Spring 2021 - HSCI 160 E100

Global Perspectives on Health (3)

Class Number: 2821

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM



An introduction to the differences in health and health services among the nations of the globe. Vulnerable sub-populations worldwide and their special health needs. Mechanisms whereby events in one country can impact health in another. Future worldwide health risks, their economic and health consequences. SARS, avian 'flu,' West Nile virus, 'mad cow disease,' antibiotic resistant malaria or tuberculosis. Dangers to rich and poor nations from ignoring health problems in developing world. Breadth-Social Sciences.


The primary aim of the course is to engage and inspire students about the opportunities and challenges in global health. The course covers issues in global health from many different viewpoints and provides general understanding of factors/dynamics that affect the health of human populations and efforts to improve it. What is the difference between the health of an individual and the health of a population, vulnerable populations, and global population? What is the burden of disease and who shoulders the greatest proportion of it and why? What are the determinants of health? What is the role of behaviour, social inequity, health beliefs, environmental factors, access to health services and other resources on determining health? The course will examine these and many other questions from the global perspective; it will also look at the changing pattern of population health and diseases in the world and will discuss major challenges and emerging issues, including the global COVID-19 pandemic.


By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • Key public health concepts, including: demographic and epidemiological transitions, burden of disease, impact of key health conditions on individuals and communities, and critical issues in health services delivery;
  • The determinants of health and risk factors for diseases and conditions from the global perspective;
  • The burden of disease in various regions of the world and how it varies both within and across countries; health disparities, vulnerable populations;
  • The multi-directional links between health and socio-economic factors;
  • The role of the key actors/organizations in global health and the manner in which they cooperate to address global health issues.


  • Online quizzes 10%
  • Project One - Burden of Disease 25%
  • Project Two - Minister's Report 30%
  • COVID-19 Knowledge Translation assignment 15%
  • Discussion Group Participation 10%
  • Online Courses 10%


The course website on Canvas will be used intensively both for learning and communication purposes. All course-related materials and will be posted on Canvas for each week. Canvas will also serve as a platform for distributing and submitting assignments, sending announcements, posting useful links, running discussion sections, posting questions, and communication with the instructor and other classmates. It is the responsibility of students to check the course Canvas site regularly and obtain up-to-date information about the course and due dates.

The instructor may make changes to the syllabus if necessary, within Faculty/University regulations.


Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course.



Textbook: Richard Skolnik, Global Health 101, Fourth Edition, 2016.

Electronic copies available at SFU Bookstore and https://www.jblearning.com/catalog/productdetails/9781284145380

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).