Women’s Health is a Human Right – CFH Department Offers Inaugural International Women’s Health Course in Panama
This summer, the inaugural International Perspectives on Women’s Health course (graduate level, 3 credit hours) took place in Tampa and Panama. The course was offered through an alternative schedule and consisted of a three-day concentrated seminar at the USF Tampa campus, a month-long on-line exchange, and a nine-day learning field experience in Panama City. Eight students with a variety of backgrounds, including nursing, public health, anthropology, medicine, education among others, participated in the course, making it a truly interdisciplinary experience! Students had the opportunity to learn about international women’s health issues from a human rights perspective.
A range of topics that were discussed in the classroom and observed during the Panama site visits included but were not limited to the following: gender preference (i.e., sex selective abortion; neglect); female genital mutilation; early childbearing and marriage; education and poverty; domestic violence; sexual and reproductive health (i.e., access to family planning; HIV/AIDS); maternal mortality; women and globalization (i.e. sex trafficking); chronic diseases; and aging globally in a man’s world.
Select site visits in Panama included:
- Instituto de la Mujer (Institute of Women) at the University of Panama
- Instituto Nacional de la Mujer (National Institute of Women) within the Ministry of Social Development
- A community health clinic serving sex workers
- National Oncology Institute
- APLAFA (community family planning clinic)
- PROBIDSIDA (HIV/AIDS non-profit agency)
- The maternity ward at the Santo Tomas Hospital
- Gorgas Memorial Institute
- Emberá Community (indigenous population we visited by canoe!)
The course instructors were Drs. Cheryl Vamos (Tampa) and Arlene Calvo (USF Panama Office), both from the Department of Community and Family Health. The course was an exciting and emotional experience that opened the doors for international collaborations in both academic and research endeavors for faculty and students. Plans to offer a second course in Summer 2013 are underway. Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.