Abu Dhabi: A group of 20 students are due to start training this summer and obtain a five-year recognised degree by Johns Hopkins University consisting of a masters programme in Public Health and a doctorate in Public Health.

The agreement was signed on Sunday between the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to help strengthen Abu Dhabi's health system through training and developing health care management leaders.

Faculty members from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will be delivering continuous training courses including a combination of web-based learning, telephone and video conferences through a Hopkins campus or a site to be located in Abu Dhabi.

Training, however, will be provided in both the capital city and in the USA.

The agreement is under the guidance of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the support of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

"We are excited to be partnering JHU, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, not only in their delivery of Masters and Doctorate in Public Health degree programmes, but in collaborating to establish our own in-country degree programme. The school is a recognised leader in research and education in Public Health programmes. We look forward to positive improvements in the health of the population of Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the region as a whole," said Dr Ahmad Mubarak Al Mazroui, HAAD Chairman.

According to William Brody, President of JHU, Johns Hopkins' main mission is to share knowledge with the world. "I am delighted that our Bloomberg School of Public Health will be working together with the HAAD to use knowledge for the benefit of the people of the UAE and the region."

Michael J. Klag, Dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, describes the agreement as a mutual vision to improve health and save lives in Abu Dhabi, other emirates, the region and globally through joint efforts in education, research and public health practice.