Skip to main content

GeorgetownX: Urban Health in Crisis: Response from Sub-Saharan Africa

Learn about the complex health challenges urban environments face, and how these issues are being addressed. Join world-renowned lecturers and researchers to delve into an understanding of urban populations, infectious disease responses and local governance for health.

12 weeks
1–2 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
This course is archived

About this course

Skip About this course

Since the 1950’s, rapid urbanization has been one of the most consequential worldwide trends to impact societies. Over 50% of the world’s population now live in urban areas. Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing the fastest rate of urban growth in the world and is the continent with the largest need for resources to achieve sustainable economic development.

This course will explore the challenges of addressing urban health, sometimes referred to as the “crisis of urban health in Sub-Saharan Africa”. It will analyze and visualize key issues that policy makers, planners and implementers are currently addressing.

The course is open to a wide audience – designed for both general interest students and professionals working in the field, such as municipal officers, urban planners, and community organizers.

The study of urban health traditionally looks to the interconnections between the built environment, social dynamics, and the health of individuals. Given the complex multidimensional settings in urban Sub-Saharan Africa, recent pandemics, and resource challenges, this course will look further to both understand and address urban health issues. Learn from world-renowned experts with hands-on experience in managing urban health challenges and explore these topics through a highly visual and case-study-based course.

This course was conceptualized and developed through collaboration among The University of Health and Allied Sciences (Ghana), The University of Ghana, and Georgetown University (USA).

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Urbanization, Research, Governance, Built Environment, Infectious Diseases, Crisis Management

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Appreciate what an urban area is and understand urbanization trends, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Examine urbanization trends within the larger national economic and social conditions to better understand population needs.
  • Understand the factors and characteristics of urban informality and how slum areas are formed across Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Examine the factors in urban environments that lead to epidemics and pandemics and response strategies for controlling pandemics in urban areas
  • Examine the interactions between local governance frameworks, the health of urban populations, and more broadly the national health system.
  • Understand how multi-sector collaboration influences health needs in urban areas at the local, national, and international levels.

What Are Urban Environments?

  • Unit 1.1: Urban Populations
  • Unit 1.2: Emerging Urban Systems: Demographic Trends
  • Unit 1.3: Urban Informality

Epidemics in Urban Areas

  • Unit 2.1: Introduction to Health in Urban Areas
  • Unit 2.2: Case Study: Ebola in West Africa
  • Unit 2.3: Case Study: COVID-19 in Urban Ghana

Governance and Cross-Sector Collaboration

  • Unit 3.1: Local Governance and Urban Health
  • Unit 3.2: Multi-Sector Collaboration for Urban Health
  • Unit 3.3: Addressing Complex Urban Health Challenges

What's Next

Interested in this course for your business or team?

Train your employees in the most in-demand topics, with edX For Business.