Epidemiological Methods in Humanitarian Emergencies

Background: Man-made and natural disasters continue to be a major threat to health and human security across the globe; their frequency and scale of impact hasbeen increasing in the past few decades. The Eastern Mediterranean Region(EMR) has had its share, namely:earthquakes in Iran (2004), and Pakistan (2005); flooding in Pakistan, (2010) and Yemen (2008); protracted conflict with massive displacements in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya. The devastation left behind by these events in EMR has been disproportionately higher for a multitude of reasons,including limited disaster management capacities at local levels. The Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET) and CDC will be conducting a day and half long course on “Epidemiological Methods in Humanitarian Emergencies” on Dec 5-6, 2011 preceding the Bi-annual EMPHNET conference in Sharm AlSheikh, Egypt 

Course Summary: This course will cover epidemiological methods used in complex humanitarian emergencies, such as rapid assessment, surveillance, survey design (with a focus on cluster surveys) and analysis. In addition, the coursewill include topics such as common health threats includingcommunicable disease outbreaks, and basic needs during emergencies. Teaching methods will combine lectures and case studies of response to recent humanitarian crises, including some from EMR. Classes will be very participatory .

Course aim:To provide participants with the epidemiologic tools and skills to effectively prepare and respond to humanitarian crises. Proposed Content:

1. Humanitarian Principles and Humanitarian preparedness and responsemechanisms

2. Introduction to Disasters – terminology, kinds, global and regional trends and impact

3. Epidemiological tools for: 
    a. Health Impact/Needs Assessment and Prioritization in Humanitarian Crises 
    b. Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Outbreak Response
    c. Response Monitoring
    d. Guiding Early Recovery of Health Services

4. Simulation Exercise and Discussion

Target audience: 24 participants from current FETP trainees with priority to those with basic epidemiologic skills, and/or alumni of FETPs in EMR; Ministry of Health personnel responsible for emergency preparedness and response.

Language: English

Learning objectives: By the end of the training, participants will:
• Understand the globalhumanitarianpreparedness and response mechanisms,
• Know major humanitarian agencies within and outside the UN system and their roles in crises
• Gain an understandingof basic vulnerabilities, health threats and major causes of death and disease studied in past humanitarian crises
• Learn to apply epidemiological tools for rapid needs assessments, prioritization and in monitoring of relief and response interventions

Selection of participants: Priority will be given to FETP second year officers and graduates. A committee will review applicants CVs and personal statements on how knowledge gained during the course will be used.

Course costs: $400.00 EMPHNET registration fees cover the cost of the course.

Course Logistics:EMPHNET will facilitate the logistics for those accepted

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