Occupational health

Training Courses in Occupational Health

Improving the performance of and access to occupational health services : short & intensive course curriculum in occupational health

Sarah A. Felknor (Sarah.A.Felknor@uth.tmc.edu ), Dr George L. Delclos (George.Delclos@uth.tmc.edu ), Southwest Center for Occupational & Environmental Health; The University of Texas School of Public Health

These occupational health face-to-face courses of 2 to 5-day (16 to 30 hour) are developed, delivered and evaluated by our faculty, in partnership with our collaborators, to build a repository of courses in the collaborating country. They have been delivered regularly in Spanish since 1995, on request, and since then have been improved continuously. Course topics during the project period include: occupational health ethics, a certificate program in industrial hygiene (combining face-to-face and distance learning), pulmonary function testing, organizational safety culture, psychosocial influences on disability, causal inference, and applied ergonomics.

Most of these courses are being delivered in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Venezuela. To continue to deliver short courses (topics, number of offerings and dates are determined jointly with our collaborators and vary from year to year), funding will be required as most of these activities were supported by a NIH Fogarty International Training in Environmental and Occupational Health program that is now being closed by the NIH.

The focus of this training has been to add to capacity-building, mainly at the technical level, of workers and professionals in Latin America, especially those with designated roles as either occupational health professionals or health and safety committee members. Over the years, the number of persons benefitting from these short courses is in the range of several hundred to a few thousand.

WHO Collaborating Centres for Occupational Health are active partners in Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Colombia, as well as occupational health professionals and students from these same countries.

Courses are being disseminated through Spanish-speaking universities and academic institutions. Course materials will be entered into the GeoLibrary: http://geolibrary.org/