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Tropical Medicine for Bachelors in Nursing and Midwifery

Prepare your nursing and midwifery competencies for low-resource settings with this three and a half month course. For those working in high-income countries, the course offers valuable insights in health service organisation, import pathology and health problems of vulnerable groups.


  • Face-to-face

  • Antwerp

20 ECTS Credits



About the course


The postgraduate training in tropical medicine is a three and a half months course that prepares nurses and midwives for a professional experience in a low-resource setting. For those wishing to pursue a career in international health this course is a first step on a life-long learning path. Our alumni are highly appreciated by international humanitarian and development organisations working in low- and middle-income countries. Also for nurses and midwives working in high-income countries the course offers valuable insights in health service organisation, import pathology and health problems of vulnerable groups.

The course focuses on two key domains: tropical medicine and organisation of health services. The content is essentially designed for health programs and health activities in low and middle-income countries.

To better grasp the professional reality of health care workers in tropical and low-resource settings, participants get a thorough introduction into the major tropical, infectious and non-communicable diseases. A strong focus is on child health and reproductive health as mothers and children make up the bulk of patients in low- and middle-income countries. This part is called ‘the medical track’ and covers clinical, biomedical and laboratory aspects. It gives more insight in clinical decision making including diagnostic challenges.

Initial professional assignments of (expatriate) nurses and midwives working in international health take mainly place at first and second line health services. This can be both in stable and in emergency situations. The second track or ‘management track’ prepares students for their health services organisation tasks. This includes the management of resources, the training and supervision of local health care workers, as well as the collection, interpretation and reporting of health information data. The course will provide general knowledge on the health system and will help students in translating hygiene and infection control strategies to the context of a low-resource setting.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the participants should be able to:

  • Recognize the main biomedical and clinical aspects of the major tropical, infectious and non-communicable diseases, with a specific focus on mothers and children, in order to contribute to the management of their care, prevention and control
  • Apply the basic principles of clinical decision making in a resource-poor setting
  • Appraise local health systems taking into account local priorities, local policies and resource availability as well as the perspective of communities, patients, healthcare workers, local authorities and other actors
  • Plan activities in response to local health problems
  • Select and interpret relevant health information in order to identify bottlenecks and propose action for improvement
  • Effectively communicate with actors in healthcare provision using appropriate means (oral or written)
  • Show a self-critical and value-based attitude

Tuition fee

€ 2020 EEA / 6100 non-EEA

Programme director(s)

  • Ludwig Apers
  • Beatrijs Vuylsteke

Programme coordinator(s)

  • Deogratias Katsuva

Programme administrator(s)

  • Sanae El Harrak