EHS-COVID (547) WHO HLH Health Services Learning Hub: new Action Briefs and Learning Briefs

2 September, 2022

Four new Action Briefs and two Learning Briefs from our WHO colleagues at the HLH Health Services Learning Hub...


Maintaining access to cancer care in Morocco during COVID-19 pandemic

Morocco’s 2011 Constitution recognizes the right to health care. Recent reforms towards universal health care aim to cover the whole population, including the informal sector, by 2022, and to have social protection in place for all by 2025. Indeed, Morocco took measures to support vulnerable populations during the pandemic. This provides an example in the region that even in a lower- to middle-income country facing big resource gaps, it is still possible to maintain a strong health care system able to withstand adversity.

Maintaining health services for cancer patients in AVH Jerusalem

• Proactive planning was key; AVH was prepared to manage the COVID-19 outbreak before the first case was detected in the country.

• Supportive leadership and multidisciplinary team approach in decision- making and clear coordination allowed for swift actions and immediate implementation of preparedness and response strategies.

• Establishment of COVID-19 committee evaluating epidemiological data, strategies, risks, and daily updates allowed the senior management team to make more evidence- based decisions and protect immunocompromised patients.

• Commitment to optimizing infection prevention and control in this high-risk setting was central to reduce the risk of nosocomial COVID-19 infection and continued hospital operations to maintain health services.

• Continuous and clear communication between hospital management and staff along with community engagement was central to creating, implementing, and evaluating the facility-level response plan.

Providing essential NCD services to vulnerable populations in Yemen

Integrating triage spaces and staff as a standard measure, could help avoid service disruptions and keep facilities safe for vulnerable patients. Successful implementation of triage in a small facility provided a model for neighbouring facilities. Staff and patients came to accept it after initial resistance. Continuing this system beyond the pandemic would provide a safer clinical environment for staff and patients, and would help prioritize health care delivery based on need.

Providing essential noncommunicable disease and mental health services

The COVID-19 pandemic opened windows of opportunity to improve the prison health system and bring partners together in synergy. WHO is continuing its support in order to complete the comprehensive health assessment and move towards electronic health records, support the integration of Roumieh Medical Centre in the MoPH PHC network and to address other public health issues, such as environmental health concerns and nutrition.


Provision of comprehensive sexuality education during COVID-19

Organisations nimbly adapted the provision of different CSE programmes to overcome the obstacles created by the pandemic by using a variety of approaches that enabled them not only to reach the target audiences intended by these organizations, but also additional groups such as out of school adolescents.

These organisation informed adolescents and young people about available SRH and mental health services, and acted as means of referring some of them to these services.

There is a potential for these nimble adaptations to be used beyond the pandemic context, either by complementing or by substituting traditional programmes, especially in humanitarian contexts, but their effectiveness needs to be further evaluated.

ESTHER publication: As the world looks to find an end to the covid-19 pandemic, health partnerships will remain vitally important in preparing for future health crises

Health partnerships typically involve long-term institutional relationships between high-income countries (HIC) and low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Effective collaboration towards a common goal lies at the centre of institutional health partnerships (IHP). The purpose of this paper is to highlight the role of IHPs’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in maintaining essential health services in LMICs.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,

Global Healthcare Information Network: Working in official relations with WHO