RUB: Medicine and Public Health in Humanitarian Action

Lecture, Seminar
  • Course description

    The Course addresses the relation between (a) (social) science, (b) policies (programmes) and (c) the grass-root reality of projects. Information, knowledge, communication, and science: Today, these aspects are related in characteristic ways. Science pretends (and hopes) to be a driving force in the dominant (western) type of modernity. The Course will expose and analyse the under-complexity of most of our academic approaches, and discuss ways to cope with these shortcomings. To what degree do scientific world-views (“theories”) influence strategies, programmes, and projects? Answers to this question depend largely on the power-relations between the main “players” of humanitarian actions. They dispose of more or less power of definition, i.e. the power to choose from the rich offer of academic views. Whether and to what degree these science-driven programmes can be effectively and efficiently implemented on project level in the field, is another issue addressed by the Course. 
  • Main themes

    Health in Emergencies
    Mental Health
    Communicable Diseases
    Management of operative emergencies
    WASH & Vaccinations
    LRRD, DRR and DO
    Public Health
  • Teaching and learning methodology

    The module begins with introductory lectures focusing on basic principles of medical relief-operations and will continue with a practical approach to relevant relief operations. It continues with these two parallel traces through the first semester, deepening the necessary academic knowledge on one side and the comparison with the observed relief-operation. 

    In the whole module, medical relief-operations are seen as a completion and not a replacement of former development efforts and special attention is given to approaches that lead to sustainable improvements in disaster-prevention and disaster-preparedness as one component of future relief activities. 
  • Assessment methods and criteria

    Oral examination in small groups.
    - Knowledge of module contents 
    - Transfer of knowledge to different examples and emergency situations 
    - Priority assessment in emergency situations 
  • Required reading

    The Sphere Project (2011): Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response. Hobbs the Printers: Hamshire, UK. 
    MSF (1997), Refugee Health; An approach to emergency situations, Chapter: Measles Immunization, pp. 55-65; Chapter: Food and Nutrition, pp. 81-113
    Connolly, Máire A (2004), Communicable diseases in complex emergencies: impact and challenges, Lancet
    Integrated Food Security Classification, Technical Manual 1.1

Last updated: 15 November 2016

This site uses cookies to enhance user experience and to track usage statistics. For more information, see NOHA’s Data Privacy Policy.