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Health Care and Human Development in South Africa (shortTREC)

Professor: Brianne Barker
Credits: 4


Visit key cities to study the complex interplay between modern and traditional medicine in South Africa: Durban, a multicultural port city; Johannesburg, its vibrant heart; and Cape Town, a cosmopolitan coastal city. Each offers a unique perspective on South African medicine, from modern teaching hospitals, NGOs and research labs to rural clinics and traditional healing centers.


What is the relationship between health care and culture in South Africa? How and why do South Africans integrate modern Western medicine with traditional healing practices? Might this South African approach—addressing mind, body and soul—hold lessons for us?


Observe the practice of health care and biomedical research in South Africa. Study the care of patients in hospitals, clinics and research centers as well as shrines, prayer camps and healing centers. Engage with practitioners and clients through service learning. Examine the challenges of integrating culturally resonant healing practices into health policy and human development.


This program is especially relevant to students planning careers in medicine, public health or human development. Its skills-based, interdisciplinary design provides a Launch- endorsed experience for students of all majors, with particular appeal in the natural sciences, Pan-African studies, anthropology, religion, international relations and public policy.

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