T4948-Global Health in Uganda and Rwanda

Gulu, Kampala, Kigali, Rwinkwavu
Faculty: Amy Finnegan and Michael Westerhaus
01/02/2018 – 01/24/2018

Study social determinants of health and explore global health partnerships while studying alongside university students from Uganda and Rwanda

Academic Overview
This course provides a structured global health immersion experience that emphasizes a biosocial framework. Such an approach appreciates how health and disease emerge through the interaction between biology and the social environment. Through exploration of social determinants of health, students will gain an appreciation for nuanced global and local contexts that influence health outcomes and the types of health interventions designed to address illness in those contexts.  The course employs active learning pedagogy, dialogue with diverse groups of Ugandan and Rwandans, rigorous self-reflection, visits to various health care treatment and service settings, and a robust introduction to a health advocacy skill set.  As this course will be taught in partnership with the non-profit organization, SocMed, university students from several Sub-Saharan African countries will also participate regularly in the class.  This presents an opportunity for formative cross-cultural student interaction, which is integral to building international solidarity and generating solutions to global health challenges facing societies throughout the world.

Program Fee
Cost: 6,350-6,650
*Each home institution may have supplementary fees in addition to the price listed. 
Comprehensive Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, visa fees for Uganda & Rwanda, modest guest house/hostel accommodations in twin/triple rooms, light continental breakfast daily, 16 lunches and 18 dinners (subject to change).  Note:  A Yellow Fever vaccination is required for entrance into Uganda.

There are no prerequisites.

Required Readings

  1. Atkinson, Ronald. “Afterword: A Perspective on the Last Thirty Years.” The Origins of the Acholi of Uganda. Kampala: Fountain Publishers.
  2. Bleiker, Roland and Kay, Amy.   “Representing HIV/AIDS in Africa: Pluralist Photography and Local Empowerment.”  International Studies Quarterly 51(4): 1003-1006.
  3. Cases in Global Health Delivery.   “The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) of Uganda: Case 8.”
  4. Cueto, Marcos.   “The Origins of Primary Health Care and Selective Primary Health Care.” American Journal of Public Health 94(11): 1864-74.
  5. Declaration of Alma-Ata.
  6. Farmer, Paul. “Medicine and Social Justice.”  America 173(2):13-17.
  7. Farmer, Paul. 2003. Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  8. Foucault, Michel., 1973. The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception. Tavistock Publications, pp 3-4.
  9. Harden, Blaine. “When Ebola Came to St. Mary’s.” New York Times Magazine, February 18, 2001.
  10. Heywood, Mark. 2009. “South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign: Combining Law and Social Mobilization to Realize the Right to Health” Journal of Human Rights Practice. 1(1):14-36.
  11. Hunt, Paul and Gunilla Backman. 2008 “Health Systems and the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health.” Health and Human Rights 10(1):81-92
  12. Keshavjee, Salmaan.   “Epilogue: Reframing the Moral Dimensions of Engagement,” In: Blind Spot: How Neoliberalism Infiltrated Global Health.  University of California Press, pp. 136-144.
  13. Kleinman, Arthur.   “Four Social Theories for Global Health.”  Lancet 375: 1518-1519.
  14. Kretzmann, John P. and McKnight, John L. 1993. “Introduction” Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets, Evanston, IL: Institute for Policy Research.
  15. McEwen, Bruce. “Protective and Damaging Effects of Stress Mediators.” NEJM 338(3): 171-179.
  16. Okuonzi, Sam.   “Dying for economic growth? Evidence of a flawed economic policy in

Uganda.”  Lancet (364): 1632-37.

