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Health Emergencies in Large Populations (H.E.L.P.)

East Baltimore
Winter Inst. term
International Health
5 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Tue 01/02/2018 - Fri 01/12/2018
Class Times:
  • M Tu W Th F Sa,  9:00am - 5:30pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor s:
Gilbert Burnham

This Academic Format for HELP assumes that course participants have a knowledge of epidemiological basics, and understand fundamentals of public health. Other than these assumptions there are no specific prerequisites.


Are you a public health practitioners or provider who has responsibilities for the care of populations affected by natural, man-made disasters or complex humanitarian emergencies?

Covers the basics of health care in refugee and disaster situations, including disaster epidemiology, environmental health, food and nutritional issues in emergencies, the design, and implementation of health services, and management of communicable diseases. Also covers related issues such as conflict origins and conflict resolution, international humanitarian law, human rights, human security, and humanitarian ethics. Participants address real-world problems relating to providing public health services to displaced populations or populations affected by disasters. Faculty are drawn from many backgrounds, yet all share extensive field experience in emergency situations. Incorporates the extensive experience of the International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva) and the Pan American Health Organization (WHO) who are co-sponsors of HELP.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply epidemiological information toward designing and monitoring relief activities such as water and sanitation, food and nutrition, disease surveillance and control, immunization and health services
  2. Design a survey which would provide public health managers with key information on care of a displaced population
  3. Set out the key organizational actions to be taken after a sudden onset disaster
  4. Determine what relief activities are protected under International Humanitarian Law
Methods of Assessment:

Student evaluation based on written work, presentations and exams.
Students taking the course for academic credit will be asked to write a paper which should be approximately 2500 words in length. The topic would be the public health aspects of an emergency or disaster which interests you. This must show evidence of serious thinking and be well referenced using an accepted format such as APA, MLA, or Chicago style. This must be uploaded to the Courseplus drop box not later than 12 February, 2018. Note: this is subject to change. Students will be notified promptly of any changes.
Grades will be 50% from class attendance and participation, 40% from the final paper and 10% from several short online quizzes which will be given during the course.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

There is no out of class work.