New programme will train the next generation of health leaders

Public health educators in developing countries will have access to intensive leadership training, thanks to a new programme launched today by Imperial College London and the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The Public Health Leadership Programme, funded by the Soros Foundation, is designed to support health professionals who have taken on training and managerial responsibilities in their organisation. It is aimed specifically at public health educators in Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, areas that face particular challenges. Dr Rifat Atun, director of the Centre for Health Management at Imperial and joint director of the Programme, explains:

"The health systems in these areas are reforming in order to respond to changing illness patterns, emerging challenges such as HIV, consumer expectations and research shortages. This requires large scale strategic change and public health professionals need to be armed with key competences to be able to manage this effectively."

Senior figures in medical organisations are often doctors who, though highly qualified in their field, do not have training in health management strategies. The course will address this by focusing on developing the teaching and learning skills of participants and applying these to critical public health management areas, such as mental health and infectious diseases.

A key aim of the course is to enable participants to begin using their new knowledge as soon as they return home and one-to-one tutoring sessions will be used to develop strategies for their particular situations. This will be followed by a period of project development at home with long-distance support from tutors in London.

Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College London, says:

"The provision of good affordable healthcare is something every government in the world has to tackle and it is especially an issue in developing countries, where they ar

Contact: Abigail Smith
Imperial College London

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