Global Health, Not Just for Doctors- New Standards Cut Across Disciplines

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CFHI Collaborates with 7 Universities to Identify Interprofessional Global Health Competencies for Health Professionals

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The proposed list is meant to serve as a guide for program development. By many standards, it is an aspirational list that breeds consistency within the field.

Child Family Health International (CFHI), a Bay Area non-profit leader in global exposure for students and universities, collaborated with 7 universities to create standards of what young people should learn about global health, known as “competencies” in education-speak.

Convened by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), the group was charged with identifying broad global health competencies applicable across disciplines to help unite global health education across campuses. Collaborators laid out eight domains that are critical for any degree of global health proficiency. They sifted through 29 sets of existing competencies coming from various professional bodies and organizations. These include a nod to international collaboration and partnering, social justice, and ethics. Co-author, Dr. Jessica Evert explains, “The broadness of the domains is so key. We need well-rounded, collaboration minded folks who don’t just work in global health, but also live global citizenship.”

The final listed competencies are meant to be considered as a framework for individual institutions and educators. The proposed list is meant to serve as a guide for program development. By many standards, it is an aspirational list that breeds consistency within the field. A recent criticism of competency-based education was that it does not represent the voice of global communities, such as those in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where students from the US and other countries go to learn. CFHI and collaborators are remedying that with the follow-up study, "Host Perspectives of Global Health Competencies and Learning Objectives." The study is currently recruiting. For more information, visit https://www.cfhi.org/collaboration-for-host-perspectives-on-global-health-competencies.

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Founded in 1992, CFHI (http://www.cfhi.org) is a non-government organization (NGO) operating at the grassroots level to provide transformative global health education experiences and community empowerment in underserved communities around the world. CFHI offers 30+ Global Health Education Programs designed to broaden students' perspectives about global health - as well as a variety of community health initiatives and projects - in developing countries including Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Argentina, Mexico, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana and the Philippines. More than 8,000 students have participated in CFHI programs to date. CFHI has been granted Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

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Lauren Talamo
Child Family Health International (CFHI)
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