October 2013

"Strengthening health systems for treating tobacco dependence in primary care": A major publication by WHO Geneva on treating tobacco dependence.


The first draft of the four-part training package "Strengthening health systems for treating tobacco dependence in primary care" was produced by Dr Lisa McNally, Ms Elizabeth Dubois and Professor Salman Rawaf from the Department of Primary Care and Public Health with further inputs to the final draft following piloting in 12 countries of the 6 regions of the WHO. This training package and relevant PPT slides are now available on the WHO website.

strengthening health system

Thanks goes to Dr McNally and Ms Dubois for their diligent work in this key international project and for providing a useful tool in primary care service to strengthen the smoking cessation service.


The Right to Health: a multi-country study of law, policy and practice

In August, Professor Rawaf, WHO CC Director, and Dr Sondus Hassounah, WHO CC Research Assistant, presented the finding of their latest research on the Right to Health in the Arab World at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway, Ireland. The Conference show cased the work of those participating in the global study The Right to Health: a multi-country study of law, policy and practice, which offers an in-depth assessment and comprehensive analysis of the ‘Right to Health’ in the Middle East and North Africa, with particular emphasis on the role of health systems in providing Universal Coverage for Health (UHC) and Health Care.


This study focuses on the implementation of the right to health at a regional and national level. The project brings together experts from different parts in the world, focusing on a particular theme that is relevant for their country or region.

Their work maps out the current status of citizens’ health rights, from the State’s perspective, through empirical analysis of the constitutional enactments of the 23 countries of the Arab world, addressing health and health care. The research further examines other indices of national commitment to health and health care such as the approach to identification of health as a right, the universality of each health system and the existing gaps (if any) between constitutions and service provision, merging the human rights framework for Availability, Accessibility, Acceptability and Quality with Public Health and Health system performance indicators.

The final aim is to produce an international publication on the right of health, that balances UHC with human right obligations for all citizens.


Advanced Academic Training Course

The WHO Collaborating Centre recently hosted three delegates from Iraq for an Advanced Academic Training Course – (Professor Nada Al-Alwan-Pathology, Professor Nadim Noaman-Community Medicine, and Assistant Professor Basim Alhilali-Family Medicine). Their intensive programme, scheduled over a four week period, aimed to strengthen the delegates’ skills and allow them to gain experience in current and innovative teaching methodologies.

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The interactive nature of the course (e.g. teaching and research, teaching Health Needs Assessment (Undergraduate & Postgraduate, conducting a mock PhD Exam with PhD candidates from Imperial College at different stages of their research studies) means that participants will be able to deliver modern person-centred teaching and understand the techniques to conduct high level research.

Partners for delivering this initiative include the Ministry of Higher Education in Iraq (MoHE), Imperial College NHS Trust and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training, Imperial College London. The collaborative nature of this programme has paved the way to establish further opportunities for partnerships between all those partaking.

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