Global and Local Public Health Issues

Objective of this course is to introduce the students to the humanitarian crisis aspects of various types of disasters. Course will present real life examples of how public health is compromised in a disaster; how the human rights get violated; who are vulnerable groups; how environment suffers; how is life in chronic conflict situations; what are the mechanisms for psychosocial coping; what are the principles of knowledge management in disaster.

5 ECTS Credits — Studies start 28 September 2018 — University of EAstern Finland

Course dates

28 September 2018 – 7 November 2018

Registration period

13 August 2018 – 10 September 2018

Coordinating university

University of EAstern Finland



Course level


Students should learn of various effects of disasters and they get to know the basic strategies and components of a public health response to crisis situations caused by disasters.

The course will strengthen understanding of:

The concept of crisis
Causes (natural, man-made) of humanitarian crises and disasters
The general impact of crises in the light of recent examples
Environmental impact of disasters and humanitarian crises
Typical public health consequences of humanitarian crises
Mental health in disasters
Disaster preparedness and first response
Specific challenges of public health in complex emergencies
Water supply, sanitation, and food supplies in extreme conditions
Short-term and long-term management strategies of humanitarian crises
Role of various actors, international collaboration
Disaster epidemiology
Disaster prevention
Modes of study
Self-study of required readings
Web-based learning package for distant students
Web-based learning includes video-lectures, online lecture notes, writing learning diary, excercises, online discussion groups.
Successful completion of the course requires substantial amount of independent study 
Evaluation criteria: The final mark will consist of evaluation of assignments. Final grading: 1-5. 

Study materials: Required readings: 

Health in Humanitarian Crises. The Lancet, Vol. 390, No. 10109. Published: June 8, 2017.

Disaster Risk Reduction in the United Nations: Roles, mandates and results of key UN entities. Geneva, Swizerland: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), 2013 

Further study material and recommended reading will be provided during the course.

Additional information: A maximum number of UNIPID students is 30. Students will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. UEF students, please sign up via Weboodi.

Virtual Studies Course Catalogue