This course will familiarise participants with a health systems approach to health care for communities in low- and middle-income countries affected by humanitarian crises, through using practical interactive examples and case studies, and taught by experts who come from or have lived and worked in low- and middle-income countries during or after humanitarian crises.
Health systems are devised to provide an appropriate response to the health needs of the population, ensuring equitable access and also protecting the population from the consequences of ill health. The challenge is that delivery of health services needs to be implemented whilst ensuring a balance with appropriate utilisation of available resources. When health resources are disproportionately distributed, as is often the case, the result is the weakening or even breakdown of service delivery.
The World Health Organization (2000) defined six functions, or building blocks of health systems:
- Leadership and governance
- Service delivery
- Human resources for health
- Medical products, vaccines and technology
- Health information systems
- Health financing
These building blocks provide a common terminology for discussing key health system functions, and can be used in describing and assessing sectors of health systems, such as health care. Through the progressive introduction of health systems concepts to humanitarian health, there is an increasing need for a better understanding of how health systems are affected by and respond to humanitarian crises and function according to each of the key building blocks.
This course aims to provide an understanding of synergy between the building blocks for health systems during humanitarian crises and its applicability at a local level.
Who is this course for?
The course is intended for policy makers, UN staff, NGO Coordinators and health service managers working in low and middle-income countries affected by humanitarian crises or intending to work in this field in the near future.
The fee for 2018 is £1,100.00. This fee will cover participation in the course and the course materials. It will not include travel costs, accommodation and meals.
The primary purpose of this course is to familiarise participants with a health systems approach to health care for communities in low- and middle-income countries affected by humanitarian crises, through using practical interactive examples and case studies, and taught by experts who come from or have lived and worked in low- and middle-income countries during or after humanitarian crises.
By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Define concepts related to health systems and the six building blocks of the WHO framework
- Assess the main characteristics of humanitarian health interventions (facility-based, outreach, community based activities, horizontal versus vertical) and relate to it health system challenges in various areas: financing, human resources, health information system, governance, service delivery, and technology
- Apply the health system assessment guideline tool in order to translate a local situation analysis into concrete humanitarian interventions.
Teaching will be through a mixture of interactive lectures, case studies, discussions, and group and individual exercises. A list of pre-course reading and a course manual will be provided.
Through a review of literature, participants will critically analyse several perspectives on health systems. At the end of the week, students, organised in small groups, will submit and present a programmatic proposal outlining the main activities of a health programme and explain the rational for choosing such an intervention. The exercise will be based on a real case study.
Applying for this course
Please complete the online application form.
The student is responsible for obtaining any visa or other permissions to attend the course, and is encouraged to start the application process as early as possible as obtaining a visa for the UK can sometimes take a long time. The Short Courses team, in the Registry, can provide supporting documentation if requested.
Accommodation and meals
A list of hotels and other accommodation located in the vicinity of the School can be supplied on request to the Registry. Lunch can be purchased from the School's Refectory in the Keppel Street building or the cafe on the Tavistock Place building. Evening meals are not catered for at the School, but there is a large choice of restaurants, cafes and shops nearby.
- If you have been offered a place on the course you will not be able to register without bringing formal ID (Passport / UK photo driving license) and without having obtained the correct visa.
- It is essential that you read the current visa requirements for short course students.
- The School may cancel courses two weeks before the first day of the course if numbers prove insufficient. In those circumstances, course fees will be refunded.
- The School cannot accept responsibility for accommodation, travel and other losses incurred as a result of the course being cancelled.