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WHO GLL Pulse December 2021

21 December, 2021

Blog: The Shepherd and his Sheep

It is a long time since I last saw the shepherd. He was an old man then, but still bringing the sheep daily through the hospital grounds. The hospital was his home. He had come to the hospital as a young man to receive treatment for leprosy in the 1940s – and he had remained there.

The hospital was an old Mission hospital in East Africa. The wards were built in a circle around a large green space, with a small chapel in the centre. Almost half of those in the wards in those last years of the 1990s were ill with HIV, others had late stage cancers, some had TB, or cardiac failure. The surgical wards were most times full from traffic accidents. Children’s wards were occupied with little ones who had fallen in fires, or who were failing to thrive, or living with life limiting illnesses. We felt that many who had made it into the hospital, seeking cure, were already far along their life’s pathway. A study conducted 12 years later in Uganda’s National Hospital, Mulago Hospital, Kampala, identified over 40% of all patients in the hospital required palliative care.

Professor Liz Grant is Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Academy and a co-director of the Global Compassion Initiative. Her research interests include palliative care in the context of poverty and conflict.

To read more about Liz's journey, click here. [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LZuraw8fdDgLML8vzebxN11zPXN3ziGm/view?u... Announcements

We are delighted to announce the availability of the below new palliative care and quality of care resources:

Quality health services and palliative care: practical approaches and resources to support policy, strategy and practice [https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240035164]– WHO Technical document, published October 2021

Assessing the development of palliative care worldwide: a set of actionable indicators - [https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240033351]WHO Technical document, released September 2021

WHO Technical Briefing: Taking Action for Quality Palliative Care Services [https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2021/11/24/default-calendar/... – took place November 24, 2021 (to view the recording click on this link)

New WHO video exploring how palliative care improves the quality of life of patients with life-threatening illness [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnGXV8SCMo0]- released October 2021, available to view by clicking this link

Article Spotlight

White Paper on Early Critical Care Services in Low Resource Settings [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34786353/] – Ann Glob Health, November 2021

Experiences of private sector quality care amongst mothers, newborns, and children in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34872542/] – BMC Health Serv Res, December 2021

Monitoring Quality of Care in the WHO Africa Region-A study design for measurement and tracking, towards UHC attainment [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16549716.2021.1939493]– Global Health Action, July 2021

Using the head, heart, and hands to manage change in clinical quality improvement in the time of COVID-19 [https://academic.oup.com/ijcoms/article/1/1/lyab012/6338613] – IJQHC Communications, August 2021

Effects of free maternal policies on quality and cost of care and outcomes: an integrative review [https://doi.org/10.1017/S1463423621000529]– Primary Health Care Research & Development, September 2021

A systematic rapid review on quality of care among non-communicable diseases (NCDs) service delivery in South Asia [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2021.100180]– Public Health in Practice, November 2021

Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) & Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

There are two new resources available on infection prevention and control in primary care – a collection of existing standards, measurement and implementation resources [https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240035249] and an accompanying toolkit of resources [https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240037304] for strengthening IPC in primary care. A webinar based on these