HELP Course: Topics

Definitions and Responses

Practitioners must understand the fundamental areas of humanitarian assistance, including definitions of disasters, what makes public health in emergencies unique, and the major actors engaged in humanitarian assistance.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

Disaster Management

Effective disaster management encompasses a lifecycle of disaster preparedness, coordination of relief efforts, and health system management.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

Epidemiology and Assessments

Populations affected by emergencies have urgent public health needs. Identifying vulnerable populations and measuring their health status and needs are critical elements to mounting an effective response.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

Environmental Health

Epidemics are common in emergencies because the physical environmental health is frequently unhealthy. If appropriate public measures are put into place early on, outbreaks can be prevented.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

Food and Nutrition

In emergencies, food is often the greatest need; yet knowing what rations are appropriate, distributing them equitably, and preventing disruption to existing food systems are frequently difficult tasks.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

Information and Surveillance 

The health status of populations affected by disasters must be monitored by a number of methods, and this surveillance will improve decision-making.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

Mental Health

It is increasingly understood that war and natural disasters cause not only physical trauma, but they can also have a devastating impact on psychological well-being of the affected populations. Practitioners must be prepared to understand and address these health needs.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

International Health Regulations

The International Health Regulations (IHR) are an international legal instrument that is binding on 196 countries across the globe. Their aim is to help the international community prevent and respond to acute public health risks that have the potential to cross borders and threaten people worldwide.

Communicable Diseases

Populations displaced in emergencies are often threatened by diseases, both pre-existing, as well as new disorders arising from a new or altered environment. It is critical to understand these threats to prevent and manage outbreaks in urban and camp settings.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

Non-Communicable Diseases

Increasingly displaced persons come from middle income countries and non communicable diseases (NCDs) are common. The most frequent conditions are hypertension, type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive respiratory disease, cancers and bone and joint disease. Managing these in the restricted circumstances of population displacement is a challengd

Reproductive Health

Refugees have reproductive health needs that differ from those of others, and some are at increased risk from HIV.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

Humanitarian Ethics

Maintaining neutrality, humanity, impartiality, and independence, as well as assuring equity in access to services, are some of the ethical issues that emerge during emergencies.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

International Humanitarian Law

Humanitarian measures are guided by the Geneva Conventions, which protect civilians, non-combatants, and health workers during conflicts.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:

Protection of vulnerable populations

During disasters and especially with displacement there may be many vulnerable groups, in addition to women and children who are almost always at risk. Identifying these groups and ensuring their protection is often a challenge. Topics include:

Causes of Conflcit

Conflict is the major cause of displacement, and in the past few years numbers have reached historic highs. Humanitarian workers must be aware of events which lead to conflicts but also what are the actions that can build stability post conflict.
Human Rights and Human Security

When basic human rights are violated, human security and livelihood are often lost. Awareness and alertness on the part of health workers may prevent many abuses.

Lecture topics addressed in this module include:


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