Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Public Health

DESCRIPTION The study-unit will cover various areas of the prevention of common non communicable diseases and specific infectious diseases including their epidemiology and public health management. The unit will give an overview of the priority diseases occuring globally and focus on the local situation. Initiatives being taken by EU and WHO will help outline the background to the local initiatives which will be outlined in further detail duirng the course of the study-unit.

Study-unit Aims:

Have a good understanding and develop the skills to apply the knowledge gained to the effective management and control of infectious diseases and non communicable diseases.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Familiarise with commonly used definitions (incubation, communicability and latent period; susceptibility, immunity, and herd immunity);
- Understand surveillance - national and international -, its evaluation and use; methods of control;
- Appreciate the design, evaluation, and management of immunisation programmes; choices in developing an immunisation strategy;
- Outline the steps in outbreak investigation including the use of relevant epidemiological methods;
- Have a working knowledge of natural history, clinical presentation, methods of diagnosis and control of infections of local and international Public Health importance (including emerging diseases and those with consequences for effective control) follow the organisation of infection control;
- Have a basic understanding of the biological basis, strengths and weaknesses of routine and reference microbiological techniques;
- Familiarise with international aspects of communicable disease control including Port Health;
- Appreciate Disability and Impairment, especially in the context of Accidents & Injuries;
- Assimilate public health aspects of prevalent non communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer and mental health.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Apply the basic understanding principles to develop rational strategies for the control and management of infectious diseases and common non communicable diseases;
- Apply the knowledge acquired to investigate cases of infectious diseases and recommend on the necessary control measures of tropical diseases, leishmaniasis, foodborne illness, meningitis, outbreak investigation, foodborne illness, HIV/AIDS, Infection control, influenza and pandemic;
- Asess the priority non communicable diseases and examine various startgeies available locally;
- Integrate actions being taken by various stakeholders into actions being taken by the health sector in disease prevention.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Essential public health medicine Donaldson and Donaldson
- Manual of infectious diseases. Chin
- European Health Interview Survey 2008 (Malta) - Summary Statistics (Ministry for Social Policy 2009)
- European Health Interview Survey 2008 (Malta) - Utilisation of Health Care Services (Ministry for Social Policy 2009)
- Non communicable disease strategy, 2010
- Healthy weight for life stratgey 2012
- Communicable disease stratgey 2013
- Health Behaviour study in school children survey 2010

Documents at Web site of the Infectious Disease Prevention and control unit
Various internet, Medline and local reports published recently.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Maria Louise Borg
Mariella Borg Buontempo
Miriam Camilleri
David Cassar
Miriam Dalmas
Charmaine Gauci (Co-ord.)
Dolores Gauci
Charles Mallia Azzopardi
Julian Mamo
Tanya Melillo
Maja Podesta
Sascha Reiff
Josanne Vassallo
Pauline Vassallo
Anna Maria Vella
Denis Vella Baldacchino
Miriam Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.