January 2024 Info Sheet
Brazil Flag
Course Dates: January 3 – 19, 2024

Location: Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas. Located in the center of the largest tropical rainforest in the world, Manaus has the largest indigenous population in Brazil according to the latest 2022 census. The historical, geographical, and cultural context offers enormous potential for sustainable development initiatives, while at the same time facing low socioeconomic levels and significant structural and logistical challenges in the health system. In particular, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the region faced extreme difficulties, including a crisis of oxygen shortage in hospitals and limitations on the number of intensive care beds. Students participating in the course will have the opportunity to learn from hands-on experience about local efforts, as well as about the Brazilian Health System, public health polices, and disease burden in the country.

Course format: The course combines lectures, discussions, site visits (e.g., health facilities, governmental institutions, secretary of health, community-based programs, NGOs,), and group work. Five specific topics will be covered in the course: HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, health systems, and nutrition.

Participants: 15 students from Harvard and 15 students from Brazil will be selected. Faculty from Harvard and several Brazilian institutions will lecture, lead discussions, and mentor group work.

Overall objectives: Enhance participants’ abilities to:

  • Critically analyze environmental and socioeconomic factors in Brazil that are associated with a high prevalence and geographic distribution of diseases.
  • Identify population characteristics associated with disease morbidity and mortality.
  • Foster lasting academic collaborations and joint research projects between Harvard and Brazilian participants, strengthening personal networks throughout Brazil and internationally.

At the end of the course, students will present and discuss their projects. Throughout this course, students will have an opportunity to interact with faculty from Harvard as well as faculty, public health workers, researchers, and students from Brazil.