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of Public Health
University of South Florida
Department of Global Health
Course Name: Public Health Emergencies in Large Populations (PHELP)
Prefix & Number: PHC 4188
Section: .001 Ref# 22597
Semester: Spring, 2015

This course is designed to develop or improve the skills of persons

interested in providing emergency health services in global humanitarian
emergencies for refugees and displaced populations.

Credit hours:






CPH 2016


Instructor 1

Instructor 2

Instructor 3

Elizabeth A. Dunn, MPH, CPH

College of Public Health
Office Hours: By Appointment
Cell Phone: 361-510-7935
Email contact preferred
You will receive a response to your
email in 24-48 hours.


Medecins San Frontieres (1997). Refugee Health: An Approach to

Emergency Situations. MacMillian Education Ltd.: London & Basingstoke.
*** Readings and links to websites that will be required for this course can
be found in electronic form on the Canvas course site & can be accessed
under the Modules tab within the Section for that week.


Additional research is expected for class assignments, and additional readings

will be assigned and/or recommended
Readings required for this course can be found on the Canvas course site under
the Modules tab within the appropriate Section. Texts may also be available
from several off-campus bookstores and online vendors, such as and


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
Course Format:

This course will contain thirteen (13) interrelated Sections designed to

provide a general introduction to the skills and topics needed to provide
emergency health services in global humanitarian emergencies for
refugees and displaced populations.
Class meets once a week (Mondays) throughout the Spring
Semester from 5pm to 7:45pm.
The format of this course focuses on in-class lectures, presentations,
discussions, and class activities in addition to readings & assignments
completed outside of the classroom.
Materials and instructions for homework assignments can be found online
in Canvas under the Modules tab (located on the left-hand side of the
PHC 4188.001 course page). After you have selected the Modules tab,
scroll down to the appropriate Section to retrieve the content for the
coming week.


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
Learning Objectives:
(Objectives must be numbered)

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

1. Develop a thorough understanding of refugees and displaced populations, and identify their
2. Assess the challenges of providing care to displaced populations and identify at least two
methods of assessment for specific emergency situations in the field.
3. Develop and implement one general or one specific assistance health program for a
displaced population.
4. Foresee the possible development of immediate assistance projects into development
5. Collect information and conduct public health surveillance to provide care to refugees and
displaced populations.
6. Develop an understanding of what it takes to control communicable diseases during an
emergency situation.
7. Recognize the mental health consequences of disasters and complex humanitarian
8. Develop a seamless approach to provision of services among humanitarian organizations and
describe the roles of different agencies in disasters.
9. Develop, implement, and monitor adequacy of services provided to affected populations.
10. Assess choices made in the field by their ethical implications.


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
Assessment Strategies:
(Strategies must be numbered)

1. Class Participation. Each week the course instructor will provide lectures on the readings and
provide their insights and perspectives on the material. It is strongly encouraged that students be
prepared to ask questions, make comments, and provide their own insights and experiences to
supplement the material.
Students are expected to actively engage in class discussions and class activities about the
assigned readings and related concepts. Students participation will be evaluated in terms of the
following: (a) attendance (b) apparent thoughtfulness of comments; (c) active engagement during
class activities; and (d) ability to keep an open mind, even when discussing controversial viewpoints.
2. Skill-building Activities. A majority of the class meetings will include a segment devoted to skill
building instruction and exercises. These skill building exercises are designed to provide students
with an introduction to the tools needed for developing the competences needed to respond to
public health emergencies.
There will be four in-class assignments where the students will be placed into groups to complete an
activity. The group tasks will be to discuss key topics and identify problem solving ideas to share
with the class. Activities will be distributed and explained in class.
Skill-building Activities will account for 15% of your final grade.
3. Homework Assignments. Each week take-home questions will be given to students in
correlation with the readings, videos or case studies that are assigned. These questions are
designed to encourage the students to think about key elements pertaining to the readings and will
prepare students for the exams. Instructions and any additional materials required to complete each
homework assignment will be posted on Canvas.
Homework Assignments will account for 33% of your final grade.
4. Exams. There will be two exams in this course (a Mid-term & a Final exam) that will be comprised
of true/false, multiple-choice, short-answer, and/or essay questions. Each exam will only include the
subject matter listed prior to the exam date on the syllabus and is not cumulative. Exam materials
will include information from the textbook, handouts, videos, and class lectures/slides/discussions.
Exams will account for 52% of your final grade.


