“The backbone of every health system is its workforce–the people who deliver the services on which we all rely. COVID-19 is has demonstrated just how much we rely on our health workers, and how vulnerable we all are when they who protect our
health are themselves unprotected,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
While responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and providing critical support in other health emergencies and humanitarian settings, WHO has also continued its broader efforts to strengthen health systems and support vulnerable communities globally–particularly
in equipping and enhancing the capacities and protection of health workers who are at the very core of health operations globally.
Improving surveillance and treatment of infectious diseases
The master trainers will facilitate the rollout of the third edition integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR) at the county-level.
In South Sudan, WHO, with support from the European Union Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and the US Agency for
International Development (USAID), put in place an integrated disease surveillance and response strategy to prevent diseases and strengthen core capacity requirements. A training of trainer’s (ToT) workshop was provided to 40 national trainers
on the updated technical guidelines and training materials on disease surveillance. They are expected to cascade the modules in countries.
Likewise in Uganda, the Government of Hungary has supported WHO to provide
a mobile, rapidly deployable container structure, fully-equipped to support health workers in the fast and effective clinical management of severe and critically ill patients with highly infectious diseases.
“Mobile units are a very practical solution to public health events that require the urgent deployment of resources. After the installation, experts will train local staff in the use of the mobile unit,” said Zsolt Mészáros, the Hungarian
Ambassador accredited to Uganda.
Health workers as drivers of vaccine uptake
With health workers being key drivers to improved vaccine uptake in their communities, they should also be bearers of reinforced message around vaccine benefits, safety, and trust toward new vaccines.
The Pan-American Health Organization carried out a study among health workers to better understand vaccine hesitancy and develop evidence-based approaches to increase their vaccine uptake in Barbados, as well as across Caribbean countries. Health workers are a trusted information source and play a key role in improving vaccine uptake among their communities. The study also aims to address
people’s concerns regarding vaccine manufacture, the perceived “short time taken to develop the vaccines,” and to dispel myths and rumours circulating on social media and in off-line conversations.
With EU support, WHO has also rolled out an 18-month programme Haiti to
train and protect staff of primary care entres; strengthen the local health system amidst the emergence of new COVID-19
virus variants; and respond to the increased movement of people across borders that has exacerbated the disruption of essential health services. The partnership also adapts essential health services and staff capacities to local contexts and helps
increase the availability of medical supplies and equipment.
Training to care for children with COVID-19
Demonstration of proper donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment during the Pediatric Essential Critical Care Training at Kanti Hospital. ©WHO Nepal/M. Karmacharya
In Nepal, WHO supported the training of nearly 2 000 health workers,
including 54 trainers on caring for children suffering from critical illnesses. These included clinical case scenarios in paediatric essential critical care; oxygen therapy provision and use of mechanical ventilators; transfer and stabilization; and
care for cases of cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac …….