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Health policy workshop held successfully in University of Public Health, Yangon

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A health policy workshop was organized jointly by the University of Public Health and HelpAge International, Myanmar in the University of Public Health, Yangon from 6th to 8th September 2017 under the ‘Strengthening public health capacity to respond to Myanmar’s disease transition’ project. The objective of this workshop was to orient faculty members, researchers and selected masters students on basic concepts of health policy, steps of health policy making, identifying and analyzing policy stakeholders, policy implementation processes, health policy analysis frameworks, methodologies & tools used in health policy research and scientific writing on policy issues. The workshop was attended by 30 participants from the University of Public Health.

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Dr. Tej Ram Jat, Programme Manager Public Health, HelpAge International, in his opening speech highlighted the importance of developing, implementing and analyzing health policies. He said that new developments are taking place every day in an increasingly globalized world that are also bringing new challenges. Health sector is also experiencing new successes and challenges. Health sector requires multi-sectoral action for addressing these challenges and ensuring highest attainable standards of health and wellbeing of people. He further said that health policy plays significant role in addressing these challenges. And, it is very important for public health professionals to understand the dynamics, principles and approaches used for development and analysis of health policies along with understanding the context in which the policies are developed and implemented. He also stressed upon the importance of identifying and understanding actors influencing the development and implementation of health policies as well as understanding the health policy processes and various power dynamics associated with these processes. He thanked the European Union and Age International for supporting this workshop and larger public health capacity building initiatives through this project.

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Dr. Carmen Huckel Schneider from University of Sydney facilitated various sessions in the workshop using participatory approaches. She explained the basic concepts of health policy and steps of health policy making using case studies from different countries. The participants learnt about identifying and analyzing relevant policy stakeholders in making and implementing health policies. The policy implementation processes and getting evidence into policy making were explained by using participatory exercises. The participants were introduced to basic health policy analysis frameworks, methodologies & tools used in health policy research. Highlighting the importance of communicating the results of health policy analysis, a session on scientific writing on policy issues was also conducted in which the key principles in writing for health policy were explained. The workshop sessions focused on policies relevant for addressing non-communicable diseases specially in low-resource setting countries.  

The participants highly appreciated the workshop and expressed that the new knowledge gained from this workshop will be useful for them in developing, analyzing and implementing policies and plans on health issues in future.

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