The University of Geneva and WHO team up to build a stronger health workforce in francophone Africa

Signing Ceremony of the Masters Degree Programme with a focus on Health Workforce Development in Francophone Africa
Credits: WHO/O.O'Hanlon
Professor Carpentier signing the book to launch the Masters Degree Programme with a focus on Health Workforce Development in Francophone Africa

Geneva, 17 February 2010 | Representatives from the University of Geneva and the World Health Organization Department of Human Resources for Health met in Geneva to launch a new Masters Degree Programme with a focus on Health Workforce Development in Francophone Africa. The Masters Programme is designed to provide highest medical education to francophone students in Africa through distance learning with the support of inter-country networks of personnel trained in health workforce management and capable of acting as local academic mentors.

In line with recommendations of its Taskforce on "Scaling Up Education and Training", the Global Health Workforce Alliance will play a catalyst role in supporting education and training by securing funding for the initial development phase, as well as for the first two years of the Programme. In his remarks, Alliance Executive Director Dr Mubashar Sheikh acknowledged this new initiative as a crucial measure to tackle shortages of health workers, not only because it will foster North-South partnerships, but particularly because it is designed for French speaking African countries.

Signing Ceremony of the Masters Degree Programme with a focus on Health Workforce Development in Francophone Africa
Credits: WHO/O.O'Hanlon
(from left): Professor Carpentier; Professor Vassalli; Dr. Etienne; Dr. Sheikh

The Programme was launched by a signing ceremony at WHO headquarters. Representing the University of Geneva were University Rector, Professor Jean Dominique Vassalli, and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Professor, Jean Louis Carpentier. Dr. Carissa Etienne, Assistant Director-General, Health Systems and Services, signed on behalf of WHO. Other high-level delegates present at the ceremony included the Permanent Representative to the UN for Francophone countries, as well as several heads of departments and institutes of the University of Geneva and the University Hospitals of Geneva.

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