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida

This course meets the following competencies for Global Disaster Management and
Humanitarian Assistance

Learning Objectives

Assessment Strategies

4.) Understand at least two

methods of assessment for
specific emergency
situations in the field.

1, 2, 4, 10


5.) Develop, implement, and

monitor adequacy of
services provided to affected




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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
Grading Scale and


Assessment Strategies
Number of

Number of
Points per

Total # of
Points for the

Percentage of
Total Grade



10 points

130 points


Activities (In-class)

15 points

60 points


Mid-term Exam

100 points

100 points


Final Exam

100 points

100 points



390 points


Course Grading Scale:

90% of total points (390 to 350 points) = A
80% of total points (349 to 311 points) = B
70% of total points (310 to 272 points) = C
60% of total points (271 to 233 points) = D
50% of total points (232 & below) = F

Grading will be determined through a grading system of A, B, C, D, or F. No +

or will be given.
Grading Policies:

Students are advised to pay careful attention to directions for each assignment.
Student grades will be updated regularly on Canvas. It is the students responsibility to
monitor their grades to ensure that they are aware of their progress in this course.

Late Assignments: All assignments must be turned in by the due date on the
course schedule, unless otherwise notified by the instructor. No makeup of missed
work will be allowed. Failure to complete any assignment will not constitute an
excuse for being assigned an "I" grade in the course. Exceptions to this policy will
be made only in the case of severe illness, documented family emergency, or
similar problem.


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida

Class attendance will be taken into consideration when evaluating students

participation in the course and will be taken randomly throughout the semester. Each
unexcused absence will result in a deduction from the students Class Participation
score. **Exams and skill-building activities missed during an unexcused
absence cannot be made up. All excused absences will require documentation!
Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the
observation of a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the
instructor, in writing, at least one week prior to the absence.
An absent student is responsible for all materials and announcements presented in
the classroom and should contact a classmate to receive any missed information (or)
should meet with the professor after class or request an appointment by email to
receive any missed information.
See Institutional Policies section for Emergency Preparedness for Academic Continuity.

Permission to Use

All unauthorized recordings of class are prohibited. Recordings that accommodate

individual student needs must be approved in advance and may be used for personal
use during the semester only; redistribution is prohibited.


Preparation. Students are expected to stay current on course readings and course
content. Assigned material for each Section should be read prior to class. Students
are expected to check on Canvas on a regular basis for updates and reminders.
Participation. Active participation and attendance is expected. Active participation
includes attentiveness and engagement in classroom discussions and/or skill-building
activities. Participation in discussions requires maturity and thought. Students should
treat each other with respect and kindness.

Incomplete Policy:

Sensitivity to Diversity. Students should remember that others in the group may
differ in cultural background, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity or gender
expression and should be careful about making insensitive or careless remarks.
COPH policy:

Field Trip Policy:


Class Participation:

Each week the course instructor will provide lectures on the readings and provide their
insights and perspectives on the material. It is strongly encouraged that students be
prepared to ask questions, make comments, and provide their own insights and
experiences to supplement the material.
Students are expected to actively engage in class discussions and class activities
about the assigned readings and related concepts. The goal of class participation is to
promote open discussion and express varying viewpoints. Class participation will be
evaluated and affect a students final grade. Students should remain respectful of all
people in the classroom, both students and the instructor, during class discussions.
Disrespectful communication to others will not be tolerated.


