School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Communicable Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies and Disasters - in collaboration with World Health Organization (PHCM9783)

image - Communicable Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies and Disasters - in collaboration with World Health Organization

Course is offered in two different modes:

1) 4-day face-to-face intensive workshop
2) Externally by distance mode

Description

This course is designed for those working in public health or related disciplines in developing countries who are working in or likely to work in communicable disease management and would like to gain knowledge, skills and experience in managing communicable disease in emergency settings. On completion of the course, students will understand the principles of, in collaboration with partners: conducting communicable disease risk assessments and prioritising interventions in emergencies; designing and implementing surveillance and early warning and response (EWAR) systems; conducting outbreak investigations and managing outbreak responses; implementing prevention and control methods for priority communicable diseases in emergencies. Students should be able to understand the importance of a coherent and co-ordinated response when working amongst diverse stakeholders in humanitarian settings.

Credit points

This course is an elective course of the Master of International Public Health, Master of Public Health, Master of Health Management and Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence programs, comprising 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of the study program.

Mode of study

This course is offered as an intensive workshop of 4 days duration during the Summer School and externally by distance mode.

Course aim

The aim of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and frameworks to be able to work more effectively in controlling and addressing communicable disease in a humanitarian emergency setting.

Course Outcomes
On completion of the course participants will be able to demonstrate understanding of how to:
  • Conducting communicable disease risk assessments and prioritising interventions in emergencies with some case studies to be included such as Ebola, Coronavirus and Influenza;
  • Designing and implementing surveillance/early warning and response systems (EWARN) in collaboration with partners;
  • Understanding outbreak investigations and managing outbreak responses;
  • Implementing prevention and control methods for priority communicable diseases in emergencies; and
  • Understanding the importance of a coherent, co-ordinated response when working amongst diverse stakeholders in humanitarian settings.
Selected lecture topics
  • Working in complex humanitarian emergencies.
  • Health Information surveillance - Case study and demonstration on Early Warning and Response Network (EWARN) in acute emergencies.
  • Outbreak investigation and response.
  • Current challenges in Infectious diseases emergencies.
  • Socio Political dynamics in Infectious diseases emergencies - Panel discussion on Ebola Outbreak (2014) as a case study on current challenges and recommended approaches - Disease specific lectures and case studies (eg. Tuberculosis, Diarrhoeal diseases etc.).
Learning and teaching rationale

Tackling communicable disease in humanitarian settings requires a broad range of knowledge and skills. A solid base of knowledge relating to specific diseases and general communicable disease control principles is necessary but also the ability to put knowledge into practice in often complex and sensitive situations. An understanding of humanitarian settings and their multiple complications is also vital. This course will expand your communicable disease knowledge in a manner specifically tailored to the needs of humanitarian settings. The practical issues will be explored throughout the course as an integral part of the learning experience. Integrating theory and practice will be key.

Teaching strategies

We have designed the course to have a very practical orientation.  The lectures and course material are organised around the main communicable diseases that you need to know about, however at all stages we will go beyond the knowledge base and discuss how to implement strategies in the field.

The course comprises 4-day on-campus intensive workshop. During the course there will be lectures and group discussions, as well as opportunities to work through case studies based on real situations. You will be expected to engage actively in the different activities and discussions during the 4 days.

All internal students are required to attend all sessions during Summer School. The workshops are aimed at providing students the opportunity for face-to-face interactive learning and discussion. Externally enrolled students will be provided with an equivalent amount of teaching through Moodle, lecturer recordings (and echo360 where possible). Participation on the course activities is compulsory as this attracts marks. There is no pre-requisite for prior reading.

Assessment

Assessment Task 1 - Partcipation
Weighting: 10%

Assessment Task 2 - Case Study Report
Weighting: 35%

Assessment Task 3 - Written Assignment
Weighting: 55%

Readings and resources
Learning resources for this course consist of the following:
  • Course notes and readings will be provided in Moodle.
  • Any additional course material that may of interest will be posted on the online forum.