Relaunch of Planetary Health Courses

On July 15th all three Planetary Health courses of TelessaúdeRS-UFRGS in partnership between TelessaúdeRS-UFRGS, Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) and World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) will be relaunched in an online event on the youtube channel of TeleRS at 8PM UTC. To watch the event, click here.

Recently, the WHO-Civil Society Working Group to Advance Action on Climate Change and Health, launched an open letter to universities on the importance of climate change in health education: A call for strengthening climate change education for all health professionals. The document mentions all three Brazilian courses about the topic as examples of resources for learning about it.

For the coordinator of TelessaúdeRS-UFRGS Roberto Umpierre, it is a great honor to have the work developed within the project recognized and recommended by a multilateral organization such as the WHO. “It is a TeleRS commitment to strengthen our area of education. We are always innovating in search of protagonism in the segment, and trying to reduce the time between the production of knowledge and its arrival at the audience in assistance. Now we are going even further, with our courses reaching healthcare professionals around the world.”

Altogether, more than 6,000 people have already signed up for the courses. The international versions had the participation of people from more than 69 countries, from all continents, with the exception of Antarctica. In the last edition, all courses had more than 90% of participant satisfaction. The WONCA version of the course was especially important for primary care health professionals around the world. Family doctor Paula Henry, from Trinidad and Tobago, says that taking the course helped her improve her clinical skills and think outside the box. “The course was extremely relevant to our practice. Teaching about heat-related disorders, for instance, was very helpful because we have a lot of environmental workers, and the course helped us pay more attention to conditions like heat stroke,” she says.

Air and water pollution, Food and food systems, Mental health, heat waves, infectious diseases are some of the topics covered in the courses. In the new edition, which will be launched in July, the planetary health course focused on Primary Care will also have a new module on migrations. Professor Charlotte Scheerens is a Research Associate at the University of Ghent and Harvard Medical School and one of the authors of this module.

According to Scherrens the goal is to provide timely, effective, appropriate, and efficient healthcare in the context of changing migration flows, climate shocks and stresses to which our healthcare systems will need to prepare and adapt. “To minimize barriers to accessing health services for migrants and their families, health systems need to become more inclusive for climate migrants.”

The course relaunch event will have the participation of Dr. Carlos Faerron Guzmán, representing the Planetary Health Alliance - PHA, Dr. Özden Gökdemir, representing WONCA Environment, and the family and community doctor Mayara Floss, one of the creators of the course. The event will be led by the professor and coordinator of TelessaúdeRS-UFRGS, Roberto Umpierre.

All courses are free and available on the Moodle TelessaúdeRS distance learning platform. Enrollment opens on July 11 and classes can be held until the end of the year, at the student's pace. Anyone can enroll in any or all of the courses. More information can be obtained by emailing

Promotional videos:
- Curso Saúde Planetária (Portuguese)
- Curso Planetary Health (English)
- Planetary Health Course for Primary Care (English)