Community and Public Health

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Community and Public Health

Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs (14 days)


Uganda is a low-income country with a population of over 40 million people, the vast majority of whom live in rural communities. The country has one of the youngest populations in the world – more than half of the population is below 18 years of age. It also has one of the highest growth rates in the world. Uganda’s rapidly growing population suffers from a double burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases. Another big challenge for the country is a marked lack of resources. Although Uganda boasts five medical colleges and 29 nursing schools, there is only one doctor for every 8,300 Ugandans in urban areas and one doctor for every 22,000 people in rural areas.

While trained community health workers have successfully formed Village Health Teams, their coverage is very limited. Furthermore, annual surveys conducted by the Ministry of Health have revealed significant shortcomings in availability and quality of service, with the main issues being poor sanitation, a lack drugs and equipment, long wait times, rude service, and inadequate referrals. Such issues compound the challenge, as they discourage people, especially those in rural areas, from seeking health services.

Through this program, students will be able to form concrete linkages between their academic course work and the complex realities of healthcare provision in the developing world. Students will have the opportunity to partner with various stakeholders in Uganda’s healthcare system, including government-run institutions, private clinics and hospitals, home-based care organizations, NGO programs and mobile clinics, to examine the challenges faced by Uganda’s healthcare system and to explore opportunities for overcoming these difficulties. This program is ideal for students studying towards a medical or allied health qualification. It is also suitable for development studies students who are especially interested in health systems and/or public health.

Why Kampala?

This program is based at one of the national referral hospitals in Kampala, Uganda. This program includes site visits to and/or service-learning experiences at the hospital, health-focused NGOs, and private healthcare providers. This will give students the chance to observe part of Kampala’s diverse healthcare ecosystem while participating in service-learning activities which focus on cross-cultural knowledge sharing.

Students will also travel to rural Uganda to observe, and possibly participate in, one of the week long health Supercamps run by our partner organization which provides free primary healthcare to rural Ugandans. This will round out the students’ exposure and allow them to make critical comparisons between the different models of healthcare found across the countryFinally, visits to a hospice organization which provides affordable and culturally appropriate palliative care for those in need and an NGO providing HIV/AIDS care to the urban poor, will give students a fuller picture of Uganda’s healthcare system.

Learning Outcomes

By participating in this program, students will:

  1. Develop and apply cross-cultural communication skills through partnerships with healthcare providers and service-learning experiences.
  2. Examine and analyze the range of healthcare service providers across the country and place them in a global context.
  3. Discuss the concept of healthcare as a human right and reflect on how the inability to access appropriate healthcare can be viewed as a form of social injustice.
  4. Analyze the challenges faced by the Ugandan healthcare system and critically examine the ways in which the government and non-governmental stakeholders are attempting to mitigate these challenges.
  5. Collaborate with local healthcare providers to discuss additional solutions to mitigate the challenges of healthcare provision in Uganda.
  6. Appraise personal and academic growth through guided reflection activities and group sharing sessions.

*Our team of instructional designers is also able to adapt activities and learning outcomes to meet your specific requirements.


Program Highlights

  1. The opportunity to work alongside knowledgeable local stakeholders in Uganda’s healthcare system who approach challenges with a lens framed by their culture.
  2. Community-engaged learning experiences which provide reciprocal benefits to both local communities and study abroad participants through community-identified and driven projects.
  3. Exciting excursions that will allow you to get up close and personal with Uganda’s wildlife.
  4. Thrilling cultural events and performances that will show you why Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa.

Customize Your Program

Contact us to learn more about how our team of knowledgeable program consultants can help you develop and execute a bespoke faculty-led study abroad learning journey for your students. 

Apply today to get started on a challenging and rewarding experience.


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