Duke University : Global Education for Undergraduates

OTS - Global Health Issues in South Africa

The summer program is a four week course which will be offered twice in Summer 2017.

Summer Session I: May 27, 2017 – June 25, 2017 (fly from US 5/26 to arrive 5/27 in JNB)

Summer Session II: July 5, 2017 – August 3, 2017 (fly from US 7/4 to arrive 7/5)

Global Health Issues in South Africa Duke University—Global Health GLHLTH 382A - CCI, EI, SS

This program focuses on three major themes: the health system in South Africa; the clinical, social, and political aspects of the country’s most prevalent infectious diseases; and the roles of traditional healers. The program employs the lenses of biomedicine, medical anthropology, and public health to provide a critical interdisciplinary  perspective on these issues. You will attend lectures, participate in field trips, and engage in independent studies. As often as possible, the course coordinator and other experts will conduct class in the field, coordinating the material with visits to appropriate sites so that you can connect theory to experience. Collaborative research projects will give you the chance to work in groups to  formulate a question, design a strategy to answer it, carry out three days of field research, analyze the data, and then present the project in the form of a scientific report. At the end of the program, you will deliver your results at a symposium.

Specific Goals:

In this course you will:

  • Observe South Africa’s primary health care system and its priorities, strategies, and efficacy
  • Learn about the challenges of providing health care in South Africa, which mixes traditional and modern health care approaches
  • Shadow doctors and other health care workers in rural South Africa
  • Debate conceptual issues underlying current South African medicine and public health policies
  • Understand the issues related to such health problems as tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS, malaria, and water-borne illnesses that medical practitioners in rural versus urban areas face
  • Develop leadership skills by organizing a  community-based research project

Students will stay in Kruger National Park in groups of two to four in cottages with electricity and hot water. In the village of HamaKuya, students will stay at a small research station and will also live with other students with local families.

Applicants should be undergraduates. Duke and non-Duke students may apply.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, with priority given to those received prior to March 1. It is important to apply as early as possible to ensure space availability.

Non-Duke Applicants: Non-Duke students must be degree-seeking students in good standing at an accredited college or university. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in study abroad on Duke’s programs.

GEO policy for graduating seniors who wish to apply for a Duke summer study abroad/away program:

Students must be active, matriculated students in order to participate in any Duke-in summer programs, including Duke’s domestic summer programs.  All program courses must be taken for graded credit. If seniors plan  to graduate in May of the year they plan to study abroad in the summer, they will not be eligible to participate on any of our summer programs unless they receive approval from their academic dean at Duke to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended.

Non-Duke students planning to graduate in May in the year they plan to study abroad in the summer must provide approval to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended from the appropriate official at their home institution Such approval must be furnished in writing to GEO before the student will be allowed to participate in the summer program.  This approval may be sent via email to the appropriate program assistant at GEO.  
Duke students who defer their graduation to participate in study abroad should consult with their financial aid advisor in the Duke Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid to determine whether they are eligible for a summer aid package and/or a GEO summer scholarship.

For further information about this program, contact the Organization for Tropical Studies at or visit the OTS website.

Last revised: 24 October 2016

    • Homestay in Gondeni Village in HaMakuya, South Africa
    • Homestay in Gondeni Village in HaMakuya, South Africa

    • Soccer in South Africa
    • Soccer in South Africa

    • Field work in South Africa
    • Field work in South Africa

    • Traditional Health Provider - South Africa
    • Traditional Health Provider - South Africa