The 2017 Universitas 21 Health Sciences Summer School was hosted by the University of Johannesburg on the topic of "Global Health and the Social Determinants of Health".


The central theme of this summer school was "Global Health and the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH)". The program was designed to be an interactive two-week program. The program’s aims were to educate the participants about the SDoH and how these link to health planning, service delivery and outcomes. Each participant had an opportunity to actively engage with other participants and facilitators while gaining an understanding of the impact of the SDoH within their discipline and in health as a whole. Interdisciplinary discussions and interaction was the key feature of the program.

The program covered the following topics:

  • The SDoH, development and rational

  • Global perspectives on SDoH.

  • Burden of disease in developing regions such as South Africa, and comparative analysis and discussion related to participants origin.

  • Health Economics in developed and developing regions, and planning for health outcomes.

  • Public and private health care systems.

  • Health promotion and preventative strategies.

  • Effects of global warming, climate change and environment on health.

  • Teamwork in health care service delivery.

The program also linked with the Sustainable Development Goals and was specifically designed to link formal presentations by subject experts with a number of field trips and tours in and around Johannesburg. Each outing was specifically crafted to allow the participants to experience first-hand real world examples of the impact that society, economics and environment have on health. Furthermore, the program also focused on the importance of teamwork and collaboration in health care with facilitated group discussions and tasks that allowed for sharing of knowledge, expertise and experiences from the various home countries, regions and institutions. This will include simulated interdisciplinary activities.