Health and wholeness undergraduate course in Uganda: potential public health impact and transferability
Over 26,000 students at a major Christian University in Uganda have completed a single semester course on Health and Wholeness. While common in other higher education contexts, general education courses and health education courses in particular are uncommon in the Africa higher education context. This course therefore is a bold initiative by Uganda Christian University. The course is designed to help students in a wide range of programs understand how to promote and improve health in their own lives as well as their homes, communities, workplace and society. Students learn about the definitions of health and wholeness. They discuss hygiene; nutrition; sanitation, water and land use; common occurring health problems, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections; sexuality; first aid and early intervention; family health, dependence, fitness and life skills and leadership for a healthy society. Through discussion, students are expected to identify factors that hinder or enhance health. Challenges and lessons learned in the course include confronting cultural practices, improving critical analysis skills, addressing information at the right technical level, and improving behavior change. Because graduates come from, and move on to, virtually all facets of economic, civil and social life in Uganda and beyond, this course could carry tremendous potential to improve the public’s health.
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