Tuberculosis Control and Public Health Foundations

Course Number
5600 (Clinical Public Health)
Course Instructor(s)
Xiaolin Wei

Tuberculosis (TB) control serves as the fundamental knowledge to understand public health foundations in disease control. TB is a historically deadly disease having killed over 1/6 people in England in the 1900s. The Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) has demonstrated as the most cost-effective treatment and control strategy in the 1970s, and then it has been promoted as the national strategies worldwide since the 1990s. TB is now a curable disease with effective treatment (i.e., cure rate over 90% for smear positive cases, and per case medication cost less than $10). Global TB incidence rate has fallen by an average of 1.5% per year since 2000, while TB death rate has dropped nearly half between 1990 and 2015. On the other side, TB remains a disease of poverty, and the No. 1 killer in infectious disease (1.4 million deaths and 10.4 million new cases in 2015), and growing threats from multi-drug resistant TB, and co-infections of HIV/TB and diabetes/TB. TB is a disease of poverty and heavily stigmatized in many cultures. This course will introduce TB from microbiological, clinical, public health and health policy perspectives. It will discuss TB pathology, epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment, TB control programs, policies and practices both at local and global levels. We will also discuss social, ethical and health system issues of TB control.

By the end of the course, students should:

  • Have a solid knowledge on the essential elements of public health approaches in disease control;
  • Understand the historical evolution of TB control programs and policies in Canada;
  • Understand ethical, social and health system issues in TB control and their interactions;
  • Understand how different research skills can be applied in TB studies, such as cohort analysis, social science, trials, operational research, genotyping and GIS;
  • Gain insights of TB prevention and care in various settings; and
  • Be able to critique country TB control programs and design operational studies.

General Requirements

Students should have completed either a quantitative or qualitative research method course, or must obtain permission of one course director.
This course is intended for Master students who have taken research method courses, or any year of PhD students.