Health System Approach in Managing Disaster

Organizer(s) Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response

Registration for the new cohort opens until 31 May 2019. Upon registration, students are allowed to study the course until 30 June 2019 at their own pace. 

Course overview

Health system strengthening can promote resilience and efficient recovery in disasters. This course will introduce important frameworks and responses of the health system that guide managing disaster. Participants will learn about the building blocks and key components of the health system. There is technical training on the impact of health system in the preparedness, response and recovery phases of the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) cycle. We will demonstrate the impact, response and effort of health system by drawing from actual worldwide experience of large-scale disasters in different economic and political systems.

Course features

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Comprehend current theory and practice of risk estimation and disaster management with focus in urban areas;
  • Understand and appreciate the specific contributions of different stakeholders in disaster management and response and their roles in the health system;
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of disaster planning and programming in different countries; and
  • Make recommendations for health emergency management based on real cases.

Target audience

The target audience is individuals studying and working in disaster, health system and policy, education and humanitarian sectors or postgraduate students of closely-related disciplines. There is no pre-requisite or prior knowledge for this course, but a basic knowledge of public health would be of advantage.


As part of CCOUC’s knowledge transfer endeavour, this course is offered free of charge. There is limited quota for enrolment on a first-come-first-served basis.

Course structure and delivery format

The course involves a total of 5 lessons, 4 short quizzes and one final assessment. Each lesson requires about 1.5 to 2 hours of study. All assessments are in the form of multiple-choice questions to be completed online with unlimited attempts. To progress through the course, students must obtain 80% or above in each short quiz. Students enrolled in the course may access all learning materials and go through all learning activities online within a maximum period of seven months. Topics covered in the course are as follows:

  • Introduction to health system and health impact of disasters
  • Responsibilities and responses of different stakeholders in disasters
  • Disaster preparedness efforts and disaster risk reduction (DRR) preparedness in the health sector
  • Disaster response and post-disaster recovery
  • Disaster case scenarios

Course completion and certification

Students who obtain 60% or above in the final assessment will be issued a printable certificate in recognition of completing the course.


To start studying the course now, please visit the course website.

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