Public Health in Humanitarian Crises

October 06, 2017 Tina Bolding

In the aftermath of any natural or man-made disaster, public health plays an essential role in the response and recovery effort. The Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently launched a new online course to help humanitarians learn how public health concepts and skills can be applied to disasters. 

The course content incorporates theoretical knowledge and many practical examples from past and recent disasters. It consists of 10 modules totaling approximately 9-10 hours of content with an additional 2-3 hours of self-work (quizzes and writing and evaluating a short peer-review assignment), as well as discussions forums. Topics include:

  • Humanitarian Disasters and Public Health
  • Humanitarian Actors and Coordination
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Livelihood and Food Security in Humanitarian Crises
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Crises
  • Management of Diseases in Humanitarian Crises
  • Health Care in Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Shelter in a Humanitarian Setting
  • Protection of Displaced Populations:  Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • Emerging Risks, Challenges, and Opportunities for Future Humanitarian Emergencies.

The course is ideal for anyone with an interest in learning more about the role of public health in humanitarian crises. As the following review attests, the course is suitable for humanitarians at all levels of experience:

“This is the course for everyone interested in the humanitarian field or for professionals looking to refresh their information. The content is very rich, well structured, evidence-based as well as visionary. I benefited a lot despite my years of working in this field, and I am looking forward to other insightful courses in the near future. Thank you.”

The course is free and available on the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health website. It can be taken at any time as self-study or as a cohort. After completing the course and passing all graded assignments, students can earn a certificate for $49. 

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About the Author

Tina Bolding is the Director of DisasterReady.org and is responsible for the strategy, development and outreach for this effort to support the critical and demanding training needs of the global humanitarian community. Before joining the Foundation, Tina served as chief human resources officer at Food for the Hungry, an international relief and development organization, where she built a global HR department and implemented support services to assist HR operations across 22 countries. Tina holds a BA in Organizational Communication and Psychology from the University of Tulsa.

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