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Strengthening the capacity of the public health workforce in support of the essential public health functions and the Millennium Development Goals. Consultation with experts, San Jose, Costa Rica, 16-18 August 2005.
Washington, D.C., PAHO, Health Systems Strengthening Area, Human Resources for Health Unit, 2006 Dec. 50 p. (HR Series No. 45; USAID Award No. LAC-G-00-04-00002-00; USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse DocID / Order No. PN-ADJ-697)The main objective of this Consultation is to generate social recognition for the improvement and protection of human resources and the development of the health systems and well being of the populations of the Region of the Americas. There is no clear guiding principle in the conceptualization of human resources in health, or about its relationship to the PHWF. Human resources in health are currently facing a serious crisis, and public health should play a leading role in strengthening the capacities of this key resource in the Region. The causes and the magnitude of the problem are reflected in the lack of certain categories of personnel, the inequitable distribution of resources within countries, and institutional planning, management and education of these resources that are de-contextualized and focused on technical aspects. These considerations call for this presentation of the objectives of the Consultation to be accompanied by a recognition that learning to work together is not easy, but that this is precisely what is needed, i.e. the creation of strong partnerships, and the fact that public health work should be conceived in terms of cooperation in this area. (excerpt)
TDR NEWS. 1997 Mar; (52):6-7.Since the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) began, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has been closely involved with the program through steering committees, undertaking projects in Liverpool and abroad, and training students in Liverpool and in-country. The relationship between the school and TDR's activities has evolved in step with the evolution of TDR. The school has always recognized that it must focus upon the developing world and has sought to collaborate with TDR in field projects. The current portfolio of links between Liverpool and TDR is focused upon the disease-related and health system expertise in Liverpool which provides for student supervision associated with institutions in Latin America, Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. With co-funding from TDR and the British government, the school is currently evaluating the impact of health sector reform upon malaria control in 6 districts in Ghana. Other studies and projects upon which the school is working are described.
ZOOM: a generic personal computer-based teaching program for public health and its application in schistosomiasis control.
BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1991; 69(6):699-706.In 1989, staff at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland developed teaching software that can be used on IBM-PC and IBM-compatible computers to train public health workers in schistosomiasis. They tested in several schools of public health. They then improve it by incorporating a schistosomiasis information file (stack) in ASCII file format and a routine to organize and present data. The program allows the addition of other stacks without abandoning the user interface and the instructor can change data in the stacks as needed. In fact, any text editor such as Word-Perfect can create a stack. This software teaching program (ZOOM) organizes and presents the information (Dr. Schisto). Dr. Schisto is divided into 8 chapters: introduction, epidemiology, parasitology, diagnostics, treatment, data analysis, primary health care, and global database. Users can command ZOOM to communicate in either English, French, Spanish, or Portuguese. Basic hardware requirements include MS-DOS, 8086 microprocessor, 512 Kbytes RAM, CGA or MGA screen, and 2 floppy disc drives. ZOOM can also configured itself to adapt to the hardware available. ZOOM and Dr. Schisto are public domain software and thus be copied and distributed to others. Each information stack has chapters each of which contains slides, subslides, text, graphics, and dBASE, Lotus or EpiInfo files. ZOOM has key words and an index file to access more information. It also can do user defined searches using Boolean logic. Since ZOOM can be used with any properly formatted data, it has the potential to become the standard for global information exchange and for computer assisted teaching purposes.
Washington, D.C., U.S. Agency for International Development, Center for Development Information and Evaluation, Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination, 1989 Aug. vi, 7 p. (A.I.D. Evaluation Occasional Paper No. 32)A comprehensive survey of social scientists who received financial support for overseas graduate training from an International Donor Agency focussed on the contribution of such training to the national building efforts in the social science discipline. A questionnaire was mailed to 1506 participants in Asian countries, which included 562 USAID trainees. The findings suggest that 1) trainees considered the social assistance provided by the agencies to be adequate, even though difficulty was experienced in travel and immigration arrangements, 2) problems encountered on return to their countries were mainly employment-related, due to either lack of equipment, institutional interest in research, or inadequate economic rewards. In addition, non-availability of professional books, lack of opportunities to attend overseas professional meetings and difficulty in getting information on developments in their major were factors which reduced further professional development. Most participants indicated that the knowledge and skills acquired from their training proved to be valuable. Furthermore, this data does not support the hypothesis that overseas trained participants gravitate to industrialized nations. It was found that in Asia such training provided the much needed expertise to lay the foundation for empirical research. Major concerns of the participants were the 1) underepresentation of women in such training programs, 2) lack of proficiency in English of participants, and 3) loss of contacts between participants and funding agencies.
In: The Graduate Education of Foreign Physicians in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. The Role of United States Teaching Institutions, edited by Wendy W. Steele and Sally F. Oesterling. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, . 29-31.This presentation focuses on the changing role of US schools of public health over the past 60 years and covers predictions and trends of future changes. Foreign physician graduates of US schools of public health were not only responsible for founding the WHO, but have also served in positions such as director-general of WHO. Since World War II there has been an increase in foreign students trained in US schools of public health. Between 1965 and 1981 the number of foreign students increased from approximately 250 to about 700/year, and by 1983 the foreign student enrollment in US schools of public health had reached almost 1200. Most of the increase comes from heavily populated countries in Asia and in Africa. India was the country of origin for an average of 24 public health students in the US during 1967-68, but this number declined to 16 by 1977-78 and 1981. Nigeria significantly increased the number of trainees sent to the US from 5 students in 1967-68 to 54 in 1981. Although the total enrollment of foreign students has more than tripled since the 1960s, the % of foreign students in US schools of public health has dropped from over 20% in the early 1960s to about 13% in 1983. A review of all Johns Hopkins medical graduates shows that 75% of over 700 foreign medical graduate students live in their countries of origin, and only 14% live in the US. In general, the number of students from each country reflects that country's need. Assuming adequate levels of financing, US schools of public health should assist in the development of a sufficient number of schools of public health in their countries to meet those countries' needs for public health professionals.
In: The Graduate Education of Foreign Physicians in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. The Role of United States Teaching Institutions, edited by Wendy W. Steele and Sally F. Oesterling. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, . 26-28.The School of Public Health at Loma Linda University in California was founded in 1967, and as of December 1983 had graduated a total of 1764 students, 187 of whom were physicians. 28 countries and 45 foreign schools were represented in this enrollment. The experience at Loma Linda University is different from many others in that there has been little government sponsorship of foreign medical graduates. Of 89 foreign medical graduates, only 17 were sponsored by the US Agency for International Development or the WHO, and all 17 returned to their home countries where they are making significant contributions in Tanzania, Kenya, Thailand and Indonesia. In 1970, the Loma Linda University School of Public Health developed an evening program in which most of the course work was taught in Los Angeles 1 evening per week over a 2-year period. 10 health officers and a few others completed that program. Their success stimulated extending the program. In 1973 an experimental program teaching a general Master of Public Health (MPH) course to Canadians was initiated. In 1980, Loma Linda University also launched an extended program in the Central American-Caribbean area. In the context of a general program in public health and preventive medicine leading to a Master of Public Health Degree, the curriculum in international health seeks to prepare health workers who will be: trainers of trainers; cross-cultural communicators; managers and supervisors of primary health care services; and practitioners of the integrated approach to community development. Graduates are prepared to deal with sociocultural, environmental and economic barriers. Students not having a professional background in health are required to add an area of concentration to degree requirements. Areas of concentration include: tropical agriculture, environmental health, health administration, health promotion, maternal and child health, nutrition and quantitative methods/health planning. The goal of the International Health Department is to help people help themselves to better health. Loma Linda University has also been involved with schools in Asia, Africa, Latin America and recently in the Philippines. The preventive medicine residency program at Loma Linda is for the 2nd and 3rd years only at the present.
In: The Graduate Education of Foreign Physicians in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. The Role of United States Teaching Institutions, edited by Wendy W. Steele and Sally F. Oesterling. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, . 15-8.At a time when there is a growing interdependency among nations with regard to trade, resources and security, there is an increasing provincialism in the US. In such a climate it is difficult to generate support for international programs. Involvement on the part of medical schools has waned almost to the point of nonparticipation in international medical affairs, largely because of constraints on training and residency programs. Academic health centers have not been supported as a matter of policy. Leadership in international health in other parts of the world, diminished involvement in international health, current priorities and programs and a future prospectus are discussed. The WHO seems an unlikely source for necessary leadership in helping define future directions for education or new strategies in preventive medicine and public health in the developing world. Institutions in Europe have deteriorated and participation and leadership from them are unlikely. Few people today are interested in clinical tropical medicine. Another reason for waning academic activity in international health relates to the paucity of interest on the part of foundations. An important initiative was the development about 5 or 6 years ago of the WHO Tropical Disease Research Program. It now has a budget of about US $25 million and has attracted additional money from the US and from other countries. A gamut of prospects has resulted including a maria vaccine, a leprosy vaccine, a new drug for malaria. In the developing countries, there is a much larger base of basic competence than existed only 10 or 20 years ago, but these health workers need support if health goals are to be attained. Schools of public health should be as much professional schools as schools of medicine, and the practice of public health should be engaged in. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in its global Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program in Thailand and in Indonesia has pioneered admirable new approaches in practical training. Provision must be made for sufficient faculty to permit both professional practice and education in any school that offers public health education. The US has a vital and unique role to play in public health and preventive medicine.