(2003), "The Americas", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 16 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2003.06216eab.006Download as .RIS
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PAHO launches Virtual Public Health Campus
Keywords: Distance learning, PAHO, Health-sector reform
The Pan-American Health Organization "PAHO", in association with 14 academic institutions in the Americas and Spain, has launched a Virtual Public Health Campus as a tool to provide continuing education to public health personnel in the Americas, offering a variety of distance education courses to contribute to public health policy making and to the performance of health systems in the region. PAHO, established in 1902, is the oldest public health organization in the world. It works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and raise the living standards of their inhabitants. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the WHO.
The Virtual Campus of Public Health is a virtual community offering communication exchanges to generate useful knowledge, training and debate between individuals and institutions on priority issues related to health sector reform processes and the management of essential public health functions, as well as health management and the institutional development of schools of public health. Its mission is to improve the capacities of health professionals, based on three essential principles: the use of new technologies for distance learning, principles of scientific and ethical quality, and the concept of bringing knowledge closer to practice.
Dr Mirta Roses Periago, director of PAHO, said: "This dream that begins to be fulfilled today will make it possible to measure the performance of essential public health functions and to develop the concept of primary health care, since it will make it possible for us to reach remote populations with mechanisms to reduce inequalties. It will be, without a doubt, an instrument for achievement of the social aspiration of health for all."
She also noted that: "Through a virtual campus, health workers can maintain continuous dialogue with the best professors and experts discussing specific situations to improve quality of care, while sharing in scientific discussions and being updated in advances of knowledge without having to leave their workplace."
Argentina's health minister, González García, said: "When we discuss health reform we often limit it to financial or economic themes, and we forget that the health systems themselves are made up of hard working people who need intensive knowledge. The virtual campus is an instrument for this. Modern technologies make it possible to introduce improvements into public policies, and they are also instruments of equity."
Further information about the virtual campus can be found at: www.campusvirtualsp.org