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Humanitarian Medicine Course

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Develop a new skill set which has the power to make a difference across the world. Humanitarian Medicine allows you to learn the theory, essential skills and key medical aspects of humanitarian intervention. Whether you’re looking to travel and support aid projects, or simply incorporate these universal principles of care into more domestic situations.

CPD Award: This course has been awarded 23 CPD hours by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

“Thank you for an amazing course, a great insight into humanitarian medicine – particularly for someone who did not have much knowledge at all. Brilliant faculty, very friendly and a great range of roles and experience.”
Humanitarian Medicine course attendee 2023

Join us and equip yourself with the skills required to make a real impact on human welfare – locally or globally.

Key facts

This specially designed course has been created to give a comprehensive introduction to the broad sector of Humanitarian Medicine.

You’ll find the learning impactful and intense, packing together lecture based content, with workshops, interactive discussion, and practical sessions.

Our syllabus has been designed to provide maximum impact for medical and healthcare professionals on the ground. Whether you are yet to start your humanitarian medicine career or have a couple of deployments under your belt, this course will help develop your skill set and immerse you among like minded colleagues in the sector.

Location: Bracken Tor YHA Castleton, Okehampton

You must be either a:

  • Medical or Allied Healthcare Professional OR,
  • A student in your last two years of study

CPD Award: This course has been awarded 23 CPD hours by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

What’s included:

  • Tutoring, accommodation and meals

What’s not:

  • General travel costs
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Drink and food from the bar

What to expect

We start by examining the essential structures and standards that govern humanitarian aid and health intervention, before moving onto medico/legal aspects, ethics and how to adapt your practice to new settings.

Following this foundation we move on to public health needs assessments and the huge topic of malnutrition. Part of this involves learning about camps, settlements and WASH (water sanitation and hygiene)

In the second half of the course we’ll be looking at communicable and non-communicable disease, tropical and neglected tropical disease and concepts around disease outbreak response.

The final phase of the course covers mental health, psychological first aid, child and women’s health and gender-based violence.

This extensive programme also equips you with the knowledge you’ll need for medical triage, chemical and biological weapons and how to take the next steps to find opportunities in the humanitarian sector.

Course content

  • Introduction to Humanitarian Medicine
  • Standards and Health Priorities
  • Health System Design and Humanitarian Intervention
  • Adapting Practice to Resource Poor Locations
  • Working with National Staff
  • Communications
  • Logistics & Supply Chain in Humanitarian Healthcare
  • Public Health and Surveillance
  • Health Indicators & Needs Assessment in Practice
  • Security
  • Malnutrition
  • Sphere Minimum Standards for Camp Management
  • WASH & Camp Design
  • Shelter & Settlement
  • Opportunities in Humanitarian Medicine
  • Tropical Disease Summary & Communicable Disease
  • Non-Communicable Disease
  • Infections Disease Response
  • Neglected Tropical Disease
  • Chemical & Biological Weapons
  • Medical Triage in Humanitarian Settings
  • Women’s Health and Gender-Based Violence
  • Child Health
  • Psychological First Aid
  • Mental Health in Humanitarian Settings

What you need to know

If travelling from outside the UK we strongly recommend taking out adequate travel and health insurance for your trip. A suitable policy can be booked through Campbell Irvine Direct.

During the course you will take part in activities outdoors, we recommend as a minimum your bring:

  • Waterproof shell jacket and trousers (gore-tex or similar)
  • Fleece layers
  • Insulated jacket (synthetic recommended)
  • Sturdy waterproof outdoor footwear
  • Beanie hat
  • Spare clothing in case you get wet
  • Warm gloves
  • 1L Water bottle
  • Small rucksack

Feedback from previous courses

What went well on your Humanitarian course?

“Having an array of healthcare workers from different fields sharing their own experiences and tips on how to get started within this industry.”

“The spirit of the board, the composition of the participants, the choice of topics, the authenticity of the presenters, the will to inspire and at the same time the attempt to point out the classic flaws in the setting.”

“Very engaging lecturers, covered broad range of topics, great to have principles related to field experience and anecdotes.”

What was the single most valuable thing you learnt from your Humanitarian course?

“Humanitarian medicine is difficult, demanding and beautiful at the same time. I think it gave a realistic idea of what to expect.”

“That everyone feels out of their depth, don’t let that stop you from helping where it’s needed.”

“The various opportunities within the humanitarian field and where to start. Panel discussion was most useful for this.”

About us

World Extreme Medicine trains, supports and informs medics looking to expand their skills and tackle new challenges.

A chance conversation about the impossibility of finding good expedition medics resulted in our Founding Director, Mark Hannaford creating the very first, bespoke Expedition Medicine course in the UK – over 20 years ago. Since then, we’ve spent the last two decades providing on-demand education, on-location training, international conferences, and expedition support for people outside normal medical environments.

Our network of around a quarter of a million experts, practitioners and instructors is here for you – inspiring, informing and connecting you with like-minded people and new opportunities.

Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, dentist, vet, paramedic, medical student or allied health professional, you can join us and discover new frontiers of your practice both at home or in the field.

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