Global, News

WHO calls for greater commitment to public health leadership

The World Health Organization (WHO) identified a need for the development of public health leadership at a conference in November.   The global body called on governments, acadaemia, civil society and public health institutions to commit greater effort to developing the skills needed in the field; in order to protect public health values and to mitigate against public health threats.   departing-crowd-from-freestock   WHO also emphasised the need to strengthen the collective capacity for systems-thinking*, which focuses on population-based approaches as well as personal approaches to health and wellbeing improvement.   Over 1,400 public health practitioners, researchers and policy- makers from more than 65 countries participated in sessions  at the conference; covering topics such as the changing public health roles, gaps in health systems research and effective communication.   Dr Elke Jakubowski, programme manager of public health services at the WHO’s Division of Health Systems and Public Health,was speaking  at the 7th European Public Health Conference: Mind the Gap-reducing inequalities in health and health care in Glasgow, 19-22 November 2014.   Read the WHO article.   *Systems thinking involves interventions and engagement with key stakeholders and organisations across many sectors.  It is a framework for seeing interrelationships; understanding that everything is connected and that every action has an effect.  It is consistent with the social ecological model where health promoters appreciate the interconnectedness that exists through the relationships people have with and between family, friends, organizations, teams, communities, faith groups, etc. The social ecological model is a systems thinking model.   18 December 2014 Karen Hicks and Jo Lawrence-King