This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern at the World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. I served as a member of the Quality Systems and Resilience Unit within the larger Service Delivery and Safety department. This unit focused on developing critical linkages between universal health coverage (UHC) and quality. I learned about various initiatives, such as the development of a National Quality Policy and Strategy handbook, twinning partnerships for improvement between various partner states, and the Global Learning Laboratory, a web-based platform used to share ideas and knowledge.
More specially, my work focused on the research and development of community engagement interventions that fit within the new WHO Community Engagement Framework. The goal of these interventions is to improve the quality of health services by emphasizing human interlinkages, embedding responsiveness and resilience within health systems, and facilitating knowledge sharing and relationship building between all stakeholders in a community. The efficacy of these interventions will be tested through their Malaria Program in the coming months.
Furthermore, as a Duke Fellow, I was able to take an intensive week-long course on public health policy. This course included lectures and discussions on the legacy and future of the Alma Ata, improving health care quality and access, and policy writing. This course also included guest lectures by public health leaders, such as Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO Headquarters. Lastly, fellows also had the opportunity to go on site visits and network with individuals across Geneva at organizations such as The Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics (FIND), The Global Fund and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
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