University of West Indies
Mona Campus

Kingston, Jamaica

3 credit hours

Online registration form


This 3 credit hour field course is open to advanced undergraduate, medical, nursing, and public health students. Focused on community-based approaches to public health, this course emphasizes the integration and application of classroom, laboratory and field experiences in order to foster problem-solving skills for infectious disease ecology, surveillance and control in resource-constrained settings.

About the Course

The Jamaica field course is jointly offered by the UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health, University of the West Indies (UWI) at Mona and the Jamaican Ministry of Health (JMoH). This course is comprised of several components, including:

  • Cultural immersion and team building are vital components of the overall experience. All students will stay on the UWI campus. Jamaican students and public health practitioners are full and active participants in this program, and their participation brings valuable experience to the study of Jamaican public health issues.
  • Built-in free time, social events, and cultural enrichment activities, including a free day in lovely Ocho Rios, provide students time together, away from the intense academic focus of the program, as well as an opportunity to explore Jamaica.
  • Field-Based projects and teamwork focusing on one of three groups: Arthropod-borne Diseases, HIV/AIDS & STD Control, and Water & Sanitation. Students will conduct fieldwork each afternoon and some evenings. This includes mosquito trappings and larval surveys, water and sewage treatment plant evaluations, assessments of rodent control, and analysis of surveillance data.The ultimate goal is to learn the use of field techniques to generate and analyze data. Teams will organize and/or develop research designs, culminating in group project presentations.
  • Site visits to HIV/STI clinics and service centers, laboratories, rodent control sites, rural zones, water and sewage treatment facilities, and the Jamaican Ministry of Health, provide students with an in-depth look at some of the major public health issues in resource-limited settings.
  • On-site lectures in medical entomology, infectious disease epidemiology and disease surveillance and control, presented online prior to the course, will compliment on-site briefings by Jamaican scientists and public health experts. Readings will be assigned, and students will be required to keep a field log.

Who Might Consider This Course?

Global health, epidemiology, health behavior, and environmental health students will find the field studies in Jamaica highly complementary to the in-class experiences of their public health studies. Each of the subgroups, vector control, water/sanitation, and HIV/STI prevention, is strongly focused on applied public health principles.

Medical and nursing students interested in global health can acquire valuable experience to assist in their career decisions. A number of the experiences are both surveillance and clinically oriented, particularly in the HIV/STI subgroup.

Undergraduates with a Junior standing, and 3.5 GPA can take the course with the prior permission of the course director. The experience will be valuable in assisting in career selection for persons considering health professions.

We welcome diversity. Past students have come from over 18 U.S. states and 14 different countries worldwide.

For more details, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What past students have to say about the course:

"Wonderful course! I really enjoyed the course, and loved getting to experience different HIV clinics and advocacy groups within Jamaica. It was nice to have handsāˆ’on experience in a global setting, especially getting to experience the workshop on Friday and going on interventions with peer educators. I also enjoyed most of the environmental aspect... Overall though, I would absolutely recommend anyone interested in global health to take this course!"