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Transforming public health education in India through networking and collaborations: opportunities and challenges

Transforming public health education in India through networking and collaborations: opportunities and challenges

Indian Journal of Public Health 57(3): 155-160

A competent and motivated health workforce is indispensable to achieve the best health outcomes possible through given available resources and circumstances. However, apart from the shortages and unequal distribution, the workforce has fallen short of responding to the public health challenges of 21 st century also because of primarily the traditional training of health professionals. Although, health professionals have made enormous contributions to health and development over the past century, the 20 th century educational strategies are unfit to tackle 21 st century challenges. One of the key recommendations of the Lancet Commission on Education of Health Professionals is to improve health through reforms of professional education by establishing networks and partnerships which takes advantage of information and communication linkages. The primary goal of this manuscript is to highlight the potential of networks and partnerships in advancing the agenda of educational reforms to revitalize public health education in India. It outlines the current status and expanding scope of public health education in India, existing networks of public health professionals and public health education institutions in the country, and opportunities, advantages and challenges for such networks. Although, we have networks of individuals and institutions in the country, there potential to bring about change has still not being utilized fully and effectively. Immediate collaborative efforts could be directed towards designing and adaptation of competency driven curriculum frameworks suitable of addressing public health challenges of 21 st century, shifting the current focus of curriculum to multidisciplinary public health outlook, developing accreditation mechanisms for both the programs and institutions, engaging in creating job opportunities and designing career pathways for public health professionals in public and private sector. These efforts could certainly be facilitated through existing networks.

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