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Primary and Secondary Prevention Strategies in Global Public Health



[BSc], GPH

Admission Requirements



Prevention strategies in global public health refers to actions to prevent the occurrence of a disease (Primary Prevention) or actions to arrest the progress and reduce the consequences of a disease once established (Secondary Prevention).

Lifestyle factors as smoking, dietary habits, unsafe sex and physical activity but also social factors as poverty, social support and health care facilities are important determinants of health and disease. Hence, promoting healthy life styles combined with improving living and working conditions and health care facilities play an important role in public health interventions.

During this course attention will be given to the development of theory-based and evidence-based interventions applied to health promotion, prevention of both communicable and non-communicable diseases and tackling socioeconomic inequalities in health. In addition to this, key strategies in disease prevention such as vaccination and screening programs will be discussed.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students will:

  • Know social and behavioral determinants of common communicable and non-communicable diseases.

  • Know determinants of health behavior.

  • Know prevention policies for major global public health challenges

  • Understand methods and practice in primary and secondary prevention research.

  • Understand the justification and regulation of screening and vaccination programs.

  • Be able to design their own theory-based and evidence-based prevention intervention.

Mode of Instruction

  • Lectures

  • Exercises

  • Student presentations


  • Student presentation (10%)

  • Individual essay: justification of a screening programme (20%)

  • Group assignment: development of a health promotion programme using Intervention Mapping (40%)

  • Written examination (30%)


Bartholomew LK, Parcel SG, Kok G, GottliebNH, Fernandex ME. Planning Health Promotion Programs. An Intervention Mapping Approach. 3rd edition. 2011 John Wiley and Sons Ltd.