This course will focus on public health in the developing world from the perspective of the social sciences, drawing on economics, demography, political science and sociology. First, we will look at epidemiological and demographic evidence on the worldwide trends in mortality across time and consider factors driving the unprecedented mortality declines of the last century. We will then discuss the interaction between health and wealth at both the individual and national levels. The rest of the course will be roughly divided between domestic public health policies within developing countries and global health issues with major impact in the developing world. On the former, we will discuss health care systems in developing country and options for improvement. We will also compare HIV policy in several specific countries. In terms of global issues, we will look in depth at regulation of pharmaceuticals and access to medicine in developing countries; health worker migration from poor to rich countries (“brain drain”); global food shortages; and population policy and gender bias in survival.
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