Humanitarian crises due to armed conflict, natural disasters, disease outbreaks and other hazards are a major and growing contributor to ill-health and vulnerability worldwide, and their continuing effects on health and health systems can undermine decades of social development.
Humanitarian crises present a number of distinct challenges for public health interventions and research. These include violence and insecurity, mass population displacement, severely deteriorated daily living conditions and impoverishment. They can also cause sudden and widespread disruption to health services and the broader health system, and limit domestic access to human, financial and technical resources alongside an increasing need to coordinate aid from outside the country.
This free online course is designed to answer key questions including:
Our course will begin by thinking about the key characteristics of humanitarian crises, describing some of the key political, economic and social factors that contribute to humanitarian crises and their effects on health and healthcare systems.
We will then move on to look at the practical responses to health needs in humanitarian crises, including how and why we prioritise health interventions, the ways in which these might be conducted on the ground, and the evidence gathered and used to make decisions.
Finally we will look ahead, identifying the new and continuing challenges facing the world, the potential health innovations and technologies that may help address these issues, and hearing experts’ perspectives on the future landscape of humanitarianism and health.
The course has been developed by the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The Centre brings together multi-disciplinary researchers and practitioners from across the School, other academic institutions, NGOs, governments and United Nations agencies to focus on improving the health of populations affected by humanitarian crises.
The course will be particularly relevant to healthcare practitioners and NGO staff, especially those in low- and middle-income countries affected by armed conflict, natural disasters and disease outbreaks. It will also be valuable to individuals studying health or development and to anyone with an interest in the challenges of delivering healthcare in a crisis setting.
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