War and peace in public health education and training - a scoping review

Marta Miller, Yudit Namer, Lisa Wandschneider, Colette Cunningham, Tomasz Bochenek, Łukasz Balwicki, Oliver Razum

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Abstract

Background and Objectives: Armed conflict and war are public health disasters. In such scenarios, public health action has a crucial role in emergency and rehabilitation, and the importance of war prevention and peace promotion (“peace through public health”) is increasingly recognised. While this role is by now well conceptualised in public health research and interdisciplinary cooperation, the translation into public health training and competencies is only beginning to emerge, especially in Europe.

Methods: With a scoping review, we systematically map the scientific literature on public health education and training relating to war and peace promotion. We searched in PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, Web of Science Core Collections as well as the reference lists of included material. Eligible literature assessed war and peace in the European public health education context. We excluded any material that did not target the public health workforce. Results: We included 21 sources that ranged from opinion pieces to empirical assessment of curricula and evaluation studies. The educational programs were predominantly short-term and extra-curricular in postgraduate courses addressing public health professionals both in conflict-affected countries as well as those not directly war-affected. Most of the literature focused on public health action in times of war, often without specifying the context and type of war or armed conflict. Emergency response and multidisciplinary collaboration were the most prominent competences, often drawing from closely related fields such as natural disaster and outbreak management.

Conclusions: The scientific discourse on competences in times of war and promoting peace in public health in the European region mostly focuses on immediate emergency response. Peace promotion and war prevention are missing foci which need to feature more prominently in public health training. Professional organisations of schools of public health should ensure their competencies include peace promotion and war prevention in addition to war response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-486
Number of pages1
JournalPopulation Medicine
Volume5
Issue numberSuppl.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event17th World Congress on Public Health, WCPH 2023 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 2 May 20236 May 2023
Conference number: 17

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