Panama, March 31, 2015 (PAHO / WHO) - Officials from several institutions in the Panamanian health sector participated in the workshop skills training tutorials and design of virtual environments, with the aim of strengthening the implementation process Node Panama in the Virtual Campus of Public Health, PAHO / WHO.

"This workshop is very important because it seeks to implement the Node Panama to update staff nationwide," said Dr. Itza Barahona de Mosca, Director General of Health, Ministry of Health, during the opening of the workshop. "This is the best tool to train border to border, at low cost," she said.

This workshop is part of the activities planned by the team responsible for implementing the Node Panama, coordinated by Dr. Gaspar Da Costa, the Ministry of Health. The activities developed in the workshop allowed participants to discuss the challenges of VCPH under the competence development in Public Health. They recognized the virtual classroom and resources used editing tools and experienced the preliminary design of educational proposals.

The Virtual Campus for Public Health is a network of individuals, institutions and organizations that share courses, resources, services and activities of education, information and knowledge management in training, with the common purpose of improving the skills of the workforce and practices of public health, by leveraging and innovation in the use of information and communication technologies for continuous improvement in the performance of programs of continuing health education. It is itself a tool of technical cooperation of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) learning network in the region of the Americas.

"Virtual education is an excellent opportunity to reach all workers and enhance capacities at all levels," said Mr. Gabriel Listovsky, regional coordinator VCPH. "The VCPH it is about ten years old and is a tool for cooperation of PAHO / WHO accompanying the various programs of the organization in the countries of the region," he said.

Mr. Listovsky explained that the purpose of the node is to articulate all the efforts of institutions in a common area focused on the development of skills in public health. "Today we can not think of quality education without consideration of new technologies," Mr. Listovsky.

An important component of the training was to present the Health Situation Analysis of Panama (ASIS), conducted by Dr. Norma Astudillo, Director of Planning, Ministry of Health. She highlighted issues such as demographic and epidemiological transition, as well as the major causes of illness and death, and major risk factors for the health of the Panamanian population. The review of ASIS gave participants a clear guidance regarding the actual training needs that require workers to the public's health care system.

Dr. Gaspar Da Costa as coordinator VCPH Panama Node was responsible for the presentation of the participants and the orientation of the relevance of the node for developing projects training of human resources.

At the meeting presentations were interspersed VCPH team together to develop a practical workshop where participants worked individually and in groups on computers which allowed to know and experience the diverse resources of the virtual classroom.

The workshop, conducted with the technical cooperation of PAHO / WHO, sixty 60 people from institutions that are part of the national team set for establishing the Node participated. These institutions are:

  • Ministry of Health
  • Caja de Seguro Social
  • University of Panama (Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy)
  • Specialized University of the Americas
  • Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies

Participants continue working now virtually in developing training projects for their various work areas.