The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many inadequacies in the global public health system and security. First, it drove home the message that the health of the world is interdependent. No more African health; no more this is American health; no more we need to protect the health of our own people. It is now evident that it is “our health”—our globalized health is real. Second, it showed that although we are getting slightly better, the world is still ill-equipped to address global health crises. Third, it exposed the acute shortage of public health professionals who are so critically needed at every level of government to protect public health.
Having bodies called public health professionals is no good if they are unprepared to address the next impending global health security challenge lurking around. The world, and that is different parts of the world, needs well-educated and well-prepared public health professionals who will be at the vanguard of upholding and protecting public health. The US-based Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), prescribes a number of competencies for public health practitioners ranging from epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, program evaluation, biostatistics, etc. CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health, and public health programs outside schools of public health.
That’s why I am excited about the next cohort of #publichealth360. This cohort will bring together emerging professionals and committed individuals from across the WHO’s region who will immerse themselves in deep learning in the art, science, and craft of public health. Using the CEPH competency framework, we are able to empower would-be public health professionals with the skills they need to work in the community, at the county level, country-level or global level protecting all of our health. I’m glad that Public Health 360 is back again. Our pre and post-test evaluations tell us who is ready and who is prepared to earn the title, public health professional. The wait is over.