Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Health minister criticises WHO Internship Programme

Published:Wednesday | January 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Health minister Dr Christopher Tufton yesterday criticised the Internship Programme of the World Health Organization, WHO, saying that it was "falling far short of achieving its objective to build future leaders in public health".

Tufton, who called for changes to be made, said that the evidence of WHO not reaching those objectives were "now unequivocal".

He was addressing the 142nd Meeting of the WHO Executive Board in Geneva, Switzerland. A release out of Tufton's office said that his conclusion was informed by the WHO's Programme, Budget and Administration Committee 2016 report and 2015, 2016 and 2017 human resources annual reports.

He said that the reports show that in consecutive years, more than100 member states, across all six regions, have not received any training for their young professionals through the programme; and for those that have, many have just a single national participant once every two or three years.




"Our health systems are globally interconnected and will require the very best of our youth to one day lead them; we therefore welcome the support of WHO in this endeavour," Tufton said.

He added that the WHO "should not lose sight of the important contribution young professionals make to WHO during their tenure, by providing additional support to departments here at headquarters, in regional and country offices, and by projecting WHO's values and mission once they leave".

A group (Ecuador, Haiti, Jamaica, Mozambique, Peru and South Africa) has been consulting with member states from all regions with a view to develop a sensible and workable set of proposals to reform the Internship Programme. The proposals are to be presented as a resolution at the 143rd Executive Board in June.