Public Health in Humanitarian Crises

Two online courses (Public Health in Humanitarian Crises I and II) to help you learn how public health concepts and skills can be applied to disasters are now online. You can take the course for free, or if you want to complete the quizzes and a short paper you will receive a certificate from Johns Hopkins and Coursera for $49.

By completing these online courses you will understand the public health issues that affect populations troubled by disasters—both natural disasters and conflicts. 

We will discuss the nature of disasters, how they affect lives and livelihoods, the diseases that occur, and how to respond to the basic public health needs of a population. These needs are varied — water and sanitation, shelter, nutrition, and protection, both physical and legal. We also discuss vulnerabilities and reducing risks through disaster preparedness and mitigation.

The courses’ contents combine basic principles mixed in with on-the-ground experiences. The instructors for the different modules illustrate public health principles with many practical ‘real-life’ examples. Together, the instructors and guest lecturers have over 200 years of experience in this field.

The courses consist of 10 modules each totaling approximately 10 hours per course with the course instructors and an additional 2-3 hours of optional self-work (quizzes and writing and evaluating a short peer-review assignment). The course has lively discussion forums.

The courses have been designed in a way that each module builds on the lessons of previous modules. However, modules can be accessed in any order and some can stand alone.

You do not have to pay for these courses if you choose to enroll without seeking a certificate. If you do not choose to pursue the certificate option (called “auditing”) you will still have access to all videos, quizzes, assignments, and discussions. The only difference is that you will not receive a certificate upon completion. Click the Enroll Without a Certificate link to sign up and begin the course.

Even if you enroll in a session that has yet to begin, you may access most of the course materials immediately by clicking the Preview Course Materials link. However, you will have to wait for the session to begin before posting on the discussion forum or accessing the final peer-reviewed assessment. Visit the Learner Help Center for details about session schedules.

For course modules, please click here


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