WHO news release: France pledges US$100 million for WHO learning platform in global health

26 February, 2020

News release and a comment fromme below. Read online here: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/24-02-2020-france-pledges-us100-mil...

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24 February 2020

Geneva: France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO today met at the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations in Geneva to discuss the WHO Academy, which will be the world’s largest and most innovative lifelong learning platform in global health.

The WHO Academy aims to reach millions of people worldwide, offering high-tech learning environments at a “hub” in Lyon with “spokes” in the six WHO regions. The Academy will provide learning opportunities for leaders, educators, researchers, health workers, WHO staff and the broader public, and will deliver high quality, multilingual learning, both online and in-person, alongside a cutting-edge simulation centre for health emergencies.

The discussion today follows a Declaration of Intent signed by Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic and Dr Tedros on 11 June 2019, and a pledge by France in the amount of US$ 100 million (€ 90 million) to WHO to support the creation of the WHO Academy, which will be established as an internal division within WHO.

“Technology and innovation in learning are creating exciting new opportunities to accelerate progress towards health for all in every country,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “The WHO Academy will support millions of learners to maximize health impacts with the best evidence, adult learning approaches and state-of-the-art technologies.”

By propelling and strengthening digital innovations and lifelong learning opportunities around the world, the WHO Academy will play an instrumental role towards achieving WHO’s triple billion goal by 2023 and the health Sustainable Development Goals: 1 billion more people will benefit from universal health coverage; 1 billion more will be better protected in health emergencies, and 1 billion more will enjoy improved health and wellbeing.

The funding from France represents a commitment to accelerate the development of the WHO Academy, and confirms the engagement of France -- a longstanding partner of WHO and a key actor in global health – and its strong support to the ambitions of 13th WHO General Programme of Work to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all ages.

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Comment (NPW): This is very good and the focus on multilingualism is especially important. However, it has to be remembered that the quality of content that can be made available is dependent on the integrity of the global healthcare information system (GHIS) as a whole. (Godlee F, Pakenham-Walsh N, Ncayiyana D, Cohen B, Packer A. Can we achieve health information for all by 2015? The Lancet 2004;364(9430):295-300. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15262109 ) Political and financial investment in education packages needs to be matched by political and financial commitment to fix the multiple barriers upstream in the GHIS. Join us in Geneva on 24 March to look at one of the many components that need fixing: Improving the availability and use of health research information in anbd from low- and middle-income countries. http://www.hifa.org/news/hifa-invites-everyone-contribute-geneva-health-...

Notwithstanding, there is potential for collaboration between this new initiative and HIFA - two complementary learning platforms in global health.

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org