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Online Training on Tobacco Cessation for Caribbean Countries - course with tutors - 2021


Most Caribbean countries are parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and several Caribbean countries have already adopted comprehensive tobacco control legislation. However, tobacco cessation, covered by Article 14 of the FCTC and represented by the letter “O” of the MPOWER technical package, is one of the areas with a major lag. Currently, there is no Caribbean country that meets the requirements for “highest level of implementation” of this measure.
In Caribbean countries, trends have shown high percentages of tobacco users making quit attempts and expressing a desire to quit smoking, but the availability of cessation support and services is low. PAHO/WHO Caribbean Member States have reported a lack of smoking cessation support at primary care facilities, health professionals’ offices, and at the community level. As such, there is a critical need to expand cessation services and strengthen existing systems.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased risks for smokers have further highlighted the urgency and importance of strengthening tobacco cessation services in the Caribbean, including through the use of online tools.

Purpose of the course:

The course aims to equip participants with the tools for strengthening tobacco cessation services in Primary Health Care (PHC) settings and improve their knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding tobacco cessation. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion from the Virtual Campus of Public Health.
Course Objectives:

To build capacity for the provision of tobacco cessation services among PHC providers and managers, emphasizing PAHO/WHO-approved interventions for tobacco cessation in PHC (provision of brief advice).
To provide participants with the necessary tools to replicate the training on brief tobacco interventions for PHC providers in the Caribbean.
To provide an overview of additional PAHO/WHO-approved interventions for tobacco cessation, namely tobacco cessation interventions during pregnancy, pharmacological interventions, new products, and the AI Bot Florence.

Course structure:

There are 12 modules to complete, which include:
Module 1: Opening;
Module 2: Introduction: Cessation as One of the Elements of Tobacco Control in the Caribbean;
Module 3: The Role of Primary Care Providers in Tobacco Control and Tobacco Dependence Treatment;
Module 4: Basics of Tobacco Use and Tobacco Dependence;
Module 5: Tobacco, Health, and COVID-19;
Module 6: Overview of Brief Tobacco Interventions;
Module 7: Asking, Advising, and Assessing Readiness to Quit;
Module 8: Dealing with Low Motivation
Module 9: Assisting and Arranging for Follow-Up;
Module 10: Pharmacological Interventions;
Module 11:Other Cessation Interventions; and
Module 12: Tobacco Cessation During Pregnancy.

The course will be delivered synchronously, including learning activities and practice sessions in groups during the live sessions. It will also include asynchronous quizzes, assignments, and a final exam.

1. The initial participants will be PHC practitioners, such as physicians, nurses, social workers, and managers working in Caribbean countries. The participants must be interested in strengthening the provision of tobacco cessation services in their PHC networks.
2. Subsequent/secondary audiences are any health care trainees or practitioners globally who are interested in strengthening the provision of tobacco cessation services in their networks.

Developing Tobacco Control Legislation in the Caribbean – 2021


Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke cause a wide range of diseases with devastating public health impacts in addition to enormous social, economic, and environmental harm. Fortunately, many cost-effective, scientifically-based strategies and measures to combat this global epidemic have already been tested in various countries with significant success. These strategies and measures are included in the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which has been in force internationally since 2005. It is a legally binding international treaty that requires Parties to adopt and implement effective legislation and enforceable measures for preventing and reducing tobacco consumption, nicotine addiction, and exposure to tobacco smoke.

In the Caribbean, all PAHO/WHO Member States are Parties to the WHO FCTC, except for Haiti. However, the implementation of effective tobacco control measures has been slow across the subregion. From a regional perspective, CARICOM still lags behind. Three of the eight countries that have fully implemented three of the four WHO “best buys” for tobacco control in Latin America and the Caribbean are from CARICOM (Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, and Suriname); however, seven of the fourteen CARICOM countries have not adopted a single best buy (Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Saint Kitts, and Nevis and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). 

This lack of progress is particularly worrisome since compared to other subregions of the Americas, people in the Caribbean have the highest probability of dying prematurely from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). 

Purpose of the course:

The course aims to enhance capacity for the development of tobacco control legislation consistent with the mandates of the WHO FCTC and the recommendations of its guidelines for implementation, taking into account Caribbean legislative contexts.

