Global Health and Mortality Summer Institute

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Most deaths in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) occur at home and without medical attention. As a result, causes of death are often unknown, which limits evidence-based resource allocation, misses identifying new diseases or outbreaks (such as Ebola), reduces accountability over health expenditures, and can impede progress towards the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To address this imbalance, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR) have launched the Statistical Alliance for Vital Events (SAVE), which aims to accelerate the introduction of novel, low cost mortality monitoring systems and expand the use of existing mortality data systems. The initial focus is on India, Ethiopia, Mexico, Mozambique and Sierra Leone. Future expansion will cover about 25 countries. A key goal of SAVE is to expand the global understanding of mortality statistics and their uses.

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Centre for Global Health Research are co-hosting a research skills intensive summer institute at the University of Toronto.

Its objectives are to:

  • Strengthen participants’ quantitative research and analysis skills, using mortality data from available datasets, health and mortality information systems in LMICs (with a particular focus on maternal and child mortality);
  • Develop participants’ skills in effectively communicating data analyses to diverse stakeholders (e.g. governments, donors, researchers, non-governmental organizations); and,
  • Develop participants’ competencies in leadership, knowledge translation and community engagement to support them in influencing decision-making in different settings.

This training is for participants at any career stage interested in strengthening their knowledge and skills of mortality data collection and health systems.

Faculty and guest lecturers will consist of international experts in global health and mortality.

Prior to attending the Summer Institute, all participants must complete the recently updated Death 101 Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which teaches students the fundamentals of global mortality from a quantitative perspective, focusing on the major causes of death and measurement of mortality. To date, this course has attracted ~6100 students from 150 countries in two semesters. This online course includes six modules and related assignments.

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