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Table filled with medical supplies in a tent. Peace through Health | June 10-14, 2024

“The topic is novel, and opportunities to study it are few and far between. International, decolonial perspective was integrated throughout. The live component is essential; what a rare and excellent opportunity to meet and engage with others in this field.”

-Peace through Health course participant


Online only. Course will be live approximately 8:00am-12:00pm (Montreal time) on June 10-14, 2024. All teaching will be recorded and available to view until July 1, 2024.


The World Health Organization recently prioritized a Global Health and Peace Initiative. In line with that framework, this course explores basic principles and practice of “Peace through Health”, demonstrating how peace and health perspectives can complement each other. By examining concepts, competencies, determinants, indicators and real-world examples of the interrelationships and interlinkages between peace/war/violence and health/disease/illness, the course allows for the critical analysis of integrated peace and health paradigms. Teaching will also delve into the effects of conflict on health and the practice of healthcare; and subsequently the use of health-based concepts and practice to transform conflict.


Photo Neil AryaNeil Arya (BASc MD CCFP FCFP DLitt)

  • Fellow, Balsillie School for International Affairs
  • Past VP, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) Congress
  • Founding President, PEGASUS Institute for Peace, Global Health, and Sustainability
  • Physicians for Global Survival (Canadian Affiliate of IPPNW) 2000-2002 President
  • Canadian Physicians for Research and Education in Peace (CPREP) 2013- January 2020– President/ Chair
  • Has taught Peace through Health at McMaster University, the University of Waterloo and has lectured around the world on this topic
  • Editor of Peace through Health: How Health Professionals Work for A Less Violent World
  • Dr. Arya has also participated in a number of international consultancies related to Peace through Health
    Detailed biography of Dr. Arya



The connections between health-disease and peace-war are multiple. Militarized violence and war have serious and negative effects on human health. Directly, through casualties and injuries, and indirectly, through disrupted economic and social systems that address health needs as well as instill fear and distrust. Thus, working against violence in all its forms should promote human health and wellbeing. The health sector offers an especially interesting form of peacebuilding, known as “Peace through Health” or as termed by WHO “Health as a Bridge to Peace”.

The course is meant to allow critical analysis of the interrelationships between health-disease and peace-violence and the role of health-related interventions and humanitarian work as a means of discouraging violence and addressing root causes. A case study approach will be employed including experiences from lecturers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Israel/Palestine, El Salvador, Peru and Sri Lanka, as well as students themselves.


  • Provide students with information on determinants and indicators of health and peace.
  • Develop students’ critical thinking abilities toward analyzing global peace and health problems and finding ways to deal with issues of violence from a health perspective.
  • Prepare students to work in Global Health & Peace promotion and three levels of prevention (primary, secondary and tertiary), in and out of zones of conflict.

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the potential and limitations of work for peace through one societal sector – the health sector.
  • Identify, describe, and discuss the basic principles of peace through health, and how peace perspectives and health perspectives can complement the work of the other sector.
  • Recognize the impact, risks, and opportunities of peace perspectives in health practice.

The participant will be able to explain:

  • The impact of war on health
  • Why and how the health sector should work on expanding peace
  • Concepts of violence, peace, conflict analysis and conflict management/transformation, reconciliation
  • Concepts of health: determinants of health, public health, health and human rights, mental health in war-zones, applied medical ethics
  • Integrated peace and health paradigms
  • Field realities, pitfalls and challenges of health work in promoting peace
  • Risk of health, humanitarian and development work exacerbating conflict
  • Existing controversies in Peace through Health work


  • Policymakers, programme managers, government, and public health junior faculty.
  • Graduate students and faculty with an interest in peace, global health and community health
  • Health practitioners
  • Funding, advocacy and policy bodies
  • Those working in warzones, advocates and civil society
  • Transdisciplinary with interest in peace- law, medicine, ethics, global health, political science, international development, governance


Limited to 100 online participants.

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