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School of Transnational Governance

First Open to Health (O2H) training takes off successfully

Participants from three continents engage in an executive training programme geared toward systemic preparedness in health governance and crisis resilience.

18 July 2022


The COVID-19 pandemic has made policymakers acutely aware of the vulnerabilities of healthcare systems and their global interconnectedness. Today, preparing for a wide variety of future shocks, be it infectious diseases, forced migration, or rising global temperatures, is a top policy concern. To respond to these challenges, the EUI School of Transnational Governance (STG) and Universidad de los Andes recently launched ‘Open to Health (O2H)’, a university-based training network supported by the Open Society University Network (OSUN). O2H provides executive trainings in health governance and crisis resilience to professionals in the field of health governance, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries.

The training for the first cohort began in June 2022. Of the 21 participants, 11 are based in Latin America, seven in Africa, and three in Europe. They have diverse professional backgrounds ranging from national ministries to regional centres for disease control or other national surveillance institutes, international organisations and NGOs, hospitals, as well as academic institutions. 

During the 2022 pilot phase, all trainings are delivered online via Zoom and Brightspace. The participants engage with trainers and peers during online live sessions, and study at their own pace through pre-recorded online content developed by leading experts in the field.

“I joined this programme because of the experience in training people at a distance. The learning that I am having in the management of health-related crises is very good because it invites to know how to manage needs and interventions to solve them,” says training participant Luis A. Méndez Flores. "What I enjoy most is to share ideas with other people from different countries and with different experiences than mine. Finally, I hope that everything I can learn during this course will help me to determine priorities, manage the human and economic resources necessary to act in response to any emergency that we have to face in the future.”

The programme foresees two foundational courses: the first on ‘Health Emergencies Management’ delivered by Universidad de los Los Andes. The second course ‘Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience from Local to the Global’ will be offered by the STG.

“The content of the programme so far is very timely and very motivating, because it gives you the opportunity to prepare yourself and plan actions to be able to respond to any eventuality that threatens your safety, that of your family and that of the community," emphasises Zenaida Perez Rodriguez. "The aspects of the course that I value most are that it provides knowledge, tools and experiences of experts that can be replicated in our area of action in the event of a health crisis contingency.”

The first cohort will finish their module at Universidad de Los Andes in mid-July and continue with the second foundational course at the STG in September. The second cohort will also start in September with the same course schedule.

“I joined the O2H programme because of its relevance to my career and my role in Health Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC). The Health Crises Management Course has advanced my critical-thinking skills in preparedness and crises management. I enjoyed the class interactive discussion and the group knowledge sharing sessions,” says Iweh Michael Ifunanya. Looking ahead intends to “apply the acquired knowledge from this training in my public health logistic activities.”

A first elective course, developed and delivered by the BRAC James P. Grant School of Public Health, will be offered to both cohorts in late 2022. Upon completion participants will receive a certificate of attendance. Participants may also take additional exams to earn academic credits towards a postgraduate certificate.

More about the O2H training programme.

Last update: 18 July 2022

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