Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP) Course

 HELP course body img

The Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP) course is a two-week training including lessons and workshops focused on the provision of humanitarian relief during disasters, armed conflicts, and other complex humanitarian emergencies. The course aims to instill the knowledge, skills, and most effective approach – based on scientific evidence, best practices, and professional ethics – that humanitarian responders will need to make effective decisions during disasters.

The National Center’s approach to the HELP course emphasizes multidisciplinary knowledge-sharing, innovative trends, challenges in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, and civilian-military coordination. The HELP course provides invited civilian and military professionals from across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region with a detailed understanding of the technical background and best practices in delivering critical health service support in response to natural disasters and complex humanitarian emergencies. The curriculum incorporates lessons learned from recent humanitarian crises, selected readings, lessons from subject matter experts, and interactive group discussions and exercises.

Most importantly, the HELP course brings together professionals representing both military and civilian organizations, including the humanitarian community, and facilitates a dynamic exchange of knowledge and sharing of multidisciplinary experiences from public health to humanitarian aid.

Upon completion of the training, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the essential issues related to public health, healthcare delivery, law, and ethics associated with the humanitarian actions and medical response during complex humanitarian emergencies, as well as the most effective methods to address them.

  • Analyze the immediate health and humanitarian needs during a disaster using a multidisciplinary approach that considers the perceptions, vulnerabilities, and capabilities of the impacted populations.

  • Plan, manage, and evaluate activities comprising the response to major humanitarian crises, especially from a civilian-military coordination perspective.

Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Legal Framework

  • Humanitarian Ethics

  • Actors in Humanitarian Intervention

  • Program Cycle Management

  • Data Collection, Analysis, and Sharing

  • Nutrition and Livelihood Support

  • Public Health Engineering: Sheltering, WASH, and Urban Considerations

  • Transversal Approaches to Violence: Sexual Violence

  • Healthcare Services in Humanitarian Crises

  • Surveillance and Early Warning Systems

  • Field Epidemiology in Crisis Settings

  • Communicable Diseases

  • Non-Communicable Diseases

  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

  • Violence Against Healthcare

  • Humanitarian Protection

  • Civil-Military Coordination

The 2024 iteration of the HELP Course will take place in Oahu, Hawaii from August 19 – 30, 2024. For inquiries, please reach out to