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Examining African Contributions to Global Health

Examining African Contributions to Global Health

Aktualisiert im Januar 2024

The history of science has largely been written from the perspective of the Global North. Therefore, the impact of the Global South has been neglected and undervalued. This course uncovers examples of the innovation and excellence that Africa has brought to global health over time.

Use African ingenuity to improve public health worldwide

Africa has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, having contributed 12.8% of the technologies used to respond to the pandemic. And African countries such as Senegal also did remarkably well in managing the pandemic. As you will learn in the case studies in this course, many African countries have overcome health challenges using innovative solutions that can benefit the world. You’ll explore theories, financing solutions, and technologies from Africa that can be used to uplift health systems across the world.

Utilise the knowledge exchange of the Global South to inspire innovation

African countries have a wealth of knowledge that the Global North could benefit from. Using the knowledge from this course, you will be able to identify problems relating to clinical trials and financing in the Global North and learn from innovative approaches in Africa. You will also learn about examples of knowledge exchange in the Global South and find connections between urban planning and public health that can be used to motivate transformation in global health.

Learn with the experts in African Studies from the University of Basel

The University of Basel has a renowned Centre for African Studies, has one of the few chairs of African History in Europe, and is associated with one of the leading tropical medicine institutes in the world. The experts are best placed to guide you in your journey, to broaden your horizons, and to improve your knowledge of the history of African contributions to global health.

“Weeks”, “Chapters” and invitation to comment

Please note that this course was originally published by the University of Basel on FutureLearn. FutureLearn is a global platform offering online courses that encourage social learning, including discussions between learners. On FutureLearn, we added comment sections to certain steps and measured course durations in weeks rather than in chapters.

Here on Tales, we measure courses in chapters. These chapters are equivalent to the “weeks” on FutureLearn. So when you watch a video here and hear an educator talking about “weeks”, you’ll know that this was because the videos were geared towards FutureLearn’s set-up.

Another difference to FutureLearn is the comment option. The educators in the videos will sometimes invite you to discuss something in the comments section. If you don’t see a comment option here on Tales, then the course is not open to comments at this moment in time. But for certain periods of time announced in advance, this course will be open to comments.

The good news is that either way, you can freely access the course and all of its contents at any time. If the comment section is not open, why not write down your comments as you go through the course? That way you can keep track of how your knowledge changes. And should you be able to participate in one of the authors’ face-to-face courses, you can then refer back to your comments and discuss them with your peers.


Günther Fink

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Household Economics, Uni Basel

Head of Household Economics and Health Systems Research Unit, Swiss TPH

Tanja Hammel

I’m a historian of knowledge and science currently working on the global history of an antimalarial drug.

Doris Osei Afriyie

I am a public health scientist pursing my PhD at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute/University of Basel. My research interests are producing evidence to improve health system goals.

Christian Burri

Senior specialist in clinical and implementation research for medicines against poverty related diseases.

Eric Nébié

Eric is MD specialised in Tropical Medicine and clinical research from Burkina Faso. His research focus on clinical trials efficiency improvement through innovative approaches.

Akuto Konou

Akuto Akpedze Konou is a young woman licensed architect and urban planner from Togo, Africa who is currently a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at EPFL, working on Urban Agriculture and Health.

Vitor Pessoa Colombo

Vitor is a Swiss-Brazilian architect with a particular interest in the interaction between spatial planning and social development.

Andrea Azizi Kifyasi

Lecturer and Researcher, Department of History, University of Dar es Salaam. Areas of research: Medical History, Medical Diplomacy, China-Africa Relations.