Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Health Sciences


Professor Peter Nyasulu


South Africa

  • First semester 2016 (Day)


This unit focuses on prevention and control of communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases. Topics include principles of infection, outbreaks, public health control measures such as tobacco smoking, obesity, hypertension and current issues in disease prevention and control. Public health control measures discussed may include surveillance, modelling, immunisation, antimicrobial therapies, infection control, vector control, screening and risk factor management. These topics are illustrated using relevant examples of communicable diseases such as vaccine-preventable diseases (e.g. influenza); vector-borne diseases (e.g., malaria), food-borne diseases (e.g., salmonella) and sexually transmitted infections (e.g. Syphilis). Epidemiological, social, and political perspectives are also discussed.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the distinguishing epidemiological features of infectious diseases.
  2. Explain how communicable infections are spread.
  3. Interpret epidemiological data on disease surveillance and disease outbreaks.
  4. Apply principles of communicable disease prevention to a range of scenarios, and identify which public health prevention and control strategies are appropriate for different diseases.
  5. Design and evaluate disease surveillance and control programs.
  6. Describe the role of social and political factors in disease prevention and control.
  7. Explore similarities and differences in prevention and control strategies for non-communicable diseases and communicable diseases.


Participation / tutorial exercises & presentation (5-10 minutes) (10%)
Written assignment (500 words) (10%)
Group presentation (20 minutes) (15%)
Written assignment (1,500 words) (20%)
Final exam (2 hours) (45%)

Hurdle: 80% attendance at tutorials.

Workload requirements

3 contact hours per week PLUS 9 hours of private study hours per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Health science