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Peace through Health

Medical supplies sitting on a table in a tentPeace through Health | May 24-27, 2022


Online only. Course will be live approximately 8:00am-1:00pm (ET) each day May 24-27, 2022. Live content will be recorded.



The course explores the basic principles and practice of peace through health and how peace and health perspectives can complement each other. By examining various concepts, competencies, determinants, indicators and real-world examples of the interrelationships and interlinkages between peace/war/violence and health/disease/illness. It allows for the critical analysis of integrated peace and health paradigms and delves into the effects of conflict on health and the practice of healthcare; and subsequently the use of health-based concepts and practice in the transformation of conflict.


Neil 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, both directly and indirectly- directly, through casualties and injuries, and indirectly, through disrupted economic and social systems that address health needs as well as instilled 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 including examples from personal experiences of lecturers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Israel/Palestine, El Salvador, Sri Lanka through a theoretical lens of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.


  • 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 them.
  • 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, ecosystem 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


  • Global Citizens
  • 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


Participants enrolled in the Peace through Health and Environment and Human Health courses will have access to complimentary post-course opportunities from the Pegasus Institute. These may include mentorship opportunities with facilitators, and other international experts from our Board, Advisory Board and extensive networks. Participants will also be able to access additional information, resources and toolkits.


Izzeldin Abuelaish MSC, OOnt, MD, MPH,M. Hon. LLD., Litt D., D. Sc., D.H.L. Is a Palestinian Canadian medical doctor who was born and raised in Jabalia Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. Professor of Global Health /Clinical Public Health Division, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Topronto. Adjunct Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies, Manitoba University, Scholar Peter A Silverman Center for International Health and Adjunct Scientist Women's College Research Institute.

Nathan Funk- Associate Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Waterloo

Innocent Ntaganira- Public Health Expert. Former Head of the World Health Organization Liaison Office to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Yogesh Choudhri- Public health doctor and Senior Epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency of Canada in the Epidemiology branch. Previously worked for Health and has consulted for the World Health Organization in many countries in Africa and Asia and currently is the Solomon Islands' Ministry of Health's Senior technical advisor on COVID-19.

Eliana Barrios Suarez (PhD MSW BSc) was an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University until 2021 and is currently an Adjunct Professor. Eliana received her PhD and MSW from the University of Toronto an Honours BA in Psychology from Trent University and an Honours BSc in Economics from the Universidad del Pacifico (Peru). Born and raised in Peru, she began involvement with the Pegasus Institute as a peace and human rights advocate, committed to eradicate gender-based violence.

Barry S. Levy (MD, MPH) is a physician, an epidemiologist and a an Adjunct Professor of Public Health at Tufts University School of Medicine, who has written and spoken extensively on the public health impacts of war and terrorism as well as social injustice, climate change, and environmental and occupational hazards. His recently published book, From Horror to Hope: Recognizing and Preventing the Health Impacts of War, documents the health consequences of war.

Vinay Jindal- Family Physician. Acting President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada. Board Member of PEGASUS Institute

Rob Chase MD MSc FRCPC- Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. His medical specialty area is Public Health and Preventive Medicine with clinical interest in Occupational Health. In the 1990s he was involved in the formation of ‘Peace Through Health’ at McMaster University with project work in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. He developed Vidaview Life Story Board as a visual tactile tool, his current research interest.

Seddiq Weera- Studied epidemiology and worked at McMaster University. Began PhD at the Centre for Peace Studies. Peace education activist, expert, leader and consultant, on system reforms in education, promotion of a culture of peace and advocating a national reconciliation program. Author of the school textbook on Life Skills; covering topics such as emotional intelligence, problem solving, conflict resolution and reconciliation, which has been used in all Afghan public schools since 2004.

Kaveh Khoshnood- PhD, MPH- Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases); Faculty Director, Innovate Health Yale; Program Co-Director, Global Health Ethics Program, Yale Institute for Global Health; Program Director- BA-BS/MPH Program in Public Health at Yale

Samer Jabbour- MD, MPH Professor of Public Health Practice, American University of Beirut. Founding Chair Global Alliance on War, Conflict, and Health. Former Director of the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office

Dr. Emperatriz Crespin is a Salvadoran public health doctor, with a specialty in health workforce policies and an MA in health economics. Currently, Dr Crespin works at the Ministry of Health for the SIBASI CENTRO (Central Comprehensive Basic Health System) and has over 20 years experience in violence prevention and public health including technical tools, Capacity Works Model for Development, Gender Based Violence, https://volunteerstjohns.ca/nonprofit-organization/sharing-our-cultures-inc/ Rights and Public Administration. She is the former Director of the National Violence Prevention Unit and has worked for GIZ El Salvador as technical advisor on peaceful coexistence and violence prevention.

Janis Alton- Past Co-Chair of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. Conducted over 30 + study tours for women to UN sites and has initiated and coordinated national and international peace conferences and workshops. Serves/served on related NGOs Board of Directors, including International Peace Bureau, Canadian Pugwash Group, Science for Peace, and IPPNWC and PEGASUS Institute.

Pakisa Tshimika- Public Health Expert. Executive Director and Founder of Mama Makeka House of Hope

Friederike Bubenzer – MPhil, Development Studies and Social Transformation. Senior Project Leader in the Peacebuilding Interventions Programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. Contributes to peacebuilding, social cohesion and reconciliation processes with policy makers and civil society leaders across the Africa and Globally. Mental health and psycho-social support (MHPSS) and peace building expert.

Marianne Tankink- PhD, MA. Anthropological Researcher and Trainer. Former Consultant for Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) on Mental Health, linking Mental health and Psychosocial Support and Peacebuilding. MHPSS and Peacebuilding expert.

Chloe Eward- MPH, HBA- Public Health. Director Francophone Network PEGASUS Institute. Author and Researcher WHO Situational Analysis of the Resources and Capacities Available for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Somalia. Health Planner for Entité4 (a health planning Entity for French-Language health services for central-southern Ontario).

Melissa Whaling- MA, BA- Executive Director of PEGASUS Institute. Works with Dr. Neil Arya on various Peace through Health Projects. Author and Researcher WHO Situational Analysis of the Resources and Capacities Available for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Somalia

Erika Richter – Department of National Defense. Co-founder of Common Ground: Conflict Resolution Services. BASc (double major) in Peace and Conflict Studies from McMaster University. Masters of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Carleton University. ODA Campaign Coordinator at Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC-CCCI).

Faculty are still being confirmed and there may be changes to the above list.




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