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Disease in the Developing World

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This course discusses the problems posed by diseases that are specifically tropical or ones that stem from deficiencies in water supply and sanitation provision.

The approach adopted is an ecological one and gives particular attention to control through habitat modification and technology transfer.

Topics to be discussed:

  • diseases transmitted by mosquitoes
  • diseases transmitted by ticks and mites
  • diseases transmitted to man from other mammals
  • the health implications of faulty water supplies and poor sanitation
  • disorders associated with malnutrition and the environmental background to these problems
  • regional case histories illustrating the role of habitat alterations, educational programmes and medical interventions in disease control
  • travellers' health; regulations and mechanisms for minimising health risks to travellers to Developing World countries
  • health problems following natural disasters
  • the role of traditional medicine in local health care.

This course is for anyone who is interested in the problems posed by diseases that are specifically tropical, or ones that stem from deficiencies in water supply and sanitation provision.

Learning and teaching

There will be lectures, discussions and case studies (20 hours). A full range of visual aids will be employed and you will be given critical feedback on your written reports.

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

During the course you may be asked to undertake a presentation, complete a report, and there will be a class test at the end of the course.

Reading suggestions

  • Journal: - Social Science and Medicine Feachem, R.G., Bradley, D.J., Garelick, H. & Mara, D.D. (1983).
  • Sanitation and Disease. Health Aspects of Excreta  and Wastewater Management. John Wiley, Chichester. Werner, D.B. & Bower, B.L. (1982).
  • Helping Health Workers Learn. The Hesperian Foundation, Palo Alto, California. Manson-Bahr, P.E.C. & Apted, F.I.C. (1982).
  • Manson's Tropical Diseases. Balliere Tindall, London.

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.