Inaugural Palestine Social Medicine Course Launched

The 2023 cohort of the inaugural Palestine Social Medicine course standing in front of the statue of a man with a raised fist in Palestine.

The Institute of Community and Public Health (ICPH) at Birzeit University, the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights, and the World Health Organization in the occupied Palestinian territory have launched the Palestine Social Medicine course. This intensive course is part of the activities of the Palestine Program for Health and Human Rights, a partnership between ICPH at Birzeit University and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, United States. The course is supported through Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation funding to WHO occupied Palestinian territory Right to Health programme.

Course participants comprise a group of 30 medical and health sciences students from Palestinian universities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as universities in the United States.

The course aims to educate students about the social, structural, and political determinants of health globally and in Palestine, providing practical and real-life examples of the obstacles that hinder reaching optimal levels of health and healthcare delivery and exploring strategies to mitigate these obstacles. The course combines theoretical lectures with interactive group activities and field visits, offering a comprehensive and dynamic learning experience. The three-week course equips students with the theoretical foundations and tools to understand and analyze the social and structural determinants of health; the applicability of those foundations and tools in the Palestinian historical and geographic context; and the skills to use these tools towards structural change and improved health.