Cairo, 14 March 2022 – The WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and the Arab Board of Health Specializations have launched a 2-year regional Professional Diploma in Family Medicine.
Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, and Dr Omar Al Rawas, Secretary General of the Arab Board of Health Specializations, inaugurated the launch virtually from the WHO Regional Office in Cairo, Egypt, on 28 February.
The Professional Diploma in Family Medicine is one of the fruits of a collaborative agreement between WHO and the Arab Board of Health Specializations to promote family practice in the Region as part of efforts to progress towards universal health coverage in the Arab world. The ambitious 5-year agreement, signed in 2021, aims to improve health system resilience in the Region by building future capacities in public health and community medicine, including strengthening postgraduate specialty training in family medicine.
“In addition to securing qualified family physicians, the Diploma will play a key role in upgrading the skills of thousands of existing general physicians who did not obtain formal postgraduate training and are currently providing health services using their basic medical education,” said Dr Al-Mandhari in his opening remarks.
A global shortage of family practitioners is posing significant challenges, including in the Region, in which only 700 family practitioners graduate each year against an estimated need for 21 000 practitioners. The Diploma is intended to help bridge this significant gap.
The Arab Board of Health Specializations endorsed the Diploma at a meeting of its