PUCE Overview

PUCE: Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador

ISP: Instituto de Salud Pública - Institute of Public Health

You can visit the website of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, as well as the ISP website.


History of ISP – PUCE

The Institute of Public Health (IPH) from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE) was created on July 17th 1998 by signing the first cooperation agreement between the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp and the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador in Quito. IPH started its activities in 1998 and it is currently executing the third cooperation agreement with the ITM where the main scope is to improve the quality of training. The main activity IPH has developed is a Master’s degree on Public Health that has graduated 8 classes and is currently working with the ninth and tenth classes. It has also worked with research and projects. Since the beginning, the IPH has promoted an internal process to successfully launch its activities reaching academic recognition and funding from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. This has allowed the IPH to strengthen its structure which is currently based in one direction and 4 co ordinations: Education-Training, Research, Projects and Policies. The staff members, responsible of managing each area, are part of the administrative staff of the PUCE. The education-training area, which represents the IPH at the educational network, besides developing the masters’ degree on Public Health, has also developed different courses on: Research of Health Systems and Services, Hospital Management and Health Policies.

As to what concerns the projects area, the IPH has proposals on the following postgraduate studies: ISSS (e-learning), Public Health for Communicators, and Economics of Health.


The Institute of Public Health carries out research, prepares human resources, and assists the construction of policies and the improvement of health services and systems through academic excellence and adjustment to the needs of institutions, organizations, communities and actors of public health. The IPH develops knowledge that supports decision making towards health improvement through cooperative work that is coherent with its social responsibility, great professionalism and follows PUCE’s principles and values.

Training in the field of Public Health

The IPH offers a part time schooling postgraduate program in Public Health which includes field work. The macro curriculum includes two modules (the fourth and sixth) identified as field work, in which students must develop practices in a health service followed by an advisor. During the fourth module they must run a participative diagnosis and selection of the problematic; then, in the next module, they can propose a strategy of change or solution to the problematic.

Country or context information

After reviewing the research on Network of Training Institutions of Human Resources specialized on Public Health at a postgraduate level, we may summarize the supply of programs offered by institutions of higher education have the following weaknesses:Ecuador lacks a clear policy on the development of human resources specialized in Health.

  • There are multiple restrictions in the practice of public health: little possibilities for the training institutions in the definition of policies, low status of public health in the society.
  • Low standards in the training of human resources, furthermore the profile does not respond to socio-political changes and needs of the population.
  • The irrational distribution of human resources which involves a high concentration of the educational institutions and health workers trained in the poles of development.
For general information