Tackle global health issues with a degree from the Institute of Tropical Medicine

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Healthcare issues span worldwide. Whether it’s tropical diseases or inadequate access to treatments, countries grapple with their share of problems. The modern ease of crossing international borders, compounded mass migration and the climate crisis, is another factor that comes into play when considering the spread of diseases, as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 1906, the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) has stood at the international forefront of research, education, and services for solving health problems. From being a national reference centre for Ebola to closely monitoring the arrival of exotic mosquito species in Belgium, ITM produces over 40 international projects, publishes more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, and coordinates dozens of clinical trials annually.

Educating the next generation to tackle global health issues takes dedication to the field, and it’s something that ITM has in spades.

ITM is an internationally recognised academic, scientific and medical institute, dedicating itself to helping advance worldwide science and health for all. Source: Institute of Tropical Medicine

ITM is an internationally recognised academic, scientific and medical institute, dedicating itself to helping advance worldwide science and health for all. Source: Institute of Tropical Medicine

MSc in Global One Health

The Institute’s Master of Science in Global One Health (MScGOH) is where you learn about the integrated approach to sustainably balance and optimise the health of the entire ecosystem. Here, veterinarians, researchers, policy makers, health professionals, and other life scientists undertake transdisciplinary training addressing the full spectrum of disease control at the human-animal interface to contribute to global health security.

In partnership with the University of Pretoria (UP), South Africa, a leading African university and a pioneer of One Health research, the two-year blended programme emphasises the necessity for transnational collaboration to address health challenges effectively. While most modules take place online, an induction week is organised at UP and at the Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station (Kruger National Park) for students and the faculty to meet and receive introductory lectures on the core modules. This allows students to benefit from a fusion of relevant expertise from ITM and UP.

Consisting of core and elective modules and a dissertation, the MScGOH equips you with the knowledge and competencies necessary to make meaningful contributions to improving the health of humans, animals and the environment at a global level. The programme allows the immediate implementation of what you learn into your professional work.

Kenyan student Pollet Munyiri already had some knowledge of the One Health concept but felt a gap in her understanding of how to make lasting changes and address the root causes of these issues. “ITM’s programme provided the perfect platform to bridge this gap, offering a comprehensive approach that goes beyond theoretical knowledge,” she says. “I particularly valued the course’s personalised approach, allowing students to choose elective courses tailored to their desired niche.”

The programme played a pivotal role in shaping her current career path. “The diverse implementation skills acquired during the course, coupled with specific modules such as serology, have been instrumental in opening new horizons and guiding my trajectory toward impactful solutions in the realm of biotechnology,” she says.

Keeping up and playing lead roles in the global health landscape also means that ITM revises and reforms its programme offerings whenever necessary.

ITM has programmes for health professionals who are at different points in their careers and wish to explore the field of tropical medicine further. Source: Institute of Tropical Medicine.

ITM has programmes for health professionals who are at different points in their careers and wish to explore the field of tropical medicine further. Source: Institute of Tropical Medicine.

ITM also has postgraduate certificate programmes for healthcare professionals at various points in their career journeys: Introduction to Tropical Medicine and Challenges in International Health (ITMCIH), Advanced Tropical Medicine and Challenges in International Health (ATMCIH), Tropical Medicine and International Health, and Research Approaches and Challenges in International Health.

Introduction to tropical medicine and challenges in international health (ITMCIH)

Available in English and French, the ITMCIH programme is ideal for nurses, midwives, other healthcare professionals, and social scientists who want a better understanding of health challenges in vulnerable settings across the globe.

Comprising two courses, you start with the blended, four-week Introduction to Tropical Medicine (including tropical diseases and health problems) and the basics of microscopy and laboratory work. Centred around scientific studies and enriched by in-house experiences and innovations, the course covers the fundamentals necessary before you enter the next 12 weeks of the programme – the Challenges in International Health course.

There, you will expand on the basics by learning the multidisciplinary approaches to health challenges in low-resource settings. Throughout this course, you’ll be joined by a diverse class of clinicians and biomedical scientists as lecturers intertwine their lessons with their personal experiences and case studies.

Belgian general practitioner Angela Willems didn’t anticipate how much she would enjoy the course. “We covered topics like health in times of crisis and disease prevention and control – topics not typically addressed in traditional medical courses,” she says. “Looking ahead, the programme is making me think about shifting my career toward public health. It has been a valuable and eye-opening experience.”

Advanced tropical medicine and challenges in international health (ATMCIH)

Targeted at physicians, the ATMCIH programme – available in English and French – begins with the Challenges in International Health course (taught alongside ITMCIH students) to build your foundation in international health problems. The course will have you develop your skills through analysing case studies, allowing you to gain the first principles of complex health problems and how to solve them.

The second part of the programme revolves around the Tropical Medicine and Clinical Decision Making course. Here, you learn about the conditions of tropical and infectious diseases and the clinical and diagnostic challenges in resource-constrained settings. The course focuses on descriptive pathology, laboratory practices and clinical decision-making adapted to low-resource settings and tropical district hospitals.

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