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Strengthening Essential Public Health Functions

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Description (selected)

January 27- June 02, 2010

Apply online (Application Deadline : 15 January 2010)


The concepts were presented clearly and logically. Each page was not crammed with information. The assignment was designed such that it would increase class interaction and participation.”

“I liked the way the MDGs were presented. Not over the top information that only experts need, but rather just the right amount with an option of researching further.”

“Practical illustrations with data based evidence.”








Registration is open

Application Form (Application Deadline : 15 January 2010)


January 27- June 02, 2010

Technical Requirement

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At the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, the 189 states of the United Nations reaffirmed their commitment to work towards a world in which elimination of poverty and sustainable development would have the highest priority. The World Bank and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) along with numerous organizations, are committed to an unprecedented global effort to work towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as part of their corporate mandates.

Since the Summit, it has become apparent that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is at risk in many parts of the world.  Nearly over a half of the targets and the MDGs directly or indirectly concern health and at present there are several alarming trends in health indicators that need to be addressed in order to achieve the MDGs. Moreover, poor health contributes to declines in per capita income and productivity, ultimately undermining these countries’ efforts to reduce poverty.

As the World Bank analysis of MDGs shows in the Health, Nutrition and Population Millennium Development Goals,”Rising to the Challenges”, effective interventions exist, the challenge is to strengthen the health sector through:
stronger policies and institutions; improved household practices; improved service delivery; tackling of human resources and pharmaceutical market constraints; sustainable financing and the strengthening of core public health functions.

With regard to the latter, there is a growing consensus on the need to strengthen the public health capacity of national health systems as an indispensable condition to attain, and more importantly, to sustain the health MDGs. However, the consensus is broader in scope, as all nations, rich and poor, have to address health challenges linked to their socio-epidemiologic and demographic profiles and trends, in a context of globalization.

PAHO, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Latin American Center for Health Systems Research (CLAISS), developed  a set of 11 Essential Public Health Functions that captures the role of national health authorities in public health. An instrument was prepared to assess the performance of these functions and further applied in 42 countries and territories in the Region of the Americas, providing a rich experience and strong empirical basis for the development of specific
plans of action.

Similarly, the World Bank recognized  the importance of embracing the principles and practices of public health through a public health note and the adoption of a Poverty Reduction Strategy framework.

To ensure the relevance and quality of its content and delivery, the e-learning course has been designed and organized by leading experts in the fields of public health and distance learning. Along with these technical content experts, the course designers have ensured that the course blends technical knowledge and policy relevance with the right mix of interactivity and practical examples to stimulate the learner.

Course Materials

The content of the course was developed by a team of health sector  professionals and health economists of the World Bank.

Target Audience

This course will target technical cadre of Ministries of Health, mid- level policy makers, World Bank staff, development agency and donor agency staff and other agents of change.


The course is offered in English only, we hope to offer it in Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese in the near future.

To receive more information, please contact  


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