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
Course Calendar


Assignment Due

Topic/Questions to Address

(Prior to Class)

Syllabus, Introduction of Course, Overview of Refugees & Displaced


5 January


12 January

Syllabus Quiz &

HW Section 2:

Dadaab Refugee Camp in

Kenya, Africa Video

Basics of Public Health Emergencies in Large Populations:


19 January
26 January

What types of disasters are there?

What is the disaster management cycle?
What is the difference between a refugee, IDP, and economic migrant?
How is a population affected by disaster?
Effects of public health emergencies on the local system.
How does sustainability impact recovery? What is the importance of sustainable
humanitarian action?
Historical analysis of response to disasters
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Case Studies: Chicago Fire, San Francisco Earthquake, WWI, WWII, Cold War,
Natural Disasters, Refugees, Civil War & Genocide
Public Health Emergencies in Large Populations in the 21st Century
What is the future of Public Health in Disaster Response and Recovery?

No Class
HW Section 3:

Developing an
Assessment Checklist

Planning and Initial Assessment:


What is surveillance?
How does the collection of information important in humanitarian emergencies and
disaster management?
What types of data collection are used?
Who is needed in developing an assessment team? What is needed for that team
to accomplish their goals?
Learn about the basic planning cycle for the initial assessment.
What questions will need to be asked when conducting the assessment?

Skill-building Activity #1
2 February

9 February

HW Section 4:
Sheltering & Site Planning
Journal Assignment

HW Section 5:

Quality vs. Quantity


Shelter and Site Planning:


Environmental Health:


Refugee camp vs. Refugee Settlements

What influences the situation?
Identify shelter and site planning concerns.
What criteria are essential for site selection?
What is needed to design a refugee camp and what are the main installations?
Identify different types of shelter?
Identify key environmental health issues that occur following a disaster or complex
humanitarian emergency.
What are the effects of chemical, biological and radiological emergency incidents?
How is water impacted by natural and man-made disasters?
Discuss the 5 types of excreta related diseases.
Case Study: Maldives & Cambodia

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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
16 February

HW Section 6:

Communicable Diseases:

Innovation for Community

Resilience Discussion


Examine the communicable disease cycle

What are the main causes of morbidity and mortality in emergencies?
How do you control communicable diseases during a public health emergency?
What are the steps for an epidemic investigation?
What are the appropriate preventative measures to lessen the spread of
communicable diseases?
Case Study: Zombie Pandemic

Skill-building Activity #2
23 February

HW Section 7:

Mental Health:

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib

Documentary - Mental
Health Video Analysis


2 March

Spring Break: No Class or Assignments due this Week

9 March
16 March

Who am I? Explore your personality. Be clear about your values and beliefs.
How do you provide comfort and support following disaster or public health
What do refugees and victims of disaster have to face? What is the impact of high
levels of stress?
Be able to identify signs of stress. What should public health workers watch for
when working with survivors of traumatic incidents?
UNHCR and their views on Mental Health
Case Study: Rwanda & Abu Ghraib

Mid-term Exam (100pts)

HW Section 8:
Food & Nutrition Quiz

Food and Nutrition:


Understanding the importance of nutrition and growth for vulnerable populations

What are nutrition emergency, famine, and early warning systems?
What are some early warning indicators and causes of food and nutrition
How do you respond to a food emergency or food security situation?
How can technology be used to monitor famine?
Case Study: Dadaab, Niger and the Sahel

Skill-building Activity #3
23 March

HW Section 9:
Current Events and
Implementing Healthcare

Implementing Health Services:



Importance of mass casualty triage

How is technology being utilized in disaster response and in providing health
services following a disaster?
Examine healthcare in the Emergency phase.
What criteria should be fulfilled for a successful healthcare system in refugee
What are the levels of healthcare?
Examine the needs for children when developing a healthcare system.
What are the needs for reproductive healthcare?
What are the steps needed in developing a successful public health program?
What is in place for national emergency response following a natural disaster?
Case Study: Afghanistan, Guinea, and Zambia

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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
30 March

6 April

HW Section 10:
Questions for Guest

HW Section 11:
Understanding Agencies
Working in Emergency
Response Assignment

Human Rights and Security:


What are our basic human rights? What is the history behind human rights law?
What is International Humanitarian Law?
What is the International Criminal Court?
Case Studies: Violations of Human Rights

Coordination and Inter-relationships of Agencies:


Whos who in humanitarian response?

