Health in Times of Crisis
Full course description
In addition to the core modules offered during the first trimester in Maastricht students will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge about specific topics in the second trimester through a choice of one of eleven elective tracks. These eleven tracks are carefully selected to avoid overlap with the core programme, yet ensuring relevant contribution to the core programme.
This module is the second module of the elective track "Implementing innovations on a global scale".
The focal point of this module is the way vulnerabilities and risks are context-dependent and have different consequences for people’s health. With a focus on health issues that occur in times of crisis such as flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes and epidemics, this course critically reflects on current strategies and policies to prevent and to respond to crisis. In addition, it discusses the possibilities and impossibilities of alternative approaches to crisis and disaster management. The position this course aims to take contrasts with commonly accepted health-risk management theories and practices. These conventional theories and practices argue that it is important to define clear rules and protocols and to make sure that these are strictly followed to make a society or community as safe and healthy as possible. This ‘standard’ approach will be challenged in this course. Alternative ways of conceptualizing health, vulnerability and resilience of health care systems is required.
Structure of the course: Week 1: Focus on theoretical perspective (theory) Week 2: focus is on the main approaches in disaster management (policy domain) Week 3: focus is on the micro (empirical domain) Week 4: focus is on application of issues discussed in course
After completion of this course students are able:
- to explain the different perspectives on the relationship between society, health and disaster
- to explain the difference between 'risk' and 'vulnerability'; between 'safety' and 'security';
- to reflect critically on standard dichotomies 'natural - man made disasters; vulnerability - poverty;
- to reflect critically on the main approaches in disaster management and underlying assumptions about the problems, the solutions and the context in which these interact.
- give evidence of understanding the different aspects of disasters like hurricanes, war, pollution, flood, pandemic and animal disease in relation to race, gender and social class
- give evidence of understanding disaster as contextualized, emergent and multiple phenomenon
- give evidence of a critical perspective on strategies and policies related to health in times of crisis
- to present alternative approaches in disaster management
- Arnoldi, J. (2009) Risk, An Introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press. - Bankoff, G., Frerks, G. & Hilhorst, D. (Eds.) Mapping Vulnerability: disasters, development & people. London: Earthscan. - - Convery, I. Mort, M et al. (2008) Animal Disease and Human Trauma: emotional geographies of disaster. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. - Cutter, S. (2006) Hazards, vulnerability and environmental justice. London: Earthscan. - Handmer, J & Dovers, S. (2007) Handbook of disaster & emergency policies & institutions. London: Earthscan. - Lakoff, A & Collier, S. (eds.) Biosecurity Interventions: global health & security in question. New York: Columbia University Press.