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The Public Health in Complex Emergencies training program (PHCE) is a two-week intensive course that focuses on critical public health issues faced by non-government or private voluntary organizations (NGOs/PVOs) personnel working in complex emergencies. The purpose of the Public Health in Complex Emergencies Course is to improve the quality of public health assistance available to refugees and displaced persons involved in emergencies. The field of emergency assistance is becoming a discipline that requires trained providers to have a working knowledge of the important issues involved in emergencies. As decision-makers in these situations, it is important for them to be as prepared as possible.

Field staff from humanitarian, international and academic organizations have developed the curriculum specifically to meet the needs of NGOs/PVOs or the Ministry of Health staff working in complex emergencies. This course is truly “of the field, by the field and for the field.” Preference will be given to participants currently working in emergency situations.

Participants are expected to meet with their supervisors prior to attending the course to discuss an action plan for applying their new skills and knowledge. A structured exercise during the course will help to finalize these plans. Participants will be contacted months later and will be requested to report on their progress.

The course curriculum has recently been updated to continue to address the emerging trends and issues in the field of complex emergencies. The goal of the course is to enhance the capacity of humanitarian assistance workers and their organizations to respond to the health needs of refugees and internally displaced persons affected by these emergencies. The Course strives to help practitioners place these public health issues in a context that helps them manage and coordinate their work more effectively. While participants are not expected to become experts in each aspect of public health, they are asked to think about how each affects the way they carry out their work in complex emergencies.

Participants will master key competencies in all of the following sectors:

  • Context of Emergencies
  • Epidemiology
  • Communicable Disease
  • Environmental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Reproductive Health
  • Weapons, Violence and Trauma
  • Protection and Security
  • Psychosocial Issues
  • Coordination

At the end of the Course, a simulation puts the participants in the position of having to put their skills into practice as they coordinate a complex emergency. This requires them to make direct connections between the Course and their work. We also support participants to put together a professional development plan to guide their learning and practice following completion of the training.

Language and teaching methods
The course is currently offered in English only. Extensive reading and participatory learning methods are used. All participants will receive a pre-reading packet of materials before arriving at the course site. Participants should be fluent in reading and speaking English.

The content of the course includes the following topics and arranged into various lessons:

  • NGOs/PVOs staff who are responsible now (or maybe in the near future) for making decisions that affect the health of refugees and internally displaced persons.
  • District medical officers and other Ministry of Health staff working in regions affected by complex emergencies.
  • Staff from international and governmental organizations instrumental in planning services for people affected by complex emergencies.
  • Medical Coordinators, Health Coordinators, Program Managers and District Medical Officers from international and national health organizations are typical candidates for the course.

Fee information

COURSE FEE The standard course fee of US$2,600 covers course tuition, registration fee, training materials, field visit and training kit. Participants will be responsible for their own travel expenses and arrangements, accommodation, airport transfers, visa application, all meals, health and accident insurance, and other personal expenses.

How to register

Interested persons can apply as individuals although preference will be given to those sponsored by an organization. The application can be submitted online at The registration and payment should be made at least one month before the course commences.

If you are selected to attend the course, the payment should be transferred to ADPC’s account through bank transfer Otherwise, your participation will be canceled. Please note that personal checks are not accepted as a form of payment.

If you are unable to attend, a substitute applicant is welcome to attend in your place, provided the participation criteria have been met.

Cancellation of attendance should be notified at least three weeks prior to course commencement; in which case, 15% of the course fee will be deducted for banking charges and administrative costs. No refunds are available for cancellation within three weeks prior to course commencement.

It is also important to note that the course has a requirement for a minimum number of participants. If an insufficient number of applications have been received by 17 July 2020, ADPC reserves the right to cancel the course for the current year. Candidates who have already been accepted will be informed as soon as the decision is taken, and offered a place in the following year if desired.

Please contact:
Health Risk Management Department
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
Tel: +66 2 298 0682-92 | Fax: +66 2 298 0012-13
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