  1. p’Bitek, Okot. “Song of Lawino, Song of Ocol” Excerpts.
  2. Porter, Dorothy. “How Did Social Medicine Evolve, and Where Is It Heading?”  PLoS Medicine 3(10): e399.
  3. Pérez, Leda, and Martinez, Jacqueline. “Community Health Workers: Social Justice and Policy Advocates for Community Health and Well-Being.” Am J Public Health 98: 11-14.
  4. Roberts, Maya.   “Duffle Bag Medicine.”  JAMA 295: 1491-1492.
  5. Bridget 1999. “Toward an Improved Understanding of the International Human Right to Health” Human Rights Quarterly Vol 21(3): 661-679
  6. Uganda Civil Society Manifesto 2016-2021:
  7. United Nations. “UN Declaration of Human Rights.”

20% – Group Participation and Attendance
20% – Course Journal
30% – Team Project
20 % – Final Essay
10 % – Final Exam

Program Directors

Amy C. Finnegan, PhD, MALD., St. Thomas University (651) 962.5421, email: finn5048@stthomas.edu

Michael J. Westerhaus, MD, MA, (651) 647.2245, email: michaeljwesterhaus@gmail.com

Description of Faculty Directors
Dr. Amy Finnegan is Assistant Professor and Chair of Justice and Peace Studies at UST. She studies social movements and social change, peace and conflict dynamics, and global health with many years of experience in northern Uganda. She is committed to building spaces and opportunities for constructive dialogue across divergent perspectives.  She is also the co-director of SocMed, a non-profit organization that advocates for and implements global health education in the pursuit of justice and equity through immersion courses in northern Uganda and now, Haiti.  This will be Dr. Finnegan’s second time teaching this UMAIE course.

Dr. Mike Westerhaus is an internal medicine primary care physician and anthropologist. He has extensive experience teaching medical and nursing students as well as medical residents as faculty in the University of Minnesota Global Pathway in Internal Medicine. He is a primary-care physician and Medical Director of the Center for International Health (CIH) in St. Paul, which caters primarily to refugee patients. He also has experience providing clinical care in Uganda. Beyond his medical education, he has a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology from Harvard University where he studied under Dr. Paul Farmer. Dr. Westerhaus co-directs SocMed, and this will be his second time teaching this UMAIE course

Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2017.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2017

For more information on course content, contact Amy Finnegin
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.


How To Apply


Rules and Procedures 2017 (PDF)

Rules and Procedures
Each UMAIE member school has their own application process in place. The UMAIE application process is described in the attached PDF file, and the required documents are available in the How to Apply section.

Applications are accepted until October 1, 2017.
No application will be considered without ALL the required signed documents, copies and a deposit check. If you have any questions please contact your campus UMAIE Board Member.


Travel Packet

ePacket (Link)

Click the image at left to access the course Travel Packet. The ePacket contains important information about traveling abroad, including your itinerary, frequently asked questions, participant letter and culturegram.

Preliminary Itinerary will be posted by October 16.
Final Itinerary will be posted by December 7.


The Orientation process includes 3 components:
– an online self-study and quiz on the UMAIE student handbook.
– an in-person orientation conducted by your faculty director(s)
– an on-site orientation upon arrival.

You are REQUIRED to participate in and complete all 3 steps within the deadlines specified below. Failure to do so may result in your removal from the course.

Student Handbook and Online Quiz

2018 Student Manual (PDF)

We have put together this handbook to provide you with helpful information for planning and spending your time abroad. The handbook is also your primary study guide to pass your online quiz. There are excellent tips in this handbook, and it is organized in a way we hope will be user-friendly and straightforward.

Please carefully read the UMAIE student handbook and complete the quiz on the UMAIE student handbook by October 20, 2017.


quiz_thumbYou can access the online quiz through your online application by logging in to your school’s study abroad website. Complete the 2018 UMAIE Participant Quiz under Assessments on your online application portal.

For students at St. Ambrose University, see your study abroad adviser for a paper copy of the quiz.

 Orientation Session

The orientation session for this course will be conducted in-person. You will be notified of the time and location of your orientation.
If you have not received notice, contact your Study Abroad Program Director.


Participants are required to bring their Student ID card with them on the course to qualify for reduced student entrances at many sites. Without your ID, you could be responsible to pay any difference in entrance fees.