Graduation Netherlands Course in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (NTC)


On Friday 16 December the festive graduation ceremony of the 140th Netherlands Course in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (NTC) took place at KIT. For this special occasion it was combined with a mini-symposium on ‘Globalisation, migration and computerised health’.

NTC graduates December 2016

On Friday December 16, a group of 21 enthusiastic health care workers participated in the closing ceremony of the 140th Netherlands Course in Tropical medicine and Hygiene (NTC). They finished a three month intensive course at KIT where they learned about health problems in low income countries, public health and those organisational aspects relevant to address these issues. Many of them will immediately leave after the course to work in challenging settings. They will go to countries like Tanzania, India and South Africa.

Special occasion: 140th Graduation Ceremony

The first ‘National Tropical Course for Doctors’ (Nationale Tropen Cursus voor Artsen formerly known as NTA) took place in 1963. Today, so many years later, the course has changed its name, has become part of a Masters programme, but is as relevant as it was then. In 2016 the course still attracts full classes of tropical doctors in training and other students involved in international health from the entire world.

Last double graduation ceremony

The recent health epidemics like Ebola and Zika opened the eyes of many people around the world. It became very clear that there is an urgent need to address health issues and improve the existing health systems in the developing world.
As a result of that the training for Tropical doctors was recognised in the Netherlands as a ‘medical specialisation in International health and Tropical Medicine (AIGT).
This autumn ten participants followed the NTC as part of their medical specialisation. They dedicated 2,5 years to make sure that they are equipped to work in low and middle income settings. Now they are ready to leave. These specialists are of great value as well when they later return back to the Netherlands and help our country face the challenges that come with migration and travel of people and diseases.
This is the last time the double graduation ceremony of both NTC and training in Tropical Medicine takes place. As from 2017 onwards students taking the NTC as part of their specialisation in International Health and Tropical Medicine will continue their training in low income settings.

A special mix

Among the graduates are also international students from Afghanistan, Egypt, Ghana, Tunisia, Germany, Northern Ireland and Australia. These students have started a one year Master in international health (MIH) program. They left their families and loved ones for one year to invest in their abilities to contribute to international health. They will continue their training in various partner institutes in the TropEd network and afterwards return to their home countries, more knowledgeable and equipped with more skills, which are needed in the resource poor settings they work in.


On this special occasion the graduation was combined with a mini-symposium on ‘Globalisation, migration and computerised health: Towards a reciprocal role of International Health professionals’.
Pieter van den Hombergh, made a presentation on ‘Globalisation in the changing world of health’ discussing the different roles a Global Health Physician should take with as core principle ‘Universal Health’.
Hermen Ormel, KIT advisor on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, presented ‘Digital Health Innovations in Public Health’ and how recent developments play a role in making a difference. The last presentation was made by Francis Ogbuli from Nigeria but working in the Bijlmer in Amsterdam, on ‘Migration and migrants in Dutch health care’.

Academic cooperation

The NTC is jointly organized by the Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre (VU) in Amsterdam, the University Hospital of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and  KIT (Royal Tropical Institute). The medical specialisation in International health and Tropical Medicine (AIGT) is organized by the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Tropische Geneeskunde (NVTG). Our Master in International Health course is organized jointly with the TropEd network of institutes from all over the world.

For more information on our course programme see our website or brochure.

Photos by Kopisusu Fotografie