CBDE: Preparedness for Public Health Professionals

Public health professionals are certain to be among the key personnel in preparedness and readiness for a deliberate use of chemical or biological agents against a human population. So it is vitally necessary that those personnel who may be in charge of health systems preparation and organisation gain a basic understanding of the nature and the principles of such use and how to respond.

As the United Nations’ public health agency, WHO has an important role to play in the global public health response to events involving the possible deliberate use of biological and chemical hazards.

That is why the Biosecurity and Health Security Protection Unit has developed this online training on basic knowledge in preparing and organising the management of the consequences of a Chemical and Biological Deliberate Event for all public health professionals worldwide.

Please note: These materials were launched on 29/11/2022.

Language: English
Not disease specific

Course information

Overview: Chemical and Biological Deliberate Event (CBDE) online training on basic skills in managing the consequences of a CBDE is a MOOC (massive open online course) in 3 levels:

  • Level 1: awareness for health professionals,
  • Level 2: preparedness for health first responders,
  • Level 3: preparedness for public health professionals.

A CBDE would place exceptional strain on the public health sector; thus, public health personnel need to have a basic understanding of how to prepare for, be ready to manage an effective public health response.

This course does not intend to be exhaustive, nor to transform an online learner into a fully skilled professional. The objective is to address some common misperceptions about Chemical and Biological Deliberate Events, motivate to learn more, and if interested, consider becoming a professional or an expert in this domain, for the benefit of the learner’s community and country.

Learning objectives:

By the end of this course, a public health professional will:

  • Recognise what is a CBDE (Chemical and Biological Deliberate Events) and its detection mechanism;
  • Distinguish preparedness, readiness and response;
  • Recall and analyze response plans;
  • Recognise health care system and medical surge;
  • Prepare and execute the management of mass casualties. In worst case scenario, make sure that preparedness, readiness and response phase are ready in case of mass fatalities.
  • Identify forensic activities, risk communication, crisis communication.

Course duration: Approximately 3 hours.

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Participation that will be given for all participants who went through at least 80 % of the content of the course
  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 80% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignment

Please note that this course is part of a series of 3 courses. Should you be interested in learning more about other aspects related to CBDE, please refer to the following courses of the course series:

- CBDE: Awareness – Recognizing Signs of Deliberate Release of Chemical or Biological Agents

- CBDE: Preparedness for Health First Responders

Course contents

  • Introduction to the course

  • Module 1: What is a Chemical and Biological Deliberate Event (CBDE)?:

    Explaining what Health Hazard, Risk and Threat are; what Chemical and Biological Agents, Risk and Threat are; and what Deliberate Events are.
  • Module 2: Preparedness and Readiness to CBDE:

    Answering Why be prepared? How to be prepared and ready? Illustrated with the example of a Public Health Emergency Operation Plan.
  • Module 3: Biological Warfare Agents:

    Demonstrating the difference between prevention and protection, with its different dimensions.
  • Module 4: Detection and Response:

    Underlining the need of a continuous detection in order to enable a timely and efficient response.
  • Module 5: Response team deployment to a Deliberate Event (DE):

    Developing the ways to prepare and make ready response staff: the ways to communicate on risks and during crisis.
  • Final Assessment

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Learners enrolled: 10356

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 80% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least 80% of the course material.