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Barbara Schumann on sustainability in public health education

In the field of public health, it is important to explain how climate change can lead to an increase in health related problems worldwide. Barbara Schulman has been strongly engaged in developing the course “Health, environment and sustainability” that started in spring 2017.

“The Master’s course in Public Health is needed now more than ever as the world is facing change whether we want it or not. The course aim is to teach students what health dangers are linked to environmental issues and how we can create communities that are more resistant to climate change.

Communities need to adapt as we are faced with many future outbreaks of dengue and malaria in new areas compared to previously, as a direct consequence of global warming and changes in precipitation patterns.
 
”Previously, we held the research course Climate change and health research methods, but we have developed the new course to see the wider picture, and give a more over- all view of sustainable development, something that runs deeper than climate change alone. So far, we’ve learnt a lot from the first semester as we see a clear need of project work starting earlier.

Sustainable development is important for our future, and our department has taken certain measures. For instance, we encourage colleagues to choose train before airplane for business trips or to hold Skype meetings instead of travelling. At the unit, we buy locally produced fairtrade tea, coffee, and conference meals and snacks. On our planning days, we plan for primarily vegetarian and locally produced meals.”

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