On Wednesday 20 June, senior public health professionals from across the world convened in London to better understand the current global engagement of members from the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). The aim of the day was to:
- Consider different models and approaches to public health capacity development, identifying potential areas for future collaboration
- Explore options for strengthening collaboration in support of building a strong and capable public health workforce internationally
- Consider institutional linkages between schools of public health, national public health agencies and public health professional bodies, which can support global PH capacity development
Professor Neil Squires, International Registrar at the UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH), reflected on the success of the event that he organised and Chaired. He said:
“For me the highlight of the day came with the concluding statement from Dr Ruediger Krech, of the World Health Organization, which acknowledged the value of national public health institutions working with schools of public health to build global public health workforce capacity. As there is consensus, then the question is not what or whether we should collaborate, but on when we take the next steps forward.
“Prof Philip Adongo, from the Association of Schools of Public Health in the Africa Region (ASPHA) highlighted the need for schools in Africa to draw on the experience of the European schools – so the challenge now is to ensure that we can meet the demand through a well-coordinated mobilisation of support between public health schools and national public health institutions.
“Prof Aliko Ahmed gave a very clear message that success in Africa will depend on building on Africa’s many assets, rather than focusing on its problems.
“We have commitment, we have consensus on what needs to be done, we agree that an asset-based approach is needed so now we must act.”
Other speakers on the day included: Prof John Middleton, President, FPH; Dr. Sushma Acquilla, Vice Chair, Global Health Committee, Chair of India Special Interest Group (SIG), FPH; Dr. Victor Joseph, Co-chair, Africa SIG, FPH.