Global Bridges pilots new training program in Mexico City

Over the past three years, Global Bridges-Latin America (GBLA), led by Gustavo Zabert and Beatriz Champagne, has trained nearly 2,000 healthcare professionals in tobacco dependence treatment — more than any other region.

12Dec2014-blog43-photo1Recently in Mexico City, GBLA, in partnership with the InterAmerican Heart Foundation, piloted a new format that could significantly expand the program’s reach.  On Monday, 24 November, eleven instructor trainees selected by their organizations participated in a dynamic session on adult learning principles and training techniques, and the next day they joined expert faculty in delivering training modules for their colleagues.

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The National Institute for Respiratory Diseases (INER) in Mexico City hosted the training as part of an ongoing agreement with GBLA to train primary care physicians, nurses, and other Mexican healthcare professionals on tobacco dependence treatment.  INER is Mexico’s acknowledged leader in treatment of tobacco dependence and COPD, and developed the first Spanish-language online course in tobacco dependence treatment in 2011.

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“INER has a longstanding commitment to tobacco dependence treatment, and programs like this one help ensure that commitment is realized” said Dr. Raul Sansores, chief of INER’s tobacco treatment unit.

The Global Bridges-INER collaboration aims to certify up to 50 new trainers over the next two years, who in turn will greatly expand the reach of tobacco dependence treatment training throughout Mexico.

The Day 1 curriculum was developed by adult learning expert Esteban Cruz of the Mexican Institute for Public Health (INSP), based on the World Health Organization’s Training Package for tobacco dependence treatment. For Day 2, the basic Global Bridges curriculum was re-organized to align with the WHO framework.

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Gustavo Zabert, co-Director of GBLA, summed up the experience:  “This first training session exemplifies the WHO strategy to strengthen health systems for treating tobacco dependence in a four-part program.  The program helped a capable team of professionals gain and immediately apply valuable training skills.  Expanding knowledge and skills is crucial to broader accessibility for smoking cessation in Latin America.”