Clinical Practice in the Tropics


After this unit, students should be able to: 1. To be aware of the general framework of health services in tropical environment.
2. To understand the importance of standardized methods of evaluation such as the syndromic approach in low resource-poor environments and in disaster areas.
3. To explore the main roles and interactions of healthcare workers and other stakeholders during disaster events.
4. To identify the main causes of morbidity and mortality during emergency/disaster and evaluate potential the risks of an outbreak.
5. To discuss preventive and control measures during outbreaks and epidemic in emergency situations.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Kamal Mansinho


Weekly - Se a UC for oferecida como opcional, o horário será disponibilizado no 2º semestre

Total - 36

Teaching language

English and Portuguese


Attendance of 2/3 of classes is mandatory.


• Nick Beeching and Geoff Gill. Lecture Notes: Tropical Medicine. 7th Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, June 2014.
• Médicins Sans Frontières. Clinical Guidelines: diagnosis and treatment manual for curative programmes in hospitals and dispensaries,guidance for prescring. Médicins Sans Frontières, 2016.
• Médicins Sans Frontières.Rapid health assessment of refugee or displaced populations. Médicins Sans Frontières, 2006, Third edition.
• M. A. Connolly. Communicable disease control in emergencies. A field manual. WHO, 2005.
• Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9(1):1-92.
• Lauren Walsh, Italo Subbarao, Kristine Gebbie,et al. Core Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health. Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:44-52.
• UNICEF. Emergency field handbook. A guide for UNICEF staff.

Teaching method

- Lectures and seminars with audiovisual support shall be the main teaching methods, allowing the transmission of basic concepts and progressing to more complex issues;
- Theoretical lessons which may include contact with some patients hospitalized when possible;
- Clinical cases of real patients discussion, framing the diagnosis and treatment approaches to few resources environment. Tutorial support for the preparation and presentation of group works.

Evaluation method

Continuous evaluation according to the participation in lessons 40%; Seminar: 30%; Written test based on clinical solving problems: 30%.

Subject matter

I. Organizing health services and programs in tropical environment.
II. yndromic approach of the patient: concept, importance as a tool for clinical diagnosis, treatment and follow-up; syndromic surveillance and epidemiologic surveillance the two sides of a coin. Decision flowchart for some of the main pathologies in the tropics.
III. Principles and concepts of humanitarian aid; organization and management in exceptional circumstances; international humanitarian rights law. Practice of medicine during natural or man-made disasters; management of displaced/refugee camps. Child health during disasters. Epidemiological tools for rapid assessment, control and prevention of epidemics; new information technologies role.


Programs where the course is taught: