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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)
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.