Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of PAHO's Virtual Campus

WHAT: Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of PAHO's Virtual Campus.

TOPIC: Quality virtual education to accompany the digital transformation of health services.

DATE: 30 October  

HOUR: 12 noon EDT

HOW: Register here


Virtual education has gained a prominent place in the field of health education and the experience of the pandemic has increased the need for countries and institutions to prioritize it. Since its official launch in 2003, the Virtual Campus for Public Health (VCPH) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has been a pioneer in the development of virtual education in public health.

The VCPH was conceived as a tool for PAHO's technical cooperation, with the mission to "lead strategic collaborative efforts among Member States and other partners to promote the training of human resources for health, for all people everywhere."

Based on three key principles – the use of information and communication technologies, the principles of scientific quality and ethics, and the idea of bringing knowledge and practice closer together – the VCPH makes innovative contributions to the development of capacities for the formulation of public health policies and the performance of health systems in the Region of the Americas.

In the first decade of the 21st century, when the VCPH was created, the level of digital literacy was very low. In the last 20 years, use of the internet in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown by 2500%, accompanied by advances in the development of information and communication technologies and the growth of educational platforms. 

In June 2023, the VCPH surpassed 2.4 million users and five million course enrollments.  The vast majority of users are healthcare workers and students of health sciences.

All VCPH courses are open access for participants, reflecting all areas of PAHO's technical cooperation: health systems and services; life course; prevention, control, and elimination of communicable and noncommunicable diseases; mental health; health emergencies; evidence and intelligence for health action; social and environmental determinants for health equity; innovation and access to medicines and health technologies; and comprehensive immunization.

The VCPH has played a strategic role in the Organization's technical cooperation, reaching health workers quickly and directly, working in an open and interoperable manner with country nodes, and working in partnership with academic institutions, collaborating centers, and national health authorities.

During the pandemic, the VCPH played a central role in sustaining the emergency virtualization of various activities, quickly bringing information and training to health teams throughout the Americas.

Within the framework of digital transformation of health services, challenges for the future include working harder every day to reach workers in remote and underserved areas, coordinate their courses within training itineraries, and promote the recognition of their certificates (micro-credentials) as part of lifelong learning.

Technology and connectivity are transforming the way we live, work, and learn. In this context, the VCPH commemorates 20 years of bringing together knowledge and practice, promoting health workers who are trained and available to develop resilient health services.

Objetives of the event

  1. Commemorate the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Virtual Campus for Public Health.
  2. Promote exchanges on the digital transformation of health services and the place of virtual education in health worker training.
  3. Present and disseminate the new VCPH app.