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Education and training programs are critical to achieve personnel capacity building and professionalization in the rapidly growing humanitarian health sector. Thus, this study aimed to describe the status of humanitarian health education and training programs world-wide.
A web-based analysis was conducted to identify the available humanitarian health programs. The following characteristics of the training programs were described: geographical location, target audience, prerequisite, qualification, curriculum, content, length, modality of delivery, teaching and assessment methods, and tuition fee.
The search identified a total number of 142 training programs, most of them available in few countries of the global North. Only seven percent of the identified programs qualified for a master’s degree in humanitarian health. Public health was the most identified content (47.2%). Approximately one-half of the training programs (50.7%) were delivered face-to-face. Theoretical knowledge was the most common method used for teaching and assessment. The duration of the training and tuition fees were different for different programs and qualifications, while target audience, prerequisite, and curriculum design were often vaguely described or missing.
The study shows a global inequality in access to humanitarian health training programs due to financial and geographical constraints. The study also reveals gaps in program contents, as well as teaching and assessment methods, all issues that could be addressed by developing cost-effective e-learning and online simulation programs. Lastly, the data from this study provide a learning tool that can be used by humanitarian health educators and training centers to further define and standardize the requirements and competencies of humanitarian health professionals.
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