-15 minutes, contributing 2% to the overall mark
• One essay (health economics), up to 1200 words, contributing 2% to the overall mark

Students who fail the core course are entitled to re-sit the failed written examinations and the failed parts of the oral examination once.
The four main categories of the MIH core course as defined by tropEd are:
1. Introduction and orientation
2. Concepts and research methods (4½ - 7½ ECTS)
3. Health problems and responses (4½ - 7½ ECTS)
4. Health systems, management and communication (4½ - 7½ ECTS)
Details please see here
Learning methods of the course are based on the principles of adult learning and on the lifelong-learning approach adapted to postgraduate programmes. The various skills and knowledge levels within the student group are taken into account and the mutual sharing of thoughts, ideas and competencies is encouraged and facilitated. Different didactic methods include a variety of teaching/learning approaches: Interactive presentations led by lecturers and students, problem-orientated group work, case studies, role plays, seminars including plenary debates, film discussions, workshops, simulations, laboratory and computer practicals, site visits, excursions etc.
Students are recruited from a variety of backgrounds relevant to International Health. They include medical doctors, health scientists, nutritionists, biologists, social scientists, social workers, psychologists, health educators, health programme managers, economists etc. The programme is open for applicants worldwide. Applications from developing countries are particularly encouraged. Applicants with professional experience in a health-related profession in low or middle-income countries will be preferentially admitted. Those who do not have sufficient relevant professional experience when applying for admission to the programme have to acquire missing relevant professional experience during their enrolment in the Masters programme.
Minimum entry requirements
• Completion of a 3-year Bachelor's programme (or equivalent, 180 ECTS credits) in a health-related field (see above-mentioned professions)
Internationally recognised English proficiency certificate equivalent to a TOEFL score of 550 paper /213 internet /80 online, or IELTS score 6, or DAAD grade A or B in all categories
Maximum 42 students per course
Approximately 32 tropEd MScIH students, 10 Diploma of International Health or Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Public Health participants, (this diploma is specific for Charité students)
Students and participants must attend 80% of the teaching time.
The following selection criteria are applied:
- First degree with excellent study results;
- Prior training and professional experience relevant for international health;
- Convincing letter of motivation;
- Convincing recommendations by an academic and/or professional body;
Proof of ability to cover living expenditures and tuition fees.
4,500.00 € for tropEd MScIH students
5,625,00 € for DTMPH and DIPH participants and guest students
40-150 € for Stata software license
Scholarships: German Exchange Service (DAAD) for Charite MSc International Health
Major changes since initial accreditation:
The Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health moved to one of Charité’s main campus Virchow which increased the quality of the infrastructure.

Teachers who consistently received negative feedback have been replaced.
The position of the faculty support officer has been extended from part-time to fulltime.
Charité’s Master of Science in International Health is accredited until April 4, 2019.
Student evaluation:
Each teaching session is evaluated by a weekly standardized evaluation form. There are three oral feedback sessions, of about one hour each. The coordinator offers to meet the student representatives on a more or less weekly basis, to learn about student concerns early on.
Overall, the evaluation has been consistently positive. Negative feedback has concerned mainly individual teachers (who are then contacted and spoken to, or replaced), unwanted overlaps in the content of different teachers (which has been reduced) and the timely availability of teaching material (now made available online as soon as we receive it from lecturers). Some non-medical students have difficulties to follow the medical and clinical teaching on tropical diseases.
Lessons learned:
Students are very positive about hands-on learning, e.g. trying out data analysis themselves instead of looking at demonstrations. Overall students find the course well organised and praise the coordination team, however human resources are limited. In order to strengthen counselling and supervision offers for students, in a first step, the position of the faculty support officer has been extended to full time, which will release the coordinator of some of his administrative duties and provide more time for him to advise his students.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in 1998 in Berlin. Re-accredited in September 2006 and May 2012 and June 2017. Accreditation is valid until June 2022.
Please note that in 2020 the course will be delivered as synchronous online module. If the situation allows, we plan for additional synchronous face-to-face sessions for students who are in Berlin.

The core course is preceded by an optional one week preparatory course (31 Aug – 4 Sep 2020), which is highly recommended for foreign students.

We recommend the following textbooks:

1) Gordis L, 2014. Epidemiology:Elsevier. 432 p.
2) Kirkwood BR, Sterne JAC, 2003. Essential medical statistics: John Wiley & Sons. 512 p.
3) Eddleston M, Davidson R, Brent A, Wilkinson R, 2008. Oxford handbook of tropical medicine: Oxford University Press. 843 p.
4) Markle WH, Fisher MA, Smego RA, 2007. Understanding global health: Mcgraw-Hill Professional. 362 pages
We recommend the following calculator: Casio fx-115MS or equivalent.
Changing sections of the core course are being reviewed annually by visiting scientists from tropEd partner institutions and others.

The application period is 01. Jan to 31. March (date of arrival) each year for the course that starts in fall that year. Late applications may be considered if places are available.

Course application form
Email Address: mscih-student@charite.de
Date Of Record Creation: 2012-01-19 23:21:49 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2012-01-20 05:38:17 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2020-07-28 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2020-09-15 10:19:29 (W3C-DTF)

Report a Problem with this Resource Record

Log In: