PAHO offers new free courses to strengthen public health

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Washington DC, April 4, 2022 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is offering a series of new open access virtual courses to strengthen the knowledge and competencies of health workers in several public health disciplines.

With 1.7 million users, PAHO's Virtual Public Health Campus is a network of people, institutions and organizations that have been sharing public health courses, resources, and information since its establishment in 2008. 

The self-study courses made available at the virtual campus allow participants to complete them at their own pace, with no set time or deadline. 

The new 2022 course offerings include:

Self-care for front-line emergency responders

This 10-hour course provides information and strategies for identifying and managing stress associated with the work environment and provides resources and practices for self-care for front-line emergency responders.

Respectful Maternal and Neonatal Care

This 25-hour course seeks to raise awareness and build capacity about concepts and practices related to respectful maternal and newborn care; identify the legal frameworks that support it; and recognize and describe the use of tools to plan, implement and monitor initiatives to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care in health services.

iSupport: Skills and knowledge training for caregivers of people with dementia

This self-study course provides information about caring for a person with dementia, and self-care for caregivers to prevent or reduce mental and physical health problems associated with caring for people with dementia. The course takes 7 hours to complete.

Training in quality and good manufacturing practices, control, storage and distribution of blood and blood components

This 23-hour course aims to provide technical guidance to support the implementation of a quality system in the control, distribution and storage practices for blood products in blood banks in the Americas.

Evaluation of health facilities using the Hospital Safety Index, second version (ISHv2)

This 40-hour training aims to promote the Safe Hospitals Initiative in the post-COVID-19 phase and to foster the training of evaluators for its implementation. The main objective of the Hospital Safety Index (ISH) tool is to identify vulnerabilities in health facilities, to help prepare an action plan for hospitals based on priorities, and to ensure the continuity of operations during an emergency or disaster situation, as well as to plan for early recovery in a more efficient manner.

Comprehensive adolescent health

This 6-hour course aims to improve the knowledge, understanding and competencies of program managers and coordinators, health service providers, and civil society organizations working for and with adolescents, to develop and implement health programs, interventions and services that respond to the needs and developmental stage of adolescents.

Evidence-informed policies

This course aims to support capacity building to strengthen evidence-informed policies. Its estimated duration is 44 hours.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in the Sustainable Development Agenda

This training aims to familiarize participants with the methodology and minimum requirements for estimating water, sanitation, and hygiene indicators of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their scope in terms of access and quality of services, and targets. Its estimated duration is 10 hours.

The Virtual Campus course offerings, available in Spanish, English and Portuguese, also include topics such as accurate automatic blood pressure measurement, dealing with acute pesticide poisoning, early diagnosis of cancer in children and adolescents, immediate post-obstetric contraception, health care for the elderly, oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV, and vaccination against COVID-19.

Participants who review all educational material, pass evaluations, and answer the Virtual Campus quality survey are able to download a certificate of participation by PAHO.