Coronavirus (836) A guide to WHO’s guidance on COVID-19

18 July, 2020

Kudos to WHO for this new article on its website. It demonstrates how seriously WHO takes its role as the world's leading provider of guidance relating to health, and to make this transparent and understandable to all. Extract below and a comment from me. Full text here:


17 July 2020

'There’s a lot of information out there about how governments, health professionals and the general public should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO has published guidance and advice every step of the way.

During health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, one of WHO’s most vital roles is to gather data and research from around the world, evaluate it, and then advise countries on how to respond.

WHO teams work with experts from around the world to develop this guidance. Together, the experts review reports, studies, presentations by countries, they analyse trends, consult further expert groups and then agree on the best approach. The guidance is meant for health decision makers who adapt the information for their country and context. As new scientific knowledge emerges, the documents are updated.

Since January 2020, WHO has published more than 100 documents about COVID-19. Of these, more than half are detailed technical guidance, on how to find and test cases, how to provide safe and appropriate care for people depending on the severity of their illness, how to trace and quarantine contacts, how to prevent transmission from one person to another, how to protect health care workers, and how to help communities to respond appropriately.

Reaching people with the information

WHO uses many platforms to reach people with the guidance, beyond publishing it online and sharing it directly through networks. It provides resources and regular updates for those working in professional sectors. WHO teams monitor social media and work with technology companies to get ahead of potential waves of misinformation.

WHO holds regular virtual press conferences from its headquarters in Geneva and its 6 regional offices around the world.

As of July 2020, more than 3.7 million people had enrolled in the OpenWHO platform, which has more than 100 free online courses about COVID-19 in 31 languages, including courses for health workers and other frontline responders.

Below is a summary of some of the documents WHO has developed for COVID-19 and how they can be used...


COMMENT (Neil PW): WHO also has a critical role to convene stakeholders at global, regional and national levels to address global health issues. There is no issue more important than access to healthcare inforamtion. HIFA is proud to be working closely with our WHO colleagues to ensure that the public, health professionals and policymakers have access to the reliable healthcare inforamtion they need to protect their own health and the health of their patients and population.

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: