EHS-COVID (554) WHO Global pulse survey on continuity of essential health services

1 November, 2022

From the WHO HLH October Newsletter.

'Global pulse survey on continuity of essential health services

WHO has recently launched the 4th round of the Global pulse survey on continuity of essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey follows WHO’s previous 2020-2021 pulse surveys to continue to track the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic over time in terms of essential health service disruptions and recovery, the main health system bottlenecks countries are facing, and how countries are responding to maintain service delivery. Data collection for the 4th round will close in December 2022, and preliminary results are expected in February 2023. Findings from previous rounds can be viewed through the WHO HLH EHS Dashboards page '

Looking at the data from the third round, there are parallels with our discussions on HIFA:

Strategies to mitigate disruptions and recover essential health services:

Service delivery modifications

- Provision of home-based care where appropriate

- Telemedicine deployment to replace in-person consults

- Redirection of patients to alternate care sites /reorientation of referral pathways

Health worker capacities and training:

- Rapid training mechanisms and job aids for key capacities and newly distributed tasks and roles

- Recruitment of additional staff

- Redistribution of health worker tasks and optimization of roles

COMMENT (NPW): There are perhaps two limitations with 'pulse surveys'. The first is that the answers will be dependent on who is completing the data. In the WHO pulse surveys, I imagine that this is intended to be an MoH staff member reporting MoH perspective? The second is that a single perspective is a limited perspective. I would advocate using dynamic online forums to elicit experience and discuss the issues raised. Dynamic interaction can complement static surveys, with little additional expence and with a lot more inclusivity and potential richness of inputs.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,

Global Healthcare Information Network: Working in official relations with WHO