The Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare Course: Three Years On

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24 May 2024

In a time when being part of the digital age was more crucial than ever, as the world was grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare Course was established in 2021 as a valuable new resource for members interested in learning more about humanitarian healthcare. 

This joint initiative developed by the Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH) and UK-Med would later prove to be a significant resource, not only for members, but the wider community including those actively serving within a humanitarian context and equally those with limited experience desiring to embark on a career within this rewarding sector.  

The Faculty is a global professional home for remote, rural and humanitarian healthcare professionals whose primary objective is to improve the health outcomes of those living in remote, rural, austere, and life-threatening areas of the world. Additionally, FRRHH’s vision is to deliver excellence and advancement for remote, rural, and humanitarian healthcare professionals. This is in alignment with frontline humanitarian medical NGO, UK-Med whose vision is to see a world where everyone has the healthcare they need whenever crises or disasters hit.  

The course was created to help identify and explore the key elements and agencies in humanitarian healthcare and their place within the humanitarian response framework.  

It was also created as a foundation for people desiring to develop a career within the field to clearly outline the realities and expectations of working within this sector and help assess their suitability.  

Conveniently hosted online and self-led meant that learners could easily access the course and complete it in their own time and from anywhere around the world. 

The course followed a webinar delivered by FRRHH, which similarly laid out the requirements for deploying on a humanitarian mission with valuable tips for those starting out on this career path. 

Whilst created as an introductory course, the resource combines years of knowledge and expertise from leaders within the field, including FRRHH Executive Committee Member and UK-Med Founder, Professor Tony Redmond OBE. Each contributor has generously shared their wisdom and interpreted this into clear and constructive modules 

The learning resources comprising of case studies, videos and an abundance of reading materials have proven through delegate feedback to be engaging and thought-provoking to many learners. 

In the face of adversity 

In recent years, we have seen distressing news, and some readers may have witnessed first-hand devastating and tragic events taking place around the world which have led to numerous humanitarian crises. 

As an organisation which supports humanitarian healthcare professionals, and is dedicated to serving those in need, the Faculty made a decision in 2022 to make the course free and accessible for all. In doing so, this would help to remove some of the barriers for those who are passionate to learn and develop a career within this field, particularly in a time where there is so much conflict and support is greatly needed 

Three years on 

To date, the course has registered over 2000 learners from almost 90 countries around the world. Learners from various backgrounds and stages within their career have participated, drawing the interest of medical students and consultants alike. Other professions have included anaesthetists, nurses, paramedics, epidemiologists, and midwives to name a few. 

One of the crucial takeaways which many learners shared was the importance of communicating with local healthcare providers and respecting the local customs and practice. In addition to learning about the intricacies of a humanitarian mission, the various organisations involved and the roles they play.  

It is truly rewarding to see how this course has impacted so many people around the world. As a result, some have been encouraged to undertake further studies and to potentially put that learning into practice in the future.  

98.8% of participants said they would recommend the course to a friend or colleague. We hope this course will continue to support many more prospective learners as they take the next step in their careers 

Learn more about the course and register here 

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