Complex, Humanitarian Emergencies: II. Medical Liaison and Training

Frederick M. Burkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In complex, humanitarian emergencies, professional liaison roles are just one of many that evolve from the coordination of United Nations agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, international and national nongovernmental relief organizations, and coalition military forces. Liaison is crucial to the humanitarian relief process. Decision makers benefit from liaisons ’ professional experience, their knowledge of the characteristics, missions, and capabilities of each major participant in the relief process, and in their ability to coordinate and clarify professional issues in meeting the goals of a mission. Medical liaison roles develop from the awareness that complex emergencies primarily are catastrophic public-health emergencies. Unfortunately, education and training of the medical liaison currently are ill-defined. However, limited experience suggests that skills should be broadly based in principles of disaster epidemiology, assessment and management, knowledge of contributing relief resources, agencies and the military, and international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 1995;1O(1):43-47.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages5
JournalPrehospital and disaster medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • United Nations
  • communications
  • coordination
  • disasters
  • education
  • emergencies
  • humanitarian
  • interagency communications
  • liaison
  • medical liaison
  • military
  • nongovernmental organizations
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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