In 2020, global health education programs, which historically have been highly dependent on international travel, were forced to adapt to sudden restrictions as a result of COVID-19. Responses ranged from halting or limiting activities to transitioning quickly to online platforms.1 As the pandemic changes and programs move forward, it is critical to consider whether some of the adaptations hold valuable lessons for improving the future of global health education. To stimulate widespread programmatic evaluation, we describe our experience adapting the University of Minnesota’s extensive global health education program, including our American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)–accredited Global Health Course, to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. We describe both our challenges and successes as we seek to improve educational quality, accessibility, and foster community while simultaneously decreasing our environmental impact and ensuring better use of resources. We hope these reflections will be useful for other global health programs, and will stimulate further sharing and dialogue.
Thank you to all the faculty and participants who make these courses possible. Well over 150 faculty members have shared their expertise through our courses. Special thanks to Drs. Randy Hurley at HealthPartners in Minnesota and Furaha Serventi at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Tanzania for their assistance with the interactive oncology module shared as a supplement. The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has waived the Open Access fee for this article due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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Bousema T Selvaraj P Djimde AA Yakar D Hagedorn B Pratt A Barret D Whitfield K Cohen JM 2020. Perspective piece reducing the carbon footprint of academic conferences: the example of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Am J Trop Med Hyg 103: 1758– 1761.
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