WHO news release: WHO Academy Groundbreaking Ceremony Expanding Access to Critical Learning (2)

20 October, 2021

A few days ago we reported on HIFA about the new WHO Academy:

https://www.hifa.org/dgroups-rss/who-news-release-who-academy-groundbrea...

Below are extracts from the press release and a comment from me:

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WHO recently announced the launch of the WHO Academy in France 'to meet the needs of WHO Member States and a growing global health workforce for expanded access to life-long learning, health guidance and competency-building'.

The quickening pace of scientific discovery and advancement of technology is making it more difficult for health workers, policy makers and other public health practitioners to keep up with evidence-based health practice and policy. As a result, it often takes more than a decade to put important life-saving guidelines into practice...

Dr Tedros: “The COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful demonstration of the value of health workers, and why they need the most up-to-date information, competencies and tools to keep their communities healthy and safe...

From its campus in Lyon, the Academy will provide millions of people around the world with rapid access to the highest quality life-long learning in health. It will offer multilingual, personalized learning programmes in digital, in-person and blended formats, deploying the latest evidence-based health guidance, state-of-the-art learning technologies and advancements in the science of adult learning...

The Academy aims to expand access to critical learning to health workers, managers, public health officials, educators, researchers, policy makers and people who provide care in their own homes and communities, as well as to WHO’s own workforce throughout the world...

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COMMENTS (NPW):

1. It is true that 'it often takes more than a decade to put important life-saving guidelines into practice', but an even greater problem is the failure to implement life-saving interventions that have been available for *several* decades. For example, oral rehydration for children with acute diarrhoea, or amoxicillin for children with pneumonia. The key is that every person has access to reliable, relevant healthcare information to guide their decision-making, from home through the different levels of the health system.

2. I look forward to learn more about the WHO Academy. It's not clear on what basis/existing organisation the Academy is being built, and the pros and cons of being based in France. Tha Academy will be multilingual, but one possible advantage of being based in France is that there would be greater support for the health workforce in French-speaking countries of Africa, which have traditionally been left behind as compared with their English-speaking counterparts. France is the lead investor for the WHO Academy and has committed more than 120 million EUR.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org