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Advancing Health Sustainability: Insights from Two Conference Talks

As a centre of excellence in public health research and consultancy, the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training (WHOCC) supports the World Health Organization (WHO) and member states in tackling the critical aspects of health sustainability. As part of this, our director, Professor Salman Rawaf, has been invited to many prestigious international conferences to deliver keynote speeches and conference talks.

Celine Tabche, Teaching Fellow at the WHOCC, had the honour of delivering a keynote speech and a conference talk on behalf of Prof Salman, over the Christmas break. Read about her key insights and their implications for shaping a sustainable and equitable healthcare landscape….

“In the first keynote talk at the University of Al-Zahraa, I explored the intricate relationship between science, technology, and people in health sustainability, focusing on policymakers’ challenges and opportunities. The second talk, presented at The Twenty-Second Arab Conference on Modern Methods in Hospital Management, delved into the effective management of beneficiary health for successful health insurance outcomes.”

Science, Technology, and People in Health Sustainability at The Second International Conference for Health and Medical Disciplines

This keynote address centred on “Science, technology, and people in health sustainability: challenges to policymakers.” By emphasising the transformative power of science and technology in healthcare, the talk underscored the need for a balanced approach to value-based care, considering cost and efficiency. What is more, how humans behave and what consequences our behaviour has – the human element – pulls and pushes the drivers and resistors to transformative change. The overarching message is that the pull of sustainability and equity can push the human element to drive forward advancements in science and technology and revolutionise healthcare systems.

Challenges and Opportunities:

Policymakers find themselves at the intersection of challenges and opportunities presented by these advancements. Coupled with this is the delicate task of balancing cost-effectiveness with efficient healthcare delivery; this requires strategic decision-making. This is why, the talk highlighted the importance of fostering collaboration, encouraging innovation, and prioritising ethical considerations in policymaking.

  • Collaboration: To harness the full potential of science and technology, collaboration among healthcare professionals, researchers, and policymakers is essential. Through breaking down silos and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, we can create synergies that lead to innovative solutions.
  • Innovation: Policymakers must actively support and incentivise innovation in healthcare. From adopting cutting-edge medical technologies to implementing data-driven decision-making processes, embracing innovation is key to sustainable healthcare.
  • Ethical Considerations: As we advance in science and technology, ethical considerations become paramount. For this reason, policymakers must ensure that healthcare advancements are ethically sound, by placing the well-being of individuals and communities at the forefront.

The Path Forward:

The keynote concluded with a call to action for policymakers to navigate these challenges by prioritising collaboration, encouraging innovation, and upholding ethical standards. By doing so, we can unlock the full potential of science and technology to create a more sustainable and equitable health system that benefits all populations.


Managing Beneficiary Health for Health Insurance Success at Twenty-Second Arab Conference on Modern Methods in Hospital Management

In this second talk, the focus shifted to exploring strategies to achieve health insurance success through effective management of beneficiary health. Grounded in data from the global disease burden in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR), the talk outlined key initiatives for advancing Beneficiary Health Management (BHM).

Strategies for Success:

  • Strengthening Healthcare Providers: The foundation of successful BHM lies in the capacity of healthcare providers. Investing in training programmes to enhance their skills and knowledge ensures a higher quality of healthcare services.
  • Promoting Healthy Behavioural Change: BHM success requires a proactive approach to promoting healthy behaviours among beneficiaries. Implementing training programmes that educate individuals about healthy lifestyle choices is essential.
  • Evidence-Based BHM Programmes: BHM programmes must be rooted in evidence to ensure effectiveness. Policymakers should prioritise developing and implementing evidence-based initiatives to improve health outcomes.
  • Utilising Technology: Embracing technology, including mobile apps and trackers, can significantly enhance the delivery of BHM services. These tools empower individuals to manage their health and provide valuable data for policymakers actively.
  • Involving the Private Sector: Collaboration with the private sector can expand the reach and impact of BHM services. Incentivising private sector involvement creates a more comprehensive and dynamic healthcare ecosystem.
  • Data-driven Monitoring and Evaluation: Regular data collection and analysis are vital for monitoring and evaluating the success of BHM programmes. Policymakers should establish robust systems for data collection to inform decision-making.

Monthly Progress:

Implementing these strategies requires a consistent and concerted effort. Along with that, monthly monitoring and evaluating progress to ensure effective interventions will allow for timely adjustments and improvements.

Celine’s final thoughts on her experience of speaking at the two conferences…

“The two talks underscored the complexity and interconnectedness of factors influencing health sustainability and successful health insurance outcomes. Firstly, policymakers can pave the way for a more sustainable and equitable healthcare future by navigating challenges with strategic collaboration, innovation, and ethical considerations. Also, embracing evidence-based strategies and leveraging technology can further enhance the effectiveness of BHM, ensuring that individuals receive high-quality, comprehensive healthcare services.”

In summary, these talks emphasised how, as we move forward, the collective commitment of policymakers, healthcare providers, and the broader community is essential for realising the vision of a healthier and more sustainable world.

Written by: Celine Tabche / Edited by: Rachel Barker

For more information about doing a Postgraduate Fellowship at the WHOCC or about our training courses please visit our Education and Training website


Autumn ’23 Update

The WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training (WHOCC) had a busy few months supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) in its vital work towards improving public healthcare so that all people, everywhere, can have an equal chance at living a healthy life. In September, at the UN SDG Summit, a political declaration was made to realise a vision of a world with access to inclusive and equitable Universal Health Coverage (UHC). At the forefront of the WHOCC’s work is delivering and facilitating quality education and training in healthcare, crucial elements in achieving both UHC and SDG3. 

In this Autumn Update we recap the highlights from the past few months…. 


strengthening health workforce through education & training


In August, the WHOCC welcomed a distinguished Professor of Virology. Our new Honorary Research Fellow spearheaded research efforts into Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF). The collaboration between Imperial College London, Scripps Research Institute in the USA, and the University of Basrah in Iraq has produced four research papers for submission.

Our team of highly skilled academics and teachers also delivered lectures on public health research, communication, and leadership to our current Postgraduate Fellows.


Training in KSA

In a significant milestone, the WHOCC conducted two workshops for the first cohort of the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA):

September brought another new face to the Postgraduate Fellowship Programme, a family medical doctor from Oman. Meanwhile, we had to say goodbye to our Postgraduate Fellow from KSA, who finished her Clinical Primary Care and Public Health programme. At the same time, we look forward to seeing her implement what she has learned to further public health development in her home country.

Capturing some of the WHOCC’s activities and achievements were two reports:


The webinar we hosted in collaboration with ArPHA (Arab Public Health Association) on the fascinating subject of AI’s implications on public health received great feedback from those who attended.

We continued with the training sessions in KSA and aim to train 270 RRT members over the next year. The end goal is the creation of a competent international RRT that responds to emergencies in different regions of the world.

In seeking to further the WHOCC’s efforts to improve healthcare education, a meeting with the Chairman of Deans of Medical Colleges in Iraq took place to discuss the proposal for developing medical education in Iraq. Further cementing our relationship in Iraq, our Honorary Research Fellow returned to the University of Basrah, where our ongoing collaboration on projects continues.

Rounding off the month, at the request of WHO HQ, an overview of Annual Reports showcasing the WHOCC’s commitment to enhancing public health and working collaboratively with international partners over the past 4 years was produced. The report will be sent to the British Government by the WHO.

Further highlighting the WHOCC’s contributions to global health, reports on the training packages and workshops for the MOH in KSA were produced. Additionally, as part of the WHOCC and NNedPro collaboration, preparations are underway for a Leadership course to be delivered in early 2024.



an insight into global engagement


The WHOCC Director’s engagements in September and October showcased the WHOCC’s active role in international health discussions. In September, the Director attended the WHO Guidance on Learning and Capacity Building in Health Emergencies External Expert Group Meeting in Switzerland. In October, he delivered the Dean’s Invitational Lecture at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. The Director also participated in the Seventieth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the EMRO in Egypt and the WHO European Region Primary Health Care Policy and Practice conference in Kazakhstan.