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    Courses in environmental and occupational epidemiology.

    Philipp R; Kjellstrom T

    WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1994; 15(1):43-7.

    The results of a survey initiated in May, 1991, are reported, in which members of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Environmental Epidemiology Network (GEENET) were queried with the aim of compiling an inventory of free-standing environmental and occupational epidemiology courses that were offered or planned for 1991-93 in English, French, or Spanish for professionals (physicians, environmental health officers, public health inspectors, safety officers, sanitation officers, toxicologists, urban planners, and public health administrators) living both in and outside the countries concerned. 1221 persons on the mailing list were contacted. GEENET was established in 1987 with the aim of integrating approaches to hazard recognition, risk assessment, and pollution control. By June, 1992, GEENET had about 1700 members in 110 countries. Its objectives are to target WHO materials for distribution, form a panel of experts, and exchange information. In 1990, GEENET members in developing countries reported serious problems pertaining to sanitation and sewage disposal, housing, contaminated food and water, traffic accidents, exposure to pesticides, and indoor air pollution. In developed countries, traffic accidents ranked first, followed by air pollution, and pollution from toxic waste disposal sites. The inventory was printed in July, 1992, from database files. Of the 126 courses on which information was received. 72 were open to health professionals from more than 1 discipline. The duration of courses ranged from 2 days to 4 academic years, and 15 courses lasted 1 year. Communicable diseases were included in only 29% of 42 courses in the Americas, compared to 56% of 43 courses in Europe. The control of environmental hazards was taught in 93% of courses in Africa, 94% in the western Pacific, only but 71% and 58%, respectively, of course in the Americas and in Europe. Epidemiological principles, statistical methods, principles of outbreak investigation, and risk assessment were less frequently mentioned in the courses of the Americas than in those of Europe. The tutors should review course content to verify the satisfaction of educational objectives.
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