Who are the governmental departments and agencies involved? NGOs?
What is the EOC?
Deeper look into the United Nations, USAID, UNICEF, WFP, IASC and OCHA.
Brief history of Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Humanitarian and military collaboration

Skill-building Activity #4
13 April

HW Section 12:
Military Intervention in
Humanitarian Operations

Governmental Response to Emergencies:


20 April

HW Section 13:
Resettlement and Ethics

What is the role of our national government in a disaster?

What are the types of assistance here in the United States?
What is the share of humanitarian aid provided from governments globally?
Examining the role of military in providing aid.
What are the Emergency Support Functions (ESFs)?
Case Study: US Coast Guard, Kentucky National Guard, USPHS, US Air Force
Reserve, NOAA, and USNS Comfort & Mercy
Case Study: Japan & Haiti

Resettlement and Ethical Issues:

o Repatriation and resettlement following displacement
o Who is involved in the resettlement process?
o How does politics affect the humanitarian response?
o Case Study: Cambodia

27 April
Final Exam (100pts)


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
Reference List

Cahill, K. M. (Ed.). (2003a). Emergency Relief Operations. New York: Fordham University Press.
Davis, J. & Lambert, R. (2002). Engineering in Emergencies: A Practical Guide for Relief Workers. London: Intermediate
Technology Publications.
Medecins Sans Frontieres. (1997). Refugee Health: An Approach to Emergency Situations. London: MacMillan Education Ltd.
Medecins Sans Frontieres. (2006). Rapid Health Assessment of Refugee or Displaced Populations. (3*ed.)
Medecins Sans Frontieres. (2010). Public Health Engineering in Precarious Situations. (2*ed.)
Noji, E. K. & Toole, M. J. (1997). The Historical Development of Public Health Responses to Disasters. Disasters, 21(4), 366376.

Noji, E. K. & Toole, M. J. (1997). The Public Health Consequences of Disasters. Ch. 20, 419-442.
Oxfam. (1994). Health Care for Refugees and Displaced Populations. Assessment and Planning.
Perrin, P. (1996). War and public health: Handbook on War and Public Health. Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross.

Redlener, Irwin, & Reilly, M. J. (13 Dec 2012). Lessons from Sandy- Preparing Health Systems for Future Disasters. The
New England Journal of Medicine, 367(24) 2269-2271
Roberts, L., Chartier, Y., Chartier, O., Malenga, G., Toole, M. & Rodka, H. (2001). Keeping Clean Water Clean in a Malawi Refugee
Camp: A Randomized Intervention Trial. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 79(4), 280-287.
Smith, M., & Reed, R. (1991). Water and Sanitation for Disasters. Tropical Doctor, 21(1), 30-37.
World Food Program. (2002). Emergency Field Operations Pocketbook.
Website List


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
Additional Course Information

Definitions and Responses: How do we define a disaster? Definitions used in disaster management. What is a complex
humanitarian emergency? Who is a refugee? Who looks after refugees and internally displaced persons?
Disaster Management: How best to prepare a response to an emergency? What are the expected hazards? Who are in
the vulnerable populations? What is the magnitude of risk?
Conducting Assessments. Populations affected by emergencies have urgent public health needs. Predicting and
measuring these needs are critical to an effective response effort. Identifying at risk populations.

Responding to Needs: Priority of needs must be determined and urgent needs met as quickly as possible. Yet,
effectiveness must be achieved and long-term outcomes considered.

