The World Health Organization (WHO), with a special $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today said it will train people younger than 38 years who already hold an advanced public health-related degree. At least half will be women and 80 per cent from developing countries. WHO Director-General Dr Lee Jong-wook said the programme comes in response to growing needs. “In the face of today’s global challenges of poverty, inequities, disease and epidemics, there is an increasing demand for dynamic health leaders with sound technical skills,” he noted. The trainees will work at WHO’s Geneva headquarters, as well as in the agency’s field offices, developing various skills. At the end of their training, participants will be encouraged to work in international organizations, government health ministries or with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the agency said. Applications are now being sought and courses will start early in 2005.