Disasters impact population health. Climate change, urbanization, re-emerging infectious disease and widening socio-economic disparities have rendered the world's population more vulnerable to disasters. In this unit students examine the health impacts of disasters with a focus on the special needs of women and children and other vulnerable groups. This unit introduces students to the disaster management system and the role of different actors within the system focusing on the role of the public health sector considering local, national and international contexts. The continuum from prevention and risk reduction to disaster response, and the transition to recovery is examined from a public health perspective in the context of current and emerging natural and man-made hazards and risks. Mechanisms and tools for co-ordination, partnership, accountability and minimum standards in health in humanitarian response are investigated and critiqued. The principles and ethics that inform practice in the field underpin the teaching in this unit.

Unit details

Location:
Victoria University Online
Study level:
Postgraduate
Credit points:
12
Unit code:
HPO7007

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Investigate the different types of disasters and identify and evaluate future hazards and risks to public health;  
  2. Map, analyse and critically evaluate the impact disasters have on the health and well-being of populations and identify groups most vulnerable and their specific health impacts;  
  3. Critically analyse the principles and ethics of disaster preparedness, response and recovery and the challenges in applying these in public health practice;  
  4. Advocate for the use of specific theoretical and practical tools to inform the public health response in disasters; and  
  5. Apply and defend the Disaster Management Cycle to a range of public health scenarios in disasters.  

Assessment

Assessment type Description Grade
Other Contribution to a discussion board on the impact disasters have on the health and well-being of populations (500 words) 10%
Research Paper Analysis of the principles and ethics of disaster preparedness, response and recovery (2000 words) 40%
Project Applying the Disaster Management Cycle to a public health scenarios in a selected disaster. (2500 words) 50%

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