Environmental Health. Epidemics are common in emergencies because environmental health is frequently of inferior
quality than in normal conditions. Basic public health actions can prevent outbreaks if appropriate measures are put into
place early.
Food and Nutrition. In emergencies the greatest need is often food. Yet, knowing what supplies are appropriate and
distributing them equitably are frequently difficult.
Information and Surveillance. The health status of populations affected by disasters must be monitored in order to
improve decision-making.
Communicable Diseases. Populations displaced in emergencies are often at risk of disease, both pre-existing, and those
arising from a new or altered environment.
Reproductive Health. Refugees have different reproductive health needs from other populations. Some groups are
increasingly at risk from HIV.
Humanitarian Ethics. Maintaining neutrality, humanity, impartiality, independence and assuring equity in access to
services is an ethical issue in emergencies.
International Humanitarian Law. Humanitarian measures are guided by the Geneva conventions, which protect the
safety of civilians, non-combatants and health workers in a conflict.
Human Rights and Human Security. Violation of basic human rights is often the basis for loss of human security and
livelihoods. Awareness may prevent many abuses. Security issues also exist for the humanitarian aid worker operating in
the field.


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
The most recent version of the Institutional Policies information can be found on the Academic Affairs Forms
page at
(Fall 2013)

Student Conduct:

USF Student Rights/Responsibilities:

USF Student Code of Conduct:

Disruption of
Integrity of Students:

Disruption of the academic process and violations of the policies regarding

academic integrity will not be tolerated. Review USF policies on Disruption of the
Academic Process and the Academic Integrity of Students at:


Plagiarism will not be tolerated and is grounds for failure. (Refer to USF Academic
Integrity of Student Policy):

The University of South Florida has an account with an automated plagiarism

detection service (Turnitin), which allows instructors and students to submit student
assignments to be checked for plagiarism. I, Ms. Elizabeth Dunn reserve the right
to 1.) request that assignments be submitted as electronic files and 2.) submit
students assignments to Turnitin, or 3.) request students to submit their
assignments to Turnitin through the course site. Assignments are compared
automatically with a database of journal articles, web articles, the internet and
previously submitted papers. The instructor receives a report showing exactly how
a students paper was plagiarized.
NOTE: An institution may not release a paper to a plagiarism detection software
without the students prior consent unless all personally identifiable information has
been removed, such as a students name, social security number, student number,
etc.. Note that a paper/essay is considered an educational record and an institution
may not ask a student to waive their rights under FERPA for the purpose of
submitting papers to a plagiarism detection software.
For more information about Plagiarism and Turnitin, visit:
Plagiarism tutorial:
Using Turnitin in Canvas:

Cheating Statement:

The USF College of Public Health expects students to maintain academic honesty
in all courses. By virtue of being registered in a Public Health course, students
agree to refrain from cheating. If cheating in any form (academic dishonesty) is
detected, appropriate action will be taken. (Refer to USF Academic Integrity of
Students Policy).

Academic Policies
and Procedures:


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College of Public Health

University of South Florida

Students in need of academic accommodations for a disability may consult with the
office of Services for Students with Disabilities to arrange appropriate
accommodations. Students are required to give reasonable notice (typically 5
working days) prior to requesting an accommodation.
Students with Disabilities Services:

Holidays and


In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal

operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction
through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype,
and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. Its the responsibility of the
student to monitor the Canvas site for each class for course specific
communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and
MoBull messages for important general information.

Student Grievance

Review USF Academic Grievance Policy at:

Student assistance is provided by Division of Student Affairs, Office of the Student


Library Resources:

USF Library Resources and Services:

Shimberg Health Sciences Library:
Shimberg Health Sciences Library Tutorials: (follow links
under Instructional Services section)

Creating Citations &

Using Refworks:

APA Citation Style

Guide & Tutorial

Style Guide:



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College of Public Health

University of South Florida
(online communication

Plagiarism & Safe


See Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism Section

USF Email Accounts:

Canvas Tutorials:


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