Global Health

Interdisciplinary Themes

Bass Connections projects, courses and summer programs are aligned with the following themes:

Led by the Duke Global Health Institute

The health of individuals and populations depends greatly on where and how people live in the world. Access to quality health care, information about disease prevention and the environmental impact on health vary widely around the world. Global stability depends on the reduction of these and other health disparities.

Bass Connections in Global Health supports students and faculty working to address health disparities worldwide – including in the U.S. – through an integrated suite of education programs and activities on campus and in the field. Recognizing that a sustained comprehension of global health can come only through immersive experiences and collaboration with community partners, Bass Connections in Global Health offers opportunities for students – undergraduate through doctoral – to participate in coursework, experiential learning and field projects to find solutions to local and international health disparities.

The Student Research Training summer program engages second- and third-year undergraduates in the development, implementation and assessment of a community-based global health project.

Global Health Project Teams

BD4RH logo

One-third of women who begin using a modern method of contraception in low-income countries discontinue within the first year, and half within the first two years, putting them at risk for unintended pregnancies as well as maternal morbidity and mortality. The current method of measuring... Read more about Big Data for Reproductive Health (2018-2019) »

Bass Connections team members with their team's poster

While epilepsy affects over 50 million people globally, three of every four people in low-resource countries do not get care for this treatable condition. In Uganda, stigma is pervasive: one in five people believes epilepsy is contagious, and there are strong beliefs in supernatural or witchcraft-... Read more about Cultural and Practical Barriers to Epilepsy Care in Uganda (2018-2019) »

Person holding plastic cup of water for testing

The technologies, processes and products we develop have impacts on our environment and health. Some impacts are intended; others are not. Policies adopted to regulate the risks of such developments may themselves pose unintended consequences. These complexities pose challenges for private... Read more about DECIPHER: Case Studies in Drinking Water Quality (2018-2019) »

Women using a mobile phone for healthcare purposes

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in many low- and middle-income countries. With a nearly 100% mobile phone ownership rate in the country, Nepal’s Ministry of Health has prioritized mHealth interventions. This project will collaborate with Nepal’s female... Read more about Developing a Mobile Phone-based Community Health Program for Hypertension Control in Nepal (2018-2019) »

Watts Hospital in Durham

North Carolina’s “City of Medicine” is also a city of racial and class health disparities. We know remarkably little about the specific ways by which structural forces, policy decisions and specific group actions have shaped the landscape of health in contemporary Durham. This project will create a... Read more about Documenting Durham's Health History: Understanding the Roots of Health Disparities (2018-2019) »

Truck in Peruvian Amazon

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining is the largest source of global mercury pollution and the leading cause of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. This type of mining emits large amounts of mercury directly into atmospheric, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and impacts human and wildlife... Read more about Environmental Epidemiology in Latin America: Impacts of Artisanal Gold Mining in the Peruvian Amazon (2018-2019) »

Bass Connections students in China

Although 15% of the world’s population has some form of disability, the system of public health and health services is not adequately organized to promote independence. Even the most developed nations have medically underserved regions where disability is compounded by inequities in social... Read more about Global Alliance on Disability and Health Innovation (GANDHI): What Makes Innovation Stick? (2018-2019) »

Scenes from Madagascar

Research has documented conflicting associations between land use change and infectious disease risk, with some studies finding that deforestation increases disease risk for humans, while other studies find the opposite pattern. It is critically important to make sense of these conflicting patterns... Read more about How Do People Affect Zoonotic Disease Dynamics in Madagascar? (2018-2019) »

Health workers

In the 1980s, the field of surgery advanced with the development of laparoscopy, a technology that allowed surgeons to make two to four small incisions and operate with an intra-abdominal camera and instruments. The benefits of laparoscopic surgery compared to open surgery are extensive; however,... Read more about Low-cost Laparoscopic Surgery with Tele-mentoring (2018-2019) »

Pocket Colposcope.

