• War and Health

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    Military Medics

    Enroll in War and Health

    This course on War and Health teaches about the consequences of war and violence on human health, through online didactics and peer trainings. The course, intended for medical and public health trainees and practitioners, provides students the opportunity to learn about and practice techniques that may reduce those tragic consequences, with the collaboration of globally-available peers and local mentors. All components of this training (like all NextGenU.org trainings) are free, including registration, learning, testing, and the granting of a certificate of completion.

    There are 8 modules to complete through online study and peer-to-peer activities. These modules provide an overview of the direct effects of war on public health, as well as indirect effects such as the displacement of native people and interpersonal violence. They will also address strategies to cope with these effects, and will address some of the root causes of war and violence such as poverty and injustice.

    There are practice quizzes in each module, and at the end of the course you will complete a final exam, and be asked to provide your assessment of this training. You will receive all test results, including the final exam, and peer activity evaluations. We can report your testing information and share your performance results with anyone (your school, employer, etc.) you request. We hope that you will find this to be a rewarding, effective, and enjoyable learning experience. The assessment that you provide at the course’s conclusion will help us improve the training for future students.

    Select the “Next” button to begin Module 1: Health Workers, Conflict, and Peace

    This course is co-sponsored by: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the European Medical Peace Work NetworkPhysicians for Social Responsibility, the University of Gezira, and the University of Haifa. Like all NextGenU courses, it is competency-based using competencies adapted from the European Medical Peace Work Network. In addition, the course uses resources from accredited, world-class organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization.

    The course co-developers are: Erica Frank, MD, MPH; Yasmin Kassam, MPH candidate; and Sarah Youngblutt, PhD candidate, supported by an Advisory Committee composed of: Thomas L. Hall, MD, DrPH; Shai Linn, MD, DrPH; and Dr.med. Klaus Melf, MPhil.

  • Module 1: Health Workers, Conflict, and Peace

    military medics

    Globally, violence can take many forms. It can be hidden from view in the privacy of the home or the workplace, or it can take the form of collective violence, such as war or acts of terrorism. Victims of violence can be innocent civilians, soldiers, "terrorists", or any others involved in the waging of war. After completing this module, you will gain a better understanding of violence in a global context, in all its forms, and of the direct and indirect effects of violence on public health. Module 1 consists of one lesson, with its own resources, an activity, and a quiz.

    Competencies covered in this module:

    • Learn the basic terminology for public health issues in war and health 
    • Describe the magnitude and impact of violence in a global context
    • Know the types of interventions and policy responses that have been tried against violence
    • Learn the potential and limitations of health workers in preventing and mitigating conflict 
    • Consider the place of public health in humanitarian aid and peace-building 
    • Understand human rights issues around war and health
    • Develop skills required to teach emergency preparedness to students in the health care professions
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  • Lesson 1

    army medic helmet

    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn about the different sources of violence and appropriate public health worker responses
    • Learn about the role of and constraints on health workers in preventing and/or mitigating destructiveness
    • Consider the place of public health in humanitarian aid and peace building
    • Become familiar with The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 
    • Learn a process and list competencies for the skills necessary for teaching emergency preparedness to students in the health care professions
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  • Module 2: Medicine, Health and Human Rights

    war victims afghan

    After reading the resources and completing the activity in this module, you will have a better understanding of the relationship between health care and human rights. You will also become familiar with basic international humanitarian law, human rights, and the ethical codes that regulate health professions. Module 2 consists of one lesson, with its own resources, an activity, and a quiz.

    Competency covered in this module:

    • Understand the relationships between health care, medicine, and human rights
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  • Lesson 1

    msf worker w child

    Learning Objective:

    • Understand the relationships between health care, medicine, and human rights
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  • Module 3: War, Weapons and Conflict Strategies

    tank

    What are the different weapons that are used in modern warfare, and what are their direct and indirect effects on public health? After reading the resources for this module, you will become more familiar with the different kinds of modern weapons, including firearms, landmines, biological and chemical weapons. The resources and activities of this module also show the effects of those weapons on public health. Module 3 consists of four lessons, each with its own resources and quizzes, and one with an additional learning activity.

    Competencies covered in this module:

    • Be able to describe how war, weapons, and strategies of violent conflicts impact health
    • Gain knowledge of basic international humanitarian law, human rights, and the ethical codes that regulate health professions
    • Examine the link between the different weapons used in war
    • Learn about biological and chemical weapons and understand how governments prepare responses to such weapons
    • Learn about the direct and indirect consequences of landmines on public health
    • Learn about firearms as a public health concern
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  • Lesson 1: Weapons and Health

    wounded civilian

    Learning Objectives:

    • Understand the health effects of war as well as the weapons and strategies of violent conflict
    • Become familiar with the range of weapons used in modern warfare
    • Examine the wide-ranging social issues associated with war
    • Gain a basic understanding of international humanitarian law, human rights and the ethical codes that regulate the health professions
    • Examine the link between different weapons used in modern wars and their potential to injure civilians
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  • Lesson 2: Biological and Chemical Weapons

    gas mask

    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn about biological and chemical weapons, including why their development, production and use are problematic and hazardous to those who would seek to use them and their victims
    • Understand how and why governments seek to prevent the use of biological and chemical weapons and prepare and develop response plans as an integral part of national emergency and public health plans
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  • Lesson 3: Landmines

    land mine victim

    Learning Objective:

    • Learn about the direct and indirect consequences of landmines on public health
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  • Lesson 4: Firearms

    ak 47

    Learning Objective:

    • Learn about the public health concerns regarding firearms
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  • Module 4: Nuclear Weapons and War

    How might nuclear warfare affect health? After reading the resources for this module, you will become more familiar with the history of nuclear weapons in war, perspectives on nuclear arms, and the potential effects of nuclear weapons on public health and security.

    The resources and activities of this module also show the effects of those weapons on public health. Module 4 consists of two lessons, each with its own resources and quizzes, and one with an additional learning activity.

    Competencies covered in this module:

    • Learn about the history of nuclear weapons
    • Understand the role of health care professionals in anti-nuclear weapon campaigns
    • Consider the historical and contemporary perspectives on nuclear arms control from world leaders
    • Learn about the public health issues caused by nuclear war
    • Consider the risks involved if terrorists were to obtain nuclear weapons
    • Learn about the major treaties regarding nuclear weapons
    • Consider the aftermath of a nuclear attack on a major metropolitan area
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  • Lesson 1: Nuclear weapons

    hiroshima victim

    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn about the history of nuclear weapons
    • Learn about the impact of health care professionals in anti-nuclear weapon campaigns
    • Learn about the major policy obstacles faced by nuclear-armed states that might wish to eliminate their weapons
    • Learn about the real and lasting threats from nuclear war on public health
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  • Lesson 2: Nuclear power and health

    nuke cooling water

    Learning Objective:

    • Learn how nuclear power generation impacts the health of local populations
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  • Module 5: Structural Violence and the Underlying Causes of Violent Conflict

    soweto

    What are some of the issues that contribute to human violence? What are the relationships between development, poverty, and violence? What is structural violence, and what is its relationship to public health? After reading the resources and participating in the activity of this module, you will become familiar with some of the underlying social causes of violent conflict. Module 5 consists of one lesson, with its own resources, an activity, and a quiz.

    Competencies covered in this module:

    • Examine the relationships between poverty, development and violent conflict
    • Consider the underlying causes of structural violence
    • Learn about the relationship between structural violence and clinical medicine
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  • Lesson 1

    malnourished child

    Learning Objectives:

    • Examine the relationships between poverty, development and violent conflict
    • Examine the underlying causes of structural violence at both the local and global levels
    • Become familiar with the terminology of development and core issues such as poverty, inequality and health as a basis for understanding the underlying causes of structural violence at both the local and global levels
    • Learn about the relationship between structural and clinical medicine
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  • Module 6: Peace through Health in Violent Conflict

    peace march

    How does war interfere with the provision of medical care? Is there a link between providing good health care and peace-building? After reading the resources and participating in the activity of this module, you will understand the relationships between medicine, warfare, and militarization. You will also better appreciate public health as a tool for peace-building. Module 6 consists of one lesson, with its own resources, an activity, and a quiz.

    Competencies covered in this module:

    • Learn about the relationships between medicine, warfare, and militarization
    • Understand how armed conflicts affect the provision of medical aid
    • Consider peace-building through improving health care

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  • Lesson 1

    Learning Objectives:

    • Become familar with the ways in which health professionals promote peace, prevent conflict, and decrease its effects in multiple ways
    • Consider alternative approaches to peace-building through health care
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  • Module 7: Refugee and Migration Challenges

    refugees somalia

    War inevitably displaces populations, producing refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers. What are some of the public health needs of all of these populations? After reading the resources in this module, you will gain a better understanding of the public health needs of refugee, immigrant, and asylum seeking populations, including mental health needs. You will also develop skills for the provision of culturally sensitive health care. Module 7 consists of one lesson, with its own resources, an activity, and a quiz.

    Competencies covered in this module:

    • Understand the immediate public health needs of refugees and immigrants
    • Develop skills for the provision of culturally sensitive health care
    • Learn about the common mental health problems of immigrants and refugees
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  • Lesson 1

    refugees albania

    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn about the health and well-being needs of refugees and immigrants
    • Become aware of the psychosocial impacts of violent conflicts and their aftermath, including the journey into exile
    • Develop skills in the provision of culturally sensitive health care and address ethical dilemmas in relation to health and refugee work
    • Learn how physicians in host countries can meet the complex medical needs of refugees
    • Learn about the mental health problems common to immigrants and refugees and the associated primary care
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  • Module 8: Prevention of Interpersonal & Self-Directed Violence

    man threatening a woman

    How does interpersonal violence or self-inflicted violence become one of the consequences of war? How can public health address Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other hidden consequences of war? After reading the resources in this module and participating in its activity, you will be able to define different types of conflict-related violence, including community violence, domestic violence, and suicide. You will also be able to describe the risk factors and the prevention strategies associated with each type of violence. Module 8 consists of one lesson, with its own resources, an activity, and a quiz.

    Competencies covered in this module:

    • Define the different types of conflict-related violence, including community violence, domestic violence, and suicide
    • Describe the risk factors and prevention strategies for each type of violence
    • Learn about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), specifically when it starts and how affected individuals can be helped
    • Learn the best practices to address violence during and after a disaster
    • Learn how to respond to violence through early and proactive action using a public health approach
    • Become familiar with the terminology and best practices to prevent and respond to self-directed violence (SDV)
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  • Lesson 1

    veteran in wheelchair

    Learning Objectives:

    • Examine the origin and the extent of different types of violence, including community violence, domestic violence and suicide
    • Identify the risk factors as well as the prevention strategies for each type of violence
    • Learn what is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), when it starts, and how to help those who are affected by it
    • Learn the best practices to address violence during and after a disaster 
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  • Final Exam

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