Health Issues & Humanitarian Emergencies (MIPH5124) - Professional Development Course


What are the health issues in humanitarian emergencies?
What influences the ability of humanitarian workers to assess and provide relief in disaster situations?
How do you plan an emergency response?

This highly practical 4-day course is designed to give participants an insight into the range of public health aspects of humanitarian emergencies in developing country situations. Participants will consider problems faced by government as well as non-government organisations in humanitarian emergency relief efforts.

Topics covered include: international and human right law, planning an emergency response and emergency preparation, the role of donor agencies, refugee health, nutritional emergencies, site planning for refugee camps, protection of vulnerable groups, sexual violence and HIV/STIs, water and sanitation, population and disease surveillance, responding to communicable disease, coordination of humanitarian response and the major actors, minimum standards and accountability, and ethical/geopolitics issues.

Course aims

To provide participants with an overview of public health aspects of humanitarian emergencies in developing country situations and the range of appropriate responses.

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key health and related issues in humanitarian emergencies.
  • Recognise priority health issues that arise in emergency situations and refugee populations.
  • Develop responses to health issues arising in humanitarian emergency situations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of aid agencies and health workers in emergency situations.


Course Coordinator. Ms Bronwen Blake, has extensive experience in international health, having worked with Médecins Sans Frontières in complex disaster situations in Africa predominantly in Uganda and southern Sudan as well as communicable disease outbreak response. She has also been involved in emergency preparedness and situation analysis and the provision of health services to displaced populations. Associate Professor Michael Dibley, Co-Course Coordinator, has wide-ranging experience in Asia focussing on nutrition-related issues in China, Vietnam and Timor-Leste.
A number of highly experienced guest lecturers will also teach specialist areas of this course.


Monday 2 November to Thursday 5 November 2015

The course will be held over 4 days at the University of Sydney’s main campus.

Application deadline

28 August 2015
Late applications may be considered.

More information

Office for Teaching and Learning
Room 329, Level 3
Edward Ford Building (A27)
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Phone: +61 2 9351 4366