Cervical cancer is highly preventable through the screening, diagnosis and treatment of cervical precursor lesions. Colposcopy with biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosis; however, colposcopes are expensive, and require referral to specialized facilities with a trained colposcopist. To address... Read more about Pocket Colposcope: Analysis of Bringing Elements of Referral Services to Primary/Community Care (2018-2019) »

Bass Connections team members in Malaysia

Zoonotic diseases, caused by pathogens transmitted from animals to humans, account for three out of five new human illnesses. Southeast Asia has been identified as a hotspot for infectious diseases due to the tropical climate and anthropogenic factors that have led to increased contact between... Read more about Refining Surveillance for Zoonotic Respiratory Viruses in Sarawak, Malaysia (2018-2019) »


Vaccinations administered during pregnancy and the first year of a child’s life are crucial for preventing a myriad of potentially deadly and debilitating infections. Despite overwhelming evidence on the benefits of vaccinations, pregnant women and parents of young children often refuse to accept,... Read more about Vaccine Misinformation and Its Link to Vaccine Hesitancy and Uptake in Durham (2018-2019) »

Global Health Courses

Gateway Courses

GLHLTH 101D: Fundamentals of Global Health

Fall 2018
Instructor: Sara LeGrand

This course provides an introduction to global health issues and challenges. Students will develop an understanding of key concepts, tools and frameworks essential for continued study in global health. The focus is on global disease burden, health determinants and disparities, health policy and... Read more about Fundamentals of Global Health »

Other Undergraduate Courses

FRENCH 325S: Global Displacement: Voix Francophones

Fall 2018
Instructor: Deborah Reisinger

This course explores the global migration and resettlement of Francophone refugees. Through historical, political and literary perspectives, students will examine the current state of refugees and asylum seekers in Western host societies, with a particular focus on Central African refugees in North... Read more about Global Displacement: Voix Francophones »

GLHLTH 203: History of Global Health

Spring 2019
Instructor: Nicole Barnes

The course begins with the development of ancient medicine in Europe and China, and continues into the rise of biomedicine (e.g., laboratory science and microbiology) in the 19th and 20th centuries. Read more about History of Global Health »

GLHLTH 306: Global Health Policy: Transforming Evidence into Action

Spring 2019
Instructor: Gavin Yamey

This course will provide an in-depth examination of how to close the gap between evidence and practical policymaking as a way to improve global health; how global health policies are shaped; identifying key actors and their power; understanding/influencing the processes that drive large scale... Read more about Global Health Policy: Transforming Evidence into Action »

GLHLTH 373: Global Health Ethics in Research

Spring 2019
Instructor: Sumedha Ariely

This course introduces ethical and human rights concepts in Global Health and current issues in health ethics. Students will explore how to understand and engage in ethical health service, intervention, research and education. The course will require students to analyze and critique ethical choices... Read more about Global Health Ethics in Research »

Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

BME 590-01: Transcontinental Biomedical Engineering Design

Spring 2019
Instructor: William Reichert

The Duke-MUK partnership is a commitment between Duke University and Makerere University in Uganda to collaborate on the education of engineers and the development of biomedical devices to address current healthcare needs in Uganda. Read more about Transcontinental Biomedical Engineering Design »

EVANTH 590S-02: Conservation, Infectious Disease and Human Health

Fall 2018
Instructor: Charles Nunn

Many of the most important infectious disease outbreaks of today are harbored in wildlife, including Ebola, SARS coronaviruses, and Lyme disease. However, evidence also suggests that infectious disease risk is actually reduced in ecosystems that harbor high levels of biodiversity. Read more about Conservation, Infectious Disease and Human Health »

Graduate Courses

GLHLTH 750: Health Systems and Policy in Global Health

Spring 2019
Instructor: Gavin Yamey

This course will provide an in-depth inquiry on how to narrow the gap between global health evidence and practical action and policy making on the ground, with examination of the complex ways in which global health policies are formed, shaped and implemented. Read more about Health Systems and Policy in Global Health »