Opening Session of the Leaders in International Health Program

23 March, 2010, Washington, DC- Approximately 200 participants from 22 countries in the Americas Region attended on 23 March, in person or virtually, the opening ceremony of the Leaders in International Health Program “Edmundo Granda Ugalde” (LIHP), now in its third year as a decentralized Program.

“What we hope to gain from the Program is to help maintain the Organization current, conscious, alert, and also with good research and evidence in order to generate more relevant and pertinent proposals to present to our directing bodies”, thus began the message of Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, who was presiding over the opening ceremony, accompanied by Doctors Maria Isabel Rodriguez, Minister of Health of El Salvador; Nestor Marimón, Director of International Relations of the Ministry of Public Health in Cuba; Jose Romero Teruel, Professor at Georgetown University; Charles Godue, Project Coordinator, Human Resources for Health, PAHO; and LIHP Coordinators, Dr. Eduardo Guerrero and Mrs. Annella Auer.

“We also look for our countries to possess human resources that produce scientific research, and incorporate these new concepts into academia so as to induce early on renewed training process for new generations, not only of health professionals, but also professionals of international relations and diplomacy as well as those who will act upon and define the lines of international trade, environmental safety and human security in all its dimensions”, thus concluded the Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau in her talk on “The Development of Leaders in International Health: A Collaborative Approach by PAHO”, which is available on the LIHP virtual classroom in the Virtual Campus for Public Health.

The keynote lecture was presented by Dr. Jose Romero Teruel, who addressed the issue of challenges of international health, its history and future challenges. “The biggest challenge is to find the way in which governments, organizations and populations can work in true cooperation to effectively improve health and living conditions that allow everyone to have a better life, one which is productive and happy”, Teruel stated.  

The opening ceremony marks the beginning of nine months of reflection, learning and collaborative work for the twenty coordinators of the Cuban medical brigades, and for the 41 regional participants from the countries that make up the 2010 cohort, as well as for the tutors and coordinators of the modules; country project mentors; communities of practice; and PAHO/WHO Country Office staff, who will closely follow their learning experience, which will contribute significantly to strengthening country capacity for the improvement of international health.