Course Discription

- Elective courses
Cultural Competence in Global Health: Perspectives and Practices
2 credit
Type of courses
Elective courses
Po-Han Lee, Umin Itei, Sifo Lakaw
Course Outline
The course will use indigenous health as an example to illustrate the importance of cultural competence in global and public health. Cultural competence is a critical element of cultural safety that encompasses cultural awareness and sensitivity. Cultural safety – a strategic and practical plan to change how healthcare is delivered to indigenous peoples – has been adopted for new approaches to community health and healing by healthcare providers who work with indigenous peoples, by recognising the contemporary conditions resulting from indigenous peoples’ post-contact history. Specific attention is given to how colonialism affects indigenous wellbeing. Based upon the concept of cultural safety, this course will explore several indigenous health issues, including indigenous health inequalities, indigenous cultural safety, social determinants of indigenous health, indigenous ethnomedicine, indigenous mental health, indigenous eco-health, indigenous health promotion, and indigenous long-term care. A field trip is arranged to visit local governmental institutions, the indigenous hospital, and indigenous communities to promote students’ understanding of the relationship between cultural safety and indigenous health from the global health perspective.

Course Objectives:

At the end of the course the students are expected to:
-    Explain the social, political and economic determinants of health and how they contribute to population health and health inequities (D17-10);
-    Propose sustainable and evidence-based multi-sectoral interventions, considering the social determinants of health specific to the local area (GH-4);
-    Display critical self-reflection, cultural humility, and ongoing learning in global health (GH-6);
-  Scrutinize and apply qualitative and quantitative methods to provide evidence-based solutions to global health problems considering cultural safety and diversity (DGH-2).


Course Requirements:

Through interacting with tribal community workers, the course aims to promote awareness among the students concerning the difficulty in working on improving indigenous health in Taiwan. It is designed and delivered, based on the concept of curriculum/classroom in action, including [2 hours/session]:

-    Day 0 (Session 1): Induction/preparation day (at the College of Public Health)
-    Day 1 to Day 6 (Sessions 2-15): Fieldtrips at Kiwit Tribe (奇美部落), Ruisui Township (瑞穗鄉), Hualien
-    Day 6 (Session 16): Group presentations

By doing so, students are required to experience and actively engage with local cultures, and have direct conversations with community health workers. Through these ‘inter-actions’, the students should be able to identify and learn critical issues concerning the ongoing Indigenous Health Act at the various sites.

Before entering the tribes, the students are required to work with the designated readings, upon which the follow-up discussions are based. There will be group discussions and reflective and reflexive practices regarding diverse topics, forming an integral part of group presentations on the final day.


Course Video link: