UNITAR’s Programme on Health and Development (PHD) aims to become a comprehensive capacity-building initiative supporting health-stakeholders to systematically identify knowledge gaps and develop capacity to enhance the impact of existing health initiatives and programmes. It acknowledges that today, lack of awareness, limited knowledge and inadequate skills are often bottlenecks that must be overcome if we are to solve the world’s multiple global health challenges.

FEATURED VIDEO – The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist works!

On the occasion of the first World Patient Safety Day, UNITAR, in partnership with Harvard Medical School’s Programme in Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC), lifebox, Adiadne Labs, and the Global Surgery Foundation, launched a video to raise awareness on the WHO Safe Surgical Checklist. One of the most effective tools used to increase patient safety is the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist. The Checklist increases teamwork and communication during surgery, resulting in a decrease in errors and adverse events. It’s use significantly reduces both complications and death as a result of surgery.  Watch the video to learn more about the benefits of the Checklist and why it is such an important tool to increase patient safety.

The world is facing multiple health challenges. These range from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria, increasing reports of drug-resistant pathogens, growing rates of obesity and physical inactivity to the health impacts of environmental pollution and climate change and multiple humanitarian crises.

Structural limitations of the health sector represent an obstacle to change. Barriers to accessing adequate structures and services for health compromise people’s productive capacity and, consequently, their ability to contribute to social and economic development.

Strengthening national and local capacity of the health sector. Our mission is to strengthen national and local capacity to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages by targeted capacity building interventions at all levels of society.

Health and capacity-building

Capacity Building is an important instrument in tackling social health inequities by enhancing the capacity of organizations at national, regional and local levels to address the social determinants of the health inequalities. The objective of capacity building is to develop competency among health professionals, and to install institutional measures, such as funding and policy, that are conducive to such efforts. 

In the field of public health, it has been estimated that in India, for example, there is a need for 10,000 graduates of Masters of Public Health (MPH) courses each year for the next ten years . Where local universities offer relevant courses, they may be unable to meet the numerical need through provision of limited numbers of places on face-to-face courses. Fees for overseas universities are higher than can be afforded by most potential students in these countries. For both local and international courses, the need to travel for this education may be both costly and inappropriate in the context of personal or geographical restrictions. In particular, this may limit access for women and those health workers with low salaries. Capacity-building is thus essential, but inadequate at present. 

Health is improving more slowly in many Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) than in richer countries, increasing international health disparities. A trained workforce of health professionals is essential but, for many reasons, there is currently a lack of adequate capacity. This has been well articulated recently in many arenas, including The world health report 2006: working together for health. In response to this, WHO has established the Global Health Workforce Alliance, whose Scaling Up Education and Training Taskforce is co-chaired by the author of, and informed by, Global Health Partnerships: the UK contribution to health in developing countries.

Our objectives

  1. Awareness Raising
    Offer a digital repository of knowledge to provide easy access to health-related best-practices, materials and tools
  2. Training Toolbox
    Provide a portfolio of high-quality training materials to build capacities of stakeholders from the health community
  3. Capacity Building
    Leverage capacity-building to directly support global and national initiatives aimed at improving people’s well-being

Our beneficiaries

Our beneficiaries

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