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Free online course

Occupational Health in Developing Countries

Learn how occupational health can reduce illnesses or injuries caused by working conditions, with this free online course.


  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, starting from when you join
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate


  • Unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Occupational Health in Developing Countries


Why join the course?

This free online course provides an introduction to occupational health – a part of public health that is neglected in many developing countries, where industrial activity is increasing, but the health and safety of workers is hardly discussed.

The course will teach you basic knowledge of occupational health and how to prevent the development of diseases and injuries, which are caused by working conditions in developing countries.

After the course, you will understand:

  • the basic concepts of occupational health;
  • the tasks and structure of occupational health services;
  • the most important risk factors for illness and injuries at workplaces globally;
  • the major occupational diseases;
  • the different steps in risk assessment at the workplace;
  • the association between workplace exposure and health effects;
  • and the main steps in preventing exposure to health hazards in the work environment.

Understand the role of different actors in occupational health

Through this course, you will be able to understand the interaction between the actors within occupational health, including employers, employees, health and safety personnel, occupational health services, occupational health clinics and the Labor Inspection.

You will also reflect on occupational health from a global perspective and know how to work on the issue in a low-income setting.

The course has been developed in association with:

  • Simon Mamuya, Gloria Sakwari, Vera Ngowi and Alexander Tungu of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Wakgari Deressa of Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Akwilina Kayumba of the Occupational Safety and Health Authority, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)
Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsIndustrial activities are increasing in most developing countries, but knowledge about possible adverse health effects is often scarce. This course is relevant for anyone who would like to learn about work and health in developing countries. My name is Bente Moen, and I am a professor at the University of Bergen, Norway. Together with our educational team, I will lead you through 6 weeks of activities, regarding work and health. We'll show you examples from different work environments, we'll visit industries, hospitals as well as offices. And we will take you through written material, texts, quizzes, videos and discussions. At the end of the course, you'll have learnt that the work environment may cause adverse health effects.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 seconds You will also know how to evaluate the risk for injuries and diseases in the work environment and to suggest preventive measures. All in the setting of developing countries. The course will give an introduction to this scientific area, and will be useful for all health personnel - whether you work with treatment of patients or within public health. However, we focus on preventing adverse health effects. The course is also relevant for health personnel working on health and safety in companies, in labor inspection and in relevant governmental departments. I hope you will join us, and that you will find the course both interesting and challenging.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Assess the most important risk factors for illness and injuries at work places
  • Evaluate the risk for illness and injuries at work places
  • Discuss needed preventive measures at a work place, based on a risk assessment
  • Reflect on occupational health in a global perspective, and know how to work on the issue in a low income setting

Who is the course for?

This course is open to anyone, although previous degree-level study in medicine, dentistry, health sciences or natural sciences, and a good knowledge of English, will be helpful.

Who will you learn with?

Bente Elisabeth Moen

Professor in Occupational Medicine and International Health. Main interest: Occupational Health in developing countries; mostly chemical hazards, dust and respiratory health as well as shift work.

Gro Tjalvin

Physician/specialist in occupational medicine at the University hospital and PhD candidate at Occupational and environmental medicine. Interests include health effects due to adverse work conditions.

Magne Bråtveit

Professor, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Bergen. My main work is on exposure assessment of chemical and physical hazards, including several industries in developing countries.

Ole Jacob Møllerløkken

Associate professor and group leader at the Research Group for Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Bergen. Physician in occupational medicine at the University hospital.

Who developed the course?

The University of Bergen (UiB) offers first-class education and cutting-edge research at our location in the city centre of Bergen, Norway.

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For £49 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, starting from when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose take to a course for free.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.