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Home » Undergraduate Programs » Global Health BA & BSc » Specialized Honours » Global Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Global Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Traditionally, when people talked about health, they primarily meant healthcare – focusing on what we can do to treat illness and disease when it had already presented. This resulted in an overwhelming focus on the individual-level that concentrated on what happened inside a clinic or hospital. Health, however, is much more than healthcare, and there is much more we can do to reduce or prevent people from needing to see a doctor in the first place. What we do to keep people healthier longer is the focus of health promotion and disease prevention.

Health promotion and disease prevention uses both individual- and population-level interventions to address the social determinants of health and health equity. Health promotion focuses on reducing structural and behavioural risk factors that enable people to make better choices related to their health and reduce negative health outcomes across a spectrum of areas (e.g., diet and physical activity, tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, and mental health). Disease prevention focuses on early detection of disease (e.g., cancer screening programs), mitigation of disease spread (e.g., sexual health clinics), and minimizing disease risk factors (e.g., nutritional supplementation).

The global health promotion and disease prevention stream will allow specialized honours students to take additional courses from other units in the Faculty of Health (Kinesiology, Psychology, and Health Policy and Management) to deepen their knowledge and understanding in various aspects of related to health promotion and disease prevention.