Course Objectives:

  1. To build participants’ capacity for drafting effective tobacco control measures, consistent with the mandates of the WHO FCTC and the recommendations of its guidelines and considering the Caribbean Context; 

  2. To improve participants’ understanding of the tobacco epidemic and its economic, social, and environmental impacts, globally, regionally, and in the Caribbean; 

  3. To familiarize participants with key international legal frameworks, mandates, and accountability mechanisms, including the WHO FCTC and its guidelines, as well as international human rights frameworks; 

  4. To enhance participants’ understanding of the rationale, evidence-based, and status of implementation of WHO FCTC measures, with a focus on the MPOWER technical package; and 

  5. To strengthen participant’s ability to counter-strategies against effective tobacco control measures, including tobacco industry arguments and potential legal challenges.

Course structure:

There are 8 modules to complete, which include:

  • Module 1: The Tobacco Epidemic and Status of Tobacco Control;


The course will be delivered synchronously, incorporating learning activities and practice sessions in groups during the live sessions.  It will also include asynchronous quizzes, assignments, and a final exam.

Government officials from the English-speaking Caribbean who are actively involved in the process of developing and implementing legislation, notably tobacco control legislation.

Virtual training for laboratory building capacity on antimicrobial resistance detection and surveillance – 2020

This course is by invitation only. If you were not selected to participate in this course, you can explore other self-paced self-learning courses of the Virtual Campus.

The purpose of the course is to incorporate skills and knowledge for laboratory building capacity on Antimicrobial Resistance detection and surveillance. It will provide an opportunity for participants to network and potentially build a regional AMR network to support long-term partnerships and collaborations.

Public Health Leadership: leading the health sector during COVID-19 and beyond - 2020

This course is by invitation only. If you were not selected to participate in this course, you can explore other self-paced self-learning courses of the Virtual Campus.

Course Introduction
This course provides comprehensive skill sets and knowledge related to health leadership. Participants will learn about the theoretical foundations of public health leadership and apply their knowledge in meaningful, real-world learning activities, often related to their current work. This course is competency-based, using competencies from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and the leadership domain from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The course is 11 weeks long, and participants will go through modules of asynchronous and synchronous learning activities.

Course Strategy
This course includes weekly online synchronous class meetings, and engagement with asynchronous learning resources and activities in the virtual campus.

Course goal
Building leadership skills among public health managers will allow them to lead the response to emerging public health issues, including emergencies and disasters.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Apply principles of leadership, governance, management, and collaboration to varied scenarios
  • Develop mission and vision statements that align with described organizational structures
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges

This offering is oriented to English-proficient Caribbean public health workers in middle management positions.

The course will be conducted over 11 weeks.

Course Structure

Module 1: Introduction to Leadership in public health
Module 2: Ethics
Module 3: Leadership and Systems Thinking
Module 4: Capacity Development
Module 5: Teamwork and Organizational Performance
Module 6: Planning and implementing public health programs in the community
Module 7: Advocacy and Communication

Psychological First Aid (PFA) in disaster management in the Caribbean. Second Edition – 2020

Introduction to the course:
The Psychological First Aid (PFA) course is a twelve-hour self-paced training. It aims to equip lay persons with the tools to appropriately provide the initial response to individuals experiencing psychological distress secondary to crisis situations.

The second edition of this course includes special considerations for how to utilize PFA skills in ways that are safe for both the helper and the person who is in distress during an outbreak of disease, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This new content has been integrated across the 6 modules of the course.

To provide a framework for caretakers/ volunteers/ first responders to deliver psychological and social support for individuals in crisis situations.

The learning objectives of this course are:

  1. To define Psychological First Aid (PFA).
  2. Describe factors to consider in providing PFA.
  3. Discuss the process of providing PFA.
  4. List actions PFA providers take to care for self and colleagues.
  5. Identification of individuals with special needs.
  6. Application of PFA to various crisis scenarios.

Appropiate Audience:
Psychological First Aid is written for all persons including volunteers and lay persons in the community who may be in a position to support the psychological and social well-being of individuals during and after a crisis e.g. relief agency volunteers, teachers, religious leaders, etc.

Course duration:
The course is open and available in the VCPH. As it is a self-learning course, participants can regulate their times and moments of dedication. When including the estimated time to review the course contents and the Final Exam, the course is assigned a total of 12 hours.

Course Structure:
Module 1 - Understanding PFA (1 hour)
Module 2 - How to Help Responsibly (1,5 hour)
Module 3 - Providing PFA (3,5 hours)
Module 4 - People who likely need special attention (2,5 hours)
Module 5 - Caring for Self and Colleagues (1.5 hours)
Module 6 – Practicing PFA Skills (1,5 hour)