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

Theoretical classes and seminars, in which the essential concepts will be taught with audiovisual support.
Theoretical classes include collecting clinical information from patients hospitalized at the Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Service of CHLO, EPE, whenever possible; discussion of clinical cases based on clinical processes of inpatients or patients followed in outpatient clinics; framing the diagnostic process and treatment in a low-resource environment.
Tutorial guidance for discussion and presentation of group work.

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. Syndromic 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. Epidemiological tools for rapid assessment, control and prevention of epidemics; e-Health and m-Health..


Programs where the course is taught: