The Bloomberg School of Public Health awards one-sixth of all public health doctoral degrees worldwide and offers 6 degree and 11 combined-degree programs. It has 10 academic departments, more than 60 centers and institutes and is actively engaged in research and public health service in more than 120 countries. Today’s student body—more than 2,200—represents 87 nations and is a rich mix of cultures, races, genders, experience and education. Students, faculty and alumni apply their skills locally, nationally and worldwide in sophisticated laboratories in Baltimore, in village health centers in Uganda and Nepal, in population-based studies in Beijing, on policymaking committees of the United Nations and in private industry. Today, the School has hundreds of projects and people “on the ground” throughout the African continent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80 percent of the health care workers in Africa lack specific public health training. And there is an overall shortage of personnel to keep pace with the burden of disease. The loss of health care professionals through recruitment from abroad is a contributing factor to the current state of the delivery of health care in Africa. Low staffing translates into poor health, mainly from diseases that are preventable. Africa needs public health professionals with the knowledge and skills, including research expertise, to manage its many public health challenges. Public-private partnerships can help to bring about the change that is necessary.