EHS-COVID (278) CHWs and COVID-19; WHO Health Workforce webinar series; service disruptions due to COVID-19

4 May, 2021

The message below is forwarded, with thanks to Catherine Kane (WHO), originally drafted on 29 April.

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This week the joint WHO-UNICEF-CHIC implementation support guide, The role of community health workers in COVID-19 vaccination, is published [https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/340986/WHO-2019-nCoV-ND.... The document is intended to support national governments in developing their national deployment and vaccination plans for COVID-19 vaccines by outlining the roles, needs and opportunities for community health workers to contribute.

It builds on and is structured to align with the Guidance on developing a national deployment and vaccination plan for COVID-19 vaccines and the COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction Readiness Assessment Tool (VIRAT/VRAF 2.0) developed by WHO and UNICEF. This document provides human resources for health options and considerations for national governments in developing robust NDVPs for the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine(s) that leverage community-based resources.

Please share widely with your networks. We will update the document as new evidence becomes available, so we also look to you to help us understand examples and evidence of CHWs in action globally.

On 5 May, with morning and afternoon options, WHO Health Workforce is launching its Action Series on human resources for health in COVID-19. Guided by the interconnected themes of the International Year of Health and Care Workers – Protect. Invest. Together. – Episode 1 will focus on Protect. Experts from ministries of health, academia, CSOs, labour unions and international organizations will explore lessons learnt on the multidimensional issues: PPE, infection prevention and control, occupational health and safety, mental health resources, fair and decent working conditions, gender transformative action, work organization and more. There will be complementary, equivalent sessions in the morning and afternoon to accommodate different time zones and speaker availability. Register here https://who.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2OF_VNGPRQ6_sUpMZqG6Vw

We will use the Year hashtag, #SupportHealthCareWorkers and will share updates through @GHWNetwork.

The latest WHO pulse survey highlights that over 90% of countries continue to experience service disruptions due to COVID-19 [https://www.who.int/news/item/23-04-2021-covid-19-continues-to-disrupt-e.... This reinforces the importance of having health services available at community level through well-trained and supported CHWs. WHO is pleased to share the newly-published Health policy and system support to optimize CHW programmes for HIV, TB and Malaria services: an evidence guide, developed with the support of The Global Fund [https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240018082]. This first WHO evidence guide pulls together the existing guidelines and bodies of evidence, combined with recommendations from WHO experts, to provide a first-ever evidence base for national governments and their partners to design, implement and sustain effective and cost-effective HIV, TB and malaria CHW programmes. Please help us ensure this strong and practical guide reaches programme managers and planners who are working to ensure continuity of essential health services; we would be delighted to join webinars or forums upon request.

Best,

Catherine

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Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org