Australia responds to changing humanitarian need with pioneering new health education course

Deakin University in partnership with global healthcare company GSK and not-for-profit humanitarian organisation Save the Children, has launched a unique and leading, university accredited course in humanitarian health.

In a time when the duration and frequency of humanitarian challenges and natural disasters are changing, there is an increasing demand for a new type of humanitarian expertise.

The Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Health aims to strengthen the skills and knowledge of postgraduates with an interest in health to enable more effective humanitarian action in the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

Associate Professor Phil Connors, Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership at Deakin University, said the new program was a pioneering approach to transforming humanitarian responses globally.

“Through its emphasis on both ‘humanitarian health’ and ‘health action’, this course addresses the needs of children and adults impacted during a humanitarian crisis, especially in a time of growing need. This combined focus is what makes this course so unique, and will see Australia leading the region in terms of addressing a significant humanitarian gap,” Associate Professor Connors said.

The majority (84 per cent) of people affected by natural disasters across the world are located in the Asia Pacific region alone. As such, Australia is in a unique position to become an APAC leader in humanitarian health education and support the growing humanitarian requirements of the world's most disaster-prone region.

Attracting students from across the world the course is part of the GSK Humanitarian Health Initiative that will leverage Save the Children’s humanitarian experience, Deakin’s strengths in education and research in humanitarian leadership, and GSK’s expertise and resources in the health sector. The course will be delivered through the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, a collaborative initiative between Deakin University and Save the Children.

GSK and Deakin University are investing $1 million over three years to develop and run the GSK Humanitarian Health Initiative. This will include a Humanitarian Health research project, with a scholarship for a thesis in Humanitarian Health and creation of the GSK Humanitarian Health Leadership Fund, providing full and part scholarships specifically targeted for students from the most economically disadvantaged environments.

Dr Lisa Bonadonna, global head of the GSK-Save the Children partnership, GSK, said “This initiative demonstrates how private sector companies, academic institutions and NGOs can work together right here in Australia to tackle global health challenges – very much aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. We look forward to seeing the availability for deployment of such a specialised workforce, in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region.” 

The Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Health is open for enrolment for 2018 trimesters starting in July and November and March 2019. For more information about the Humanitarian Health Initiative, go to: http://centreforhumanitarianleadership.org  

Deakin University in partnership with global healthcare company GSK and not-for-profit humanitarian organisation Save the Children, has launched a unique and leading, university accredited course in humanitarian health.

In a time when the duration and frequency of humanitarian challenges and natural disasters are changing, there is an increasing demand for a new type of humanitarian expertise.

 

GSK - Save the Children partnership

GSK has proudly worked together with Save the Children in Australia since 2007. In that time, we have collaborated on a wide range of initiatives that aim to positively impact the lives of vulnerable children in Australia and across the world. In addition to the Graduate Certificate for Humanitarian Health, our other key areas of support include: It Takes a Village, M.Y. van, Mobile Playbus and establishing a new Emergency Health Unit.

 Globally, GSK has worked in partnership with Save the Children since 2013, combining our scientific expertise and global reach with Save the Children’s on-the-ground knowledge in some of the world’s poorest countries. In June 2018, we are delighted to be celebrating the five year anniversary of the global GSK-Save the Children partnership and our renewed commitment to an ongoing collaboration to save the lives of one million children.