Medical Geography (13OZS31I4)

  • Level of study undergraduate studies
  • Teacher: Ph.D. Milovan Pecelj
  • Subject status: elective
  • ECTS: 6
  • Semester: V
  • Number of classes: 2+2

Familiarizing with the factors of the geographical environment (both natural and social) that positively or negatively affect the health of the population. In addition to studying geographic factors of importance for the health of the inhabitants, the goal of the subject is also the study of the geographical distribution of diseases (the so-called geography of diseases or nozogeography), as well as the study of the factors of the natural and social environment that most favorably affect the human health (geography of health or sanogeography).

Ability to apply practical knowledge in the field of medical geography.

Theoretical lectures

1.Medical Geography - term, division and subject of study:The notion of medical geography. The concept of health and illness. The role of geography in the study of health and diseases of the population. Other scientific disciplines dealing with the environmental impacts on human health. The emergence and development of medical geography as a scientific discipline in the world and in Serbia. Phases in the development of medical cartography. Methods of medical geography. The notion of medical-geographic factors.
2. Geophysical factors and population health: Earth magnetism and the effect of natural magnetic fields.Natural electric field and terrestrial thermal field.The influence of natural non-ionizing fields.Natural ionizing radiation – the influence of natural radioactive fields.
3. Geological, pedological and geomorphological factors and population health: Geological factors and population health – the influence of rocks and minerals on the preservation and improvement of health, or the occurrence of diseases. Pedological factors and health. Geomorphologic factors and health – influence of relief, elevation, inclination and exposure to health. The occurrence of altitude sickness.
4. Geochemical factors and population health: The notion of geochemical factors. The most important macro- and microelements in the rocks, water and soil and their positive and negative effect on health.
5. Hydrological factors and health: Water as a condition and a factor of health. The health significance of the drinking water. Water needs and health disorders related to the amount of water. Hygienic and epidemiological role of the water. Hydrophilic epidemics. Chemical composition of drinking water and health disorders. Hydrospheric disasters and health.
6. The impact of climate and weather on human health: The terms of biotropy and biotropic weather situations. The influence of the Sun's radiation on the human body. The effects of temperature and humidity on the human organism. Influences of atmospheric pressure, wind, insolation, cloudiness and precipitation on the human organism. Air fronts and health. Elemental climatic disasters and health. Climate change and health. Meteorotropic diseases.
7. Biogeographical and biological (biotic) factors: The impact of the living world on human health. Division of biological agents (infectious, non-infectious) and health effects. Transmissible diseases and the concept of vectors. The most important natural allergens. Biogeography of medicinal plants.
8. Population and settlements as a sociogeographical and medical-geographical category: Number of inhabitants and population density. Natural and mechanical movements of the population. Population structures and health - age and gender structure; professional, racial, ethnic and confessional structure. The effects of population on health and life. Pathology of the urban environment. The impact of the quality of the village's environment on health.
9. Economic activities and health of the population: The influence of thermal power plants and ash dumps on the health of the population. Industrial activity as a factor of disruption of the quality of the environment – health aspect (metallurgy and metalworking industry, chemical, construction, textile and food industry). The medical-geographical aspect of agriculture. Traffic and traffic infrastructure.
10. Socio-economic factors and population health: The living standard and the health of the population. Housing and work environment and population health. Nutrition and health.
11. Epidemics: The concept and the emergence of an epidemic. Causes of diseases. The notion of the geography of diseases (nozgeography). The most important pandemic of infectious diseases through history (plague, cholera, malaria, flu, new diseases).
12. Geography of non-communicable diseases: The notion and distribution of non-infectious diseases and the influence of geographical factors on their occurrence. Cardiovascular diseases. Malignant tumors. Endemic diseases in Serbia and the environment – disorders caused by insufficient iodine intake; Endemic syphilis; Endemic nephropathy; Endemic caries and Endemic fluoride.
13. Geography of health (sanogeography): Geographical factors with a positive effect on human health - climate factors (climate benefits). Beneficial effects of the water (sea water, healing mineral waters).Peloids and peloidotherapy.Biogeography of medicinal plants.
14.Health condition of the population of Serbia and the world: Measurement of health through basic health indicators (relationships, percentages, rates). Measurement of health through aggregate indicators. Health conditions of the population of Serbia - analysis and assessment of health based on individual indicators (mortality, morbidity, aggregate indicators). Similarities and differences with the countries of Europe and the world.
15. Health system and health care in the Republic of Serbia: Organization of the health service in the Republic of Serbia - Health institutions. Bedding capacities and staff (health workers and associates).

Practical lectures

Practical presentation of the positive and negative effects of certain geographic factors on the health of the population - examples in Serbia and the world; Quantification of diseases and deaths - calculation of morbidity, mortality, etc.; Cartographic representation of diseases(health) distribution and connection with possible causes from the geographical environment. Presentation of the student seminary works.

Obradović-Arsić D., Gledović Z. (2012): Medicinska geografija. Univerzitet u Beogradu – Geografski fakultet.
Jovičić Ž. (1998): Osnovi medicinske geografije Srbije (teorijsko-metodološki koncept). Srpsko-geografsko društvo, Beograd
Komatina M. M. (2001): Medicinska geologija, „Tellur“ – Geoinženjering, Beograd, Beograd

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