First Graduates Mark a New Dawn for Syrian Health

Press release 11 Sep 2009
The graduates talking to Dr. Hassan

On 12 November 2009 LSTM's Professor Janet Hemingway will attend the graduation ceremony for the first group of 19 Master students from the Centre for Strategic Heath Studies (CSHS) in Damascus, with the Syrian Minister of Health, Dr. Rida Said. There are now four International level Master degrees in 'Health Systems Management', 'Hospital Management', 'Public Health' and Health Economics Finance & Policy at the CSHS which has been established and developed by Dr. Amir Hassan and his team at LSTM with financial support from the European Union.

The CSHS was established in 2006, building upon existing Centres of Health Systems Management, Public Health and Health Economics. Under the Directorship of Dr. Reem Akras, the CSHS has a modern and up-to-date infrastructure and facilities including its information technology and learning and teaching resources. Staff and Master students carry out research to help provide scientific evidence for policy and decision making. A number of staff are engaged with their international counterparts in a project investigating key issues and aspects of the health system in Syria that is due to report its finding in April 2010.

As part of their studies, the 19 Master graduates of 2009 carried out in-depth research on priority health areas identified by the Ministry of Health, including; decision making, medical technology evaluation, environment, smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, quality of health services, reproductive health, drugs management and tuberculosis.  The Master degrees and the strength of their academic training ensure that the present students will be able to use their skills in Syria performing at international standards.

CSHS is now home to three batches of Master students totalling 106 students, recruited from all governorates, levels and departments of the Syrian Ministry of Health, who are all committed to go back and serve their respective departments in advancing the Health Sector Modernisation Initiative - the bridge to better health in Syria. In addition many members of staff of the Ministry of Health have been trained through the Centre's short courses to help update their knowledge and improve their skills enabling them to improve performance at their departments on completing the training.

As a long-term collaborator with the Syrian Ministry of Health, LSTM provides the technical assistance supporting capacity building and institutional development to CSHS in its core areas of work of education and training, research and advisory services.

In addition to leaders of the health sector and national academic institutions, the graduation ceremony is attended by high level representatives from the European Union, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), the British Embassy and British Council and United Nations staff working in Syria.



For further information, please contact:

Bianca Baumler, Press Officer
European Commission Delegation
Tel: +963 (0)944 5444 02


Mr. Yahya Bozo
Ministry of Health- Media office
Tel: +963 (0)332 7908
Mob: +96.3 (0)944 609 609

 Notes to Editors

  • CSHS is funded by the European Union as part of the country's Health Sector Modernisation Programme. The European Union's overall support to the Syrian Health Sector is wide ranging including assistance to upgrade Syria's primary health facilities, hospitals and public health services for example psychosocial help, disaster preparedness management and health education. It also includes help to strengthen the health sector capabilities in policy and decision making, health service financing, improved performance, better quality and management effectiveness.
  • Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has been engaged in the fight against infectious, debilitating and disabling diseases for more than a hundred years and continues that tradition today with a research portfolio in excess of £130 million and a teaching programme attracting students from over 70 countries.