Empowering the Western Pacific Region through learning

News release

WHO/K.C. Cabali

To help Member States strengthen their health workforce capacity, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific recently re-launched the Global Health Learning Centre (GHLC).

“We aim to continue fostering innovative ways of thinking and working across our Region with a stronger culture of evaluation and learning,” noted WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Shin Young-soo. “Together, let us produce a health workforce that can effectively respond to today’s rapidly changing and complex health challenges.”

The Global Health Learning Centre builds the capacity of mid-level health professionals so they may better understand global health issues, participate in international forums and further contribute to the advancement of global health.

Through the GHLC, participants are expected to develop their ability: to understand and comment on global health policy documents and discussions; to identify how global health policy documents may be translated into policy options relevant to their government; and to contribute to global and national health discussions.

This year’s pioneer batch includes 15 participants from Cambodia, China, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia and Viet Nam. From now until 8 August 2014, participants will undergo learning in two phases—Phase A (Communication for Global Health) and Phase B (Problem-solving for Global Health).

Phase A is a full-time, five-day-a-week programme that runs for four months. It gives participants the ability to focus on understanding and interpreting technical and policy documents usually encountered in global health through courses such as advanced listening skills, professional writing and communication skills and advanced reading skills.

Phase B is a full-time five-day-a-week programme that runs for two months. It is a structured interactive programme that focuses on global health challenges and helps participants process skills for policy dialogue. Various technical units in the Regional Office will facilitate sessions.

Established in June 1986 as a training facility for health professionals from the 37 countries and areas of the Western Pacific Region, GHLC initially delivered an intensive instructional programme focusing solely on English-language communication. After eight years, the centre eventually shifted to include capacity-building for leadership and management.

By the time GHLC closed in August 2003, nearly 450 participants—mainly from Cambodia, China, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam—had benefited from the programme by broadening their knowledge of WHO and improving their fluency in English, all within an environment that fostered collaboration among people in the Western Pacific Region.

With the re-opening of the Global Health Learning Centre, WHO seeks to rekindle the facility’s original mission and vision for future generations across the Region’s health workforce.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Fethiye Gülin Gedik
Team Leader, Human Resources for Health
Telephone: +632 528 9816
E-mail: gedikf@wpro.who.int

Mr Ruel E. Serrano
Assistant, Public Information Office
Telephone: +632 528 9993
E-mail: serranor@wpro.who.int