Humanitarian Jobs in Health Midwife
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7 Humanitarian Jobs in Health

Traditionally, we think of humanitarian workers as rescue teams in disasters or protection convoys in conflict. However, humanitarians have many more roles than this. Healthcare is one of the largest sectors in humanitarian work. As such, there is a variety of humanitarian jobs in health. Positions range from the medical profession in the field to addressing strategies on global health. Here is a list of 7 critical humanitarian posts in health. 

1. Physician or nurse

Most doctors and nurses work in hospitals or clinics. Some own their practice. But there are also hundreds of physicians and nurses in the field. Both professions are essential for humanitarian aid. Did you know that the first humanitarian organization – the Red Cross – started off providing medical assistance in war zones?

Today, doctors and nurses work in a variety of humanitarian settings. When disaster strikes, they are some of the first teams to deploy. That’s because disasters cause many injuries and a lot of strain on local healthcare systems. So, organizations such as the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies and Doctors Without Borders send teams of doctors and nurses in the field.

In conflict settings, doctors and nurses are also vital. Sadly, conflict causes a continuous stream of injured and sick. Besides, many facilities face destruction, including hospitals and clinics. So mobile teams of doctors and nurses are crucial to saving lives.

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2. Midwife

Babies are born every day in spite of circumstances. Often, there are little medical resources in conflict and disaster zones. Plus, any places set up temporary shelters after disasters or for refugees. People may spend days, months or even years in these settings.

As such, it is essential to have qualified midwives on an aid team. They help to monitor pregnancies and reduce mortality rates among mothers and newborns. They can also provide advice and education on sexual health and practices.

3. Public health specialist

Public health is the bridge between medical issues and communities. While field staff is essential, it is also vital to look at the bigger picture. Public health specialists can help to strategize on how to have better health outcomes in areas of humanitarian need.

Some of their tasks may include project management and planning for health-related issues. For example, after a disaster, diseases may soon follow. A public health specialist will look at the relevant medical issues. But he or she will also coordinate actions with water, sanitation and health specialists, shelter clusters, rescue teams, and so on.

4. Psychologist

Disasters and conflict can cause a lot of mental stress for the affected population and even aid workers. A psychologist is an essential humanitarian job in health. Psychologists can provide mental health support and counseling to those suffering from trauma, depression and other issues.

Also, psychologists can help to improve how projects address specific topics. For example, if the project works with victims of violence, psychologists will provide training on how to discuss sensitive issues. They may also develop guidelines for community engagement and participation.

5. Epidemiologist

We can’t see all types of disasters. Some, such as the Ebola or the Zika viruses are silent but impactful. Health-related emergencies can take months, years or even decades to address. Epidemiologists can provide project teams with insight into the evolution of an epidemic.

Epidemiologists on humanitarian teams might monitor local or global epidemic data. They can also go in the field and assess the reasons why an epidemic may be spreading. Epidemiologists are vital in creating holistic strategies to respond to health-related humanitarian disasters.

6. Mobile clinic manager

Frequently, humanitarians work in areas with poor access. This often means that there are no medical facilities available to communities. So, some projects set up mobile clinics that provide medical services.

As a mobile clinic manager, you will visit different areas and provide health services. Also, you will need to plan routes and ensure the safety of your staff in remote areas. Further, mobile clinic managers may be involved in determining where mobile clinics should be set up.

7. Health promoter

At the community level, health promoters are key for humanitarian aid. This humanitarian job in health helps to promote healthier lifestyles among the population. This includes training, essential health services, such as immunization, and general awareness building.

Usually, health promoters are part of the local aid team. Often as long-term volunteers or staff, who make a lasting impact. They work towards better community health to prevent  -related disasters. They also provide information to prevent diseases after disaster strikes.

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