Tropical and infectious disease epidemiology: from theory to practice

Dates: 27-30 September 2016

Program sponsor: HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program

Convenor:  Dr. Iryna Zablotska

Lecturer/s/: Iryna Zablotska

Tutors: Stefanie Vaccher, Benjamin Bavinton

Aims:  This course will provide an introduction to infectious disease epidemiology and the application of epidemiological tools and methods in identifying, preventing, and controlling infectious diseases, including HIV and tropical diseases, to improve public health.

Student learning outcomes: By the end of the course the students will be able to:

  • Describe, understand and apply main epidemiological terms and indicators.
  • Demonstrate their capacity to assess an epidemiological issue and formulate a research question.
  • Assess relative advantages and disadvantages of different research designs and indicate a research design most suitable to answer the research question.
  • Calculate key epidemiological indicators and statistics
  • Describe how epidemiological methods can be utilized to assess risk factors and develop and evaluate strategies to prevent the spread of HIV and tropical diseases.
  • Learn most effective methods of presentation of epidemiological data for public health purposes.

Teaching strategies and methods will include a combination of:

  • A series of didactic sessions to introduce, explain and explore key epidemiological concepts, terms and methods;
  • Case studies based on the literature and the work of the Kirby research staff;
  • A small group exercise on investigation of an epidemiological issue with a presentation of findings.

Content: This course introduces the basic methods for infectious disease epidemiology. Case-studies focus on epidemiology of HIV and tropical diseases. It provides basic understanding of their transmission across Asia and the Pacific region, current epidemiological issues in the region and methods to address them. Methods include definitions, indicators, disease surveillance and investigation of specific epidemiological issues using different epidemiological research designs. Case-studies focus on infectious diseases, particularly HIV and tropical diseases (particularly mosquito-borne and parasitic infections), and are designed on real work and experience of the Kirby staff at the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program and other Programs.

Assessment: Main assessment will be of a group exercise on investigation of a specific epidemiological issue on prevention of HIV or tropical diseases with presentation of findings. This will provide hands on experience in practical application of epidemiological methods learnt in this course.

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