Exploring Public Health and Islam

February 21, 2005

Madeline Vann
Phone: 504-247-1425

The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is tackling a timely topic in a new course and lecture series: "Islamic Perspectives on Public Health and Development Issues." This is the first course of its kind in the country - and it is much needed, according to associate professor of international health and development Kate Macintyre, who spends part of the year working on public health interventions in Africa.

"Recent events have brought a lot of attention to the role that Islam plays on the world stage," Macintyre says. "For students and professionals in the public health field, who work internationally, or who work in any community where there are significant numbers of Muslims, it is crucial to have a working knowledge of Islam's view of and contribution to medicine, health care and development issues."

The goal of the course is to enhance students' abilities to work effectively in all countries which are either Islamic or where there is a significant Muslim community. Classes explore religion, social values and history as well as attitudes about health care. The course is coordinated by Macintyre and public health doctoral student Chadia Wannous.

The lecture series, which complements the regularly scheduled classes, brings in speakers from around the country to discuss a broad array of topics, including mental health, reproductive health, human rights and sustainable development, in the context of Islam. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, take place at 1440 Canal St., room 1206, from noon to 1 p.m.

The remaining lectures are:

"Women, Status and Gender Roles"
by Amira Sonbol of George Town University

February 21 "Reproductive Health"
by Henia Dakkak of the United Nations Fund for Population

February 28 "The role of religion and ethics in the prevention and control of STIs/HIV/AIDS"
by Shahid Athar, chair of medical ethics for the Islamic Medical Association of North America

March 7 "Mental Health"
by Pamela DeLargy of the United Nations Fund for Population

March 14 "Sustainable Development"
by Syamak M Moattari of the University of Florida

March 28 The series is sponsored by the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the Department of International Health and Development.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000