Global Health Sustainability: Focusing on the Workforce

Investigator: Haile Debas, MD
Sponsor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Location(s): United States


Ten recommendations from the conference on "Global Health Sustainability: Focusing on the Workforce." (San Francisco, September 2007) wre developed to drive the successful development of the Consortium onf Universities for Global Health.

Key Needs for the 21st Century

  1. Medicine and public health must respond to changing conditions as a result of advances and innovations in technology, an increased focus on human and civil rights, globalization, and the growing passion among students, faculty and professionals to address global health.
  2. The emerging discipline of global health must be defined, reflecting major global health challenges with a focus on "interdependence;" including disciplines beyond health to include law, engineering, agriculture, social sciences and business.
  3. Make the academic enterprise a transforming agent in global health, recapturing the University as part of the community, not an "ivory tower." Ensure that academic training in global health emphasizes capacity building and the training of leaders and managers.
  4. Expand academic exchange programs through mutually beneficial "academic twinning" between academic institutions in the developed and developing countries.
  5. Develop regional consortia of global health centers in North America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.
  6. Accelerate and improve training of human resources for health at all levels.
  7. Address the "brain drain" problem and the strategic ways it might be managed.
  8. Develop research capacity in developing countries, emphasizing the "Bench-to-Burkina Faso" principle, i.e., translate discovery to implementation.
  9. Support innovative approaches to policy and financing.
  10. Initiate "Flexner 21" report for the 21st century, examining the human resource needs for health and how they relate to global health, medicine, public health, health systems, and country competitiveness.