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Leading international speakers for Public Health Summer School

Wellington campus

Monday 10 December 2012 2:05pm

The largest and longest running Public Health Summer School in New Zealand and Australia will provide an exciting line-up of national and international speakers for three weeks next February (4-22 of February 2013).

The Summer School offers 32 affordable short courses, from one to three days duration, at the University of Otago, Wellington campus adjacent to Wellington Hospital. It attracts over 400 attendees from the public and private sectors with courses varying from small group computer lab classes to interactive lectures and multi-speaker seminars.

The 17th Public Health Summer School's programme has been updated again this year to address contemporary public health issues. It has invited a number of leading overseas academics and public health practitioners to speak on these issues and teach skills relevant to improving public health in New Zealand.

Controlling rheumatic fever
Professor Jonathan Carapetis, paediatrician and director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research at the University of Western Australia will present on the global burden of rheumatic fever, current knowledge about the causes of this disease, and opportunities for improved prevention.

Unlike most other developed countries, New Zealand has high rates of childhood rheumatic fever with consequent serious and often fatal heart disease, particularly amongst Maori. It is typically associated with poverty, poor quality housing and lack of adequate medical treatment in both urban and rural areas

Social epidemiology and determinants of health
It is important to understand the social determinants of health to develop strategies aimed at reducing socio-economic inequalities in New Zealand. Professor Ichiro Kawachi (Harvard University) will teach a three day course on social epidemiology discussing income inequality, social capital and the impact of neighbourhood health. Professor Kawachi is a University of Otago graduate and has been at Harvard since 1992.

The impact of social marketing on health and tobacco
Associate Professor Tim Dewhurst from the Department of Marketing and Consumer studies at the University of Guelph, Ontario Canada is an expert on tobacco marketing and public policy. A consultant to the WHO, he will provide unique insights into using effective social marketing to influence issues relevant to New Zealand's public health such as tobacco control, safe-sex and drink driving.

He will be joined by Assistant Professor Wonkyong Lee (Beth) from the University of Western Ontario, Canada who will address social influences, attitudes and persuasion and international advertising in relation to consumers and health.

Urban form and developing sustainable cities
Two distinguished speakers on developing sustainable cities will launch this section of  the Summer School. WHO environmental health leader, Dr Carlos Dora, and Professor Tony Capon will provide an international context for a workshop discussing the 'Resilient Urban Futures Programme' being led by Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman from UOW's Centre for Sustainable Cities.

Dr Carlos Dora is responsible for the WHO's work on occupational and environmental health in areas such as radiation and air pollution.

Professor Tony Capon is a public health physician from Canberra University with expertise in health promotion and environmental health.

Previous attendees have reacted very positively to the varied and affordable programme. All classes are held in modern seminar rooms and lecture theatres with full AV facilities.

"Well organised, great communication, really appreciate student rates. Friendly knowledgeable and approachable presenters."
"I think an excellent service is provided with a variety of courses offered. It is well organised with professional presentations."
"Brilliant opportunity to work with other people in the field and share experience, skills and knowledge."

The Public Health Summer School is now open for enrolment. For the first time scholarships are offered for Māori and Pacific people working or studying in the areas of Māori and Pacific public health to support workforce development.

For further information about enrolment contact:, 04 806 1807 or go to

For other information contact:

Dr Kristie Carter
Co-convenor Public Health Summer School
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
Tel 04 8061717
Mob 021 485797

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