Novel coronavirus (162) WHO resources on Rights, Roles and Responsibilities of health workers

19 March, 2020

Dear HIFA colleagues,

I am forwarding this useful message from the Collectivity forum, with thanks to Catherine Kane (WHO Health Workforce team)


Dear Jieun,

Thank you for this thoughtful note. Please know that WHO have released a guidance document on Rights, Roles and Responsibilities, including occupational safety & health, of health workers. Additionally, there is guidance for health workers on providing home care for COVID-19 patients. In the pipeline, there will be more information for those who are informal caregivers or self-caring/isolating, since current estimates suggest that 80% of people will have mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization.

Further, there are concurrent activities on 1) modeling health services, workers and supplies needed both to respond to COVID-19 and to continue providing essential health services in the community and on 2) where community health workers may play a role not only in delivering essential health services but also in *safely* supporting contact tracing, community surveillance and health promotion activities, among other roles.

Technical guidance from WHO is available at, including use of masks and rational use of PPE, and we are continuously adding and updating this. Looking forward to the outputs of this discussion, including any studies on effectiveness and safety of community-based health services delivery. A number of courses are available on Open WHO.

Lastly, please let me highlight that there is a tool to conduct risk assessment of health worker exposure. As practitioners are well aware, the time to start data collection and assessment is *right away*.

Kind regards,

Catherine Kane


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 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: