HEA 101: Health and Society

3 credits | Prerequisites: None

Course rationale

Prevention of diseases, promotion, and protection of health hazards require a comprehensive understanding of socio-economic, cultural, political as well as biological, and physical aspects of health and illness. Considering these factors health problems are complex in origin and require health and non-health experts from different fields to work through an integrated approach with the targeted population and service providers. This approach will facilitate to understand the underlying problems and recommend and apply comprehensive solutions for the prevention of diseases, promotion, and protection of health. This course will facilitate widening students’ view and understanding human health issues from a holistic and comprehensive perspective and internalizing the complex relationship among various social aspects of health, disease, and illness

Course content

Introduction to Health and Society: Concept of health, components of overall health, determinants of health, the relationship between society, culture, and health. Social Determinants of Health: Role of education, healthcare services, neighborhood context, economic stability, social support, social gradient, stress, addiction, food, transport, and early life on maintaining health and causing diseases. Introduction to the types of Diseases: Concept of disease, terminologies, and definitions related to infectious diseases, mode of transmission, characteristics, types, and risk factors of non-communicable diseases. Disease Prevention and Emergency Management: Different levels of disease prevention, preliminary management, and referral for common health emergencies. Maternal Health: Maternal health care, maternal health indicators, causes of maternal mortality, 3-delay model, ANC, PNC, EMONC, the importance of maternal health in MDG and SDG, maternal healthcare services in Bangladesh. Child Health and Development: Child health and mortality, early newborn care, neonatal screening, domains of child development, developmental screening, and surveillance, common neurodevelopmental conditions. Mental Health: Overview, common presentation, classification and risk factors of common mental health conditions, the burden of mental health problems, screening of depression and anxiety disorders. Healthcare System of Bangladesh: Organogram and financing of healthcare delivery system of Bangladesh, the role of the private sector, challenges of the health system.

Course objectives

At the end of the course students will have a comprehensive understanding of the following issues:

  1. Introduction to (a) health & disease (b) levels of prevention of diseases (c) promotion and protection of health
  2. Socio-economic and cultural factors that directly and indirectly influence the risk of diseases
  3. Socio-economic and cultural factors that influence directly and indirectly the positive health of people
  4. Governments and non-government organizations, private sectors, communities, and local organizations contributions to the prevention of diseases, promotion, and protection of health.


Text Book(s)

  1.  Park’s Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine, 21st Edition by K. Park

Reference Book(s)

  1. Global Health – Diseases, Programs, Systems, and Policies by Michael H. Merson, Robert E. Black, Anne J. Mills, 3rd Edition.
  2. Sargent C, Johnson TM, Johnson II, Malcolm TMT. Handbook of Medical anthropology. Contemporary theory and method.