Tuesday’s List: Five courses on Public Health and Refugee Healthcare

 ISAF VCR Aids Afghan Refugee Camp*picture credit


With the refugee crisis becoming more and more dramatic and coming from a country that currently receives 7,000 refugees per day I can’t help but thinking what more can we do and especially what more public health can do. This is, obviously, not a concern of me alone: we recently published an editorial on the role of public health on the migrant crisis and even more recently a paper describing a curriculum for training public health students to address healthcare of asylum seekers.

In this paper, Ramin Asgary describes this curriculum which had 3 main components: didactic sessions, panel discussions with survivors and advocates and participation in medico-legal process of asylum seeking. About 125 public health graduates took part in this curriculim since 2005 and an assessment showed:

  • improved knowledge regarding sequalae of abuse and survivors’ health care needs
  • improved attitudes towards working with survivors
  • improved self-efficacy in identifying at-risk populations and addressing healthcare of survivors
  • increased desire to pursue global health and human right careers.

This very interesting article made me wonder: are there a lot of similar progams of people who might want to have such training? I did a quick google search and following the rigid methodology of a busy blogger (read: going throught the first 3 pages of google results), I have identified the following academic programs (in random order):

1. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has a Center for Refugee and Disaster Response that offers a number of training opportunities including a MPH and a certificate in health crisis and humanitarian assistance as well as open source material for a course on Refugee Health Care.

2. Burnet Institute offers a training course entitled “Public Health in Refugee Settings” , covering a variety of topics including need assessment, mental health issues and trauma management.

3. The Harvard Programme on Refugee Trauma offers the Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program which combines a 2 week face to face course followed by 5 month online courses. Almost 500 people have completed this course so far!

4. The Columbian University Maliman School of Public Health has a Program on Forced Migration and Health which. In this program students work towards a Master in Public Health degree with a required Certificate in Public Health and Humanitarian Assistance (PHHA) and a 2-month skills-based practicum in a humanitarian setting. There is a blog associated to this Program that you can access here.

5. The only European-based course I could identify was one offered by the University of Copenhagen, entitled “Health in Emergencies and Refugee Health”.  This course is part of the Master in Disaster Management and consists of 7 weeks online learning and 2 weeks face-to-face training. Some aspects addressed includes conceptual and legal frameworks, operational aspects of humanitarian interventions and partnerships and roles in different stages of emergencies.

Help me expand this list! Do you know of other courses that I might have missed? Or have you taken part in any of the above and would like to share your experience?







View the latest posts on the International Journal of Public Health homepage

One Comment

By commenting, you’re agreeing to follow our community guidelines.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *