PG Cert in Global Health Unit 3: Community Approaches to Health
by: Tiia Haapaniemi
This is the third module of the course, and probably the one that I am most excited about, because it is making us understand the humanity behind health. I always thought that health seeking behaviour is not determined by how good the services are but by a range of topics. This module has indeed strengthened my thinking. If we want good health care delivery, we need to understand not only medicine but politics, economics, power balances, beliefs systems, etc.
This module has been very rewarding in the sense that by now I feel completely comfortable with the online learning platform (blackboard). But, most importantly, in this module I have been able to professionally relate with many of the topics, and reflect around practical matters and challenges in my daily work. Particularly interesting have been the sessions on stigma and discrimination, and on health promotion and changing behaviour, because the sessions challenge you to think beyond the usual. Many things may stop an individual from going to the clinic, and service-providers should be sensitive to spotting these. Health promotion is very difficult, and it is a slow process to change the health-seeking behaviour. The course reading includes interesting case studies that integrate local understanding and health information. It is easier to pick up the change, when the information is given to you with language and beliefs that you understand.
Regarding the marking, instead of the usual multiple questions test and final essay, this module includes a critical review and a final essay. It is fun to do something else for a change; I had not written a critical review in ages, and enjoyed trying it out.
Our teachers in this module are keen and motived, and the discussion on the discussion board seems lively. The whole online environment around the module pushes me to excel and give my best. However, it is really tough to keep up with the rhythm as I have a full-time work and frequent travel. I tend to take marathon study weekends, when I do several sessions at once. This approach is probably not the best nor recommended, but so far it is the only one that I can work with J
In conclusion, the module has opened my eyes even more on understanding the humanity behind medicine, and how complex yet rewarding it is to seek health care solutions that work.