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PAHO Funds Training in Epidemiology for Health Officials in the Region

Online certificate program for public health managers offered in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is financing epidemiological training for 11 public health officials from Latin America through a certificate program organized jointly by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, PAHO and public health schools in Latin America and Spain.

The Certificate Program in Epidemiology for Public Health Managers includes sections on problem-solving in public health, principles of epidemiology for managers, epidemiological methods for programming, and evaluation of health services. The nine-month program consists of one in-person course, three online courses and a final project. This year's participants will gather in Santiago, Chile, on March 6-12 for an in-person course on solving public health problems.

Among noteworthy features of the program are that it is directed at public health managers, it is conducted exclusively in Spanish and primarily via Internet, and it is based on information and situations that ensure realistic training in epidemiology in health systems.

Some 178 public health professionals from 17 countries have received training since the certificate program was launched in 2001, based on an agreement between PAHO and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, Maryland. Beginning in 2010, a number of academic institutions in Latin America and Spain also joined the initiative, including Mexico's National Institute of Public Health, Brazil's University of Brasilia, Colombia's University of the North, Chile's Andres Bello University, and the University of Barcelona.

"As a health agency, one of our main disciplines is epidemiology, which allows us to measure, define and compare health problems and conditions and their distribution in the context of populations, space and time," said PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses, commenting on the importance of epidemiology for the Organization.

The creation of the epidemiology certificate program was recommended by the First Regional Meeting of National Directors of Epidemiology, held in the Dominican Republic in 2000, as a way to build capacity in epidemiology to help health authorities better carry out essential public health functions.

PAHO works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of the people of the Americas. As the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO), PAHO is a member of the United Nations system.

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