Addressing Disease Burden in a Global Context


Course Objective

In this course, current status and theories within the global health
field regarding the Global Burden of Disease are introduced in lectures.
This will be followed by in-depth lectures on specific topics delivered
by a group of researchers from a wide range of research topics.

Also in this course, during work group sessions, you will continue with
the Learning Track Research Methods: Quantitative research methods.
For this you will need to have installed STATA on your personal laptop,
which you will need to bring along during the work group sessions.

The student acquires knowledge and insight into:
- Disease burden in different parts of the world and its drivers
- Cause and effect of co-morbidity and double burden of disease.
- Medical, social, cultural and economic factors that play a role in
and double burden of disease
- Complexity of (transdisciplinary) intervention development in co-
morbidity, evaluation and financing
- Health systems’ responses to different burdens

The student learns
- To study different cases of co-morbidity in different cultures and
- To apply epidemiological methods for investigating and managing
disease outbreaks
- To be aware and critical of their own actions, thinking and decision-
making (including self-reflection of their role as a researcher in
transdisciplinary research)
- To be solution-oriented
- To reflect ethically on responsibilities regarding the implementation
of interventions

Course Content

Low-income countries are confronted with a growing burden of chronic,
non-infectious disorders and concurrently have a high incidence of
infectious diseases (double disease burden). The interrelationship
between some infections and chronic disease has been well-established.

These patterns of increasing co-morbidity and chronic diseases has a
significant impact on public health, health systems and economic

• In the first week the focus will be on a general understanding of the
concepts of Burden of Disease – building on the content of the lecture
from year 1. Importance of measuring health and how to do that are at
the heart of this session. From here we will address the burden of
non-communicable disease and what the specific implications on disease
burden are in the context of urbanization.

. The second week will focus on the burden of infectious diseases,
from control of infectious diseases in general to the burden of zoonoses
and antimicrobial drug resistance. In this week we will also look at the
impact of burden of disease on the need for critical care for patients.

. The third week we spend on work done at the KEMRI (Kenya Medical
Research Institute) and how we as researchers can develop the tool kit
for quantitative studies. During this week you will also work on an
assignment portfolio in sub groups. The topic of the assignments is to
develop the data collection tool kit for studying a particular
phenomenon for an epidemiological study in the area of HIV in Kenya. A
direct link between data analysis form this research project and
learning about data collection tool development will be explored.

. The fourth week is reserved for self study, a course review and
one individually written exams (combination of quantitative methods and
the content of the lectures.)

Concluding, you will individually need time for self-study to acquire
the knowledge you need to accomplish the assignments during the course.
The different activities are indicated in the schedule.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, work groups, STATA practicals, problem-based learning,

Method of Assessment

The knowledge and skills gained in this course will be assessed in two
different ways:

1. The written group assignment for KEMRI case study
2. An individually written exam on Quantitative Methods
3. An individually written exam on content of the other lectures.

The group assignment will be weighed 30%, the Quantitative Methods exam
35%, and Lectures Exam 35%

Each of the three elements of assessment needs to be scored at least
5.5 for a “Pass” .


- Merson, Black and Mills (2012): Global Health (3rd ed): chapters 1, 3,
5, 7.
- additional journal articles
- Quantitative methods: course material will be shared on BB.

Additional Information

Obligatory course for Global Health students

dr. A.H.A. ten Asbroek (AIGHD)

General Information

Course Code AM_1045
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 600
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. A.H.A. ten Asbroek
Examiner dr. A.H.A. ten Asbroek
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group, Computer lab
Target audiences

This course is also available as: