FRANCE – Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, today broke ground for the WHO Academy’s campus in the French city of Lyon.

This event marks a milestone in meeting the needs of WHO Member States and a growing global health workforce for expanded access to life-long learning, health guidance and competency-building.

The ambitions of the WHO Academy are not modest: to transform lifelong learning in health globally,” said Dr Tedros. “The COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful demonstration of the value of health workers, and why they need the most up-to-date information, competencies and tools to keep their communities healthy and safe.

He added that the WHO Academy is an investment in health, education, knowledge and technology, but ultimately, it’s an investment in people, and in a healthier, safer, fairer future.

From its campus in Lyon, the Academy will provide millions of people around the world with rapid access to the highest quality life-long learning in health.

It will offer multilingual, personalized learning programmes in digital, in-person and blended formats, deploying the latest evidence-based health guidance, state-of-the-art learning technologies and advancements in the science of adult learning.

The quality of the health workforce is the key to resilience during a health crisis”, said President Macron.

The Academy aims to expand access to critical learning to health workers, managers, public health officials, educators, researchers, policy makers and people who provide care in their own homes and communities, as well as to WHO’s own workforce throughout the world.

The vast majority will use online means to access the Academy’s programmes, which will be made available via desktop and mobile devices and in low-bandwidth settings, thereby ensuring an equitable, global and diverse cohort of learners.

The world’s poorest countries will remain on the margins of the global economy if States are unable to boost economic production, and the international community fails to provide more support, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned.

Their ability to respond to and recover from crises such as COVID-19, and to advance towards sustainable development, is dependent on increasing production capacities, and such is the importance of the academy.

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