Health & Sexual Violence in Humanitarian Settings


Thematic Seminar: Chronic Diseases and the Humanitarian Response


This one-week short course provides mid-level and senior managers with the knowledge and skills required to understand the particular challenges presented by chronic diseases in emergency and/or unstable settings; and to conceive a programme to address chronic diseases adapted to specific contexts and as an integral part of health programmes. Humanitarian staff are often confronted with chronic diseases, particularly when crises hit populations from middle-income countries and in urban settings. However, as programmatic responses are relatively recent, there is a lack of trained and experienced staff. To fill this gap, CERAH offers a one-week intensive course on chronic diseases in humanitarian contexts. This course is developed jointly with MSF, WHO, ICRC and UNHCR.


Identify the key chronic diseases encountered in humanitarian contexts, recognize the challenges presented by chronic diseases in emergencies or unstable settings, and implement appropriate care strategies in resource-limited settings. The course places a special emphasis on health strategy development.

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the concept of chronicity and identify the main chronic diseases, with a particular focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
  • Identify and assess the extent of NCDs in a specific context
  • Conceive a programme to address the needs of people with NCDs during a humanitarian emergency

Learning outcomes in terms of knowledge - Understanding of

  • Chronicity and specific challenges in humanitarian settings
  • The most important non-communicable diseases (NCDs) encountered in humanitarian settings
  • The challenge and constraints of  building-up a comprehensive response for the prevention and control of NCDs

Learning outcomes in terms of skills - Capacity to

  • Assess the extent of NCDs and related needs
  • Define the building blocks of a programme to address the needs of people with NCDs during a humanitarian emergency
  • Describe how novel care approaches for HIV/AIDS in very resource-constrained settings (incl. integration of services at the delivery point, decentralization, task shifting) could be applicable to NCDs

Learning outcomes in terms of skills - Capacity to

  • Prioritize the response to NCDs based on evidence
  • Identify research needs to further improve programmatic approaches to NCDs in a humanitarian setting


2 ECTS - Credits recognized by the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.