International Health and Tropical Medicine

RCSI is an international institution, and we have a student body drawn from the world community in a way that is unique for a medical school. As a result, our research, practice and teaching of international health form an essential part of RCSI and College life.

The inception of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at RCSI coincided with Ireland’s growing involvement in international aid.

The Government’s Agency for Personnel Service Overseas (APSO) was created in 1974; other major Irish international development NGOs (Concern, Goal, Trocaire) also began at that period, and the RCSI Department of Tropical Medicine became a critical advisory resource for them. 

The department also runs outpatient clinic services from Beaumont Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda and RCSI Mercer’s Medical Centre.

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Staff members from the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine teach at both an Undergraduate and Postgraduate level in RCSI.

The module ‘Haemato-Lyphoid Tropical Medicine’, for Intermediate Cycle 2 GEM students based at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown offers both the tropical medicine component and integrates cross-departmental and interdisciplinary teaching in a four-week block including lectures and tutorials, pathology and clinical competencies.

The department also teaches ‘Tropical Medicine’ for the Intermediate Cycle Undergraduate Medicine students, based in Beaumont Hospital and Bahrain RCSI.

At postgraduate level, the module ‘Surgeons in the Developing World’, introduces surgical trainees to the global healthcare context and specific issues relevant to the surgical profession.

As a student, you will gain insight into strategies that can contribute to improved surgical outcomes in the short-term while implementing broader healthcare management schemes to sustain development in the long-term.

Trainees gain awareness of surgical needs unique to developing countries and gain insight into strategies that can contribute to improved surgical outcomes in the short-term while implementing broader healthcare management schemes to sustain development in the long-term.

The department has an impressive and growing research portfolio led by Prof. Samuel McConkey.

The research activities of this department are about control and prevention of diseases in resource-poor areas; however, methodologically the activities span from the molecular and immunological, through clinical trials and cohort studies to health systems and anthropological investigations.

Funding presently comes from the Irish Health Research Board and Higher Education Authority; from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and Medical Research Council; and from the European Vaccine Initiative in Heidelberg.

The latter is currently funding an R&D programme collaborating with Oxford University entitled ‘A circumsporozoite protein vaccine against malaria using the adenovirus Ch63 vector: preclinical and Phase I safety and immunogenicity studies’.

Associate Professor/Head of Department

Senior Consultant and Senior Lecturer

  • Eoghan de Barra

Registrar and Clinical Lecturer

  • Niamh Reidy

Clinical Lecturer

  • James O'Connell

Honorary Senior Lecturers

  • Dom Colbert
  • David Weakliam

Honorary Clinical Lecturers

  • Deirdre Lundy
  • Cora McNally

Honorary Lecturers

  • Gerald Kerr
  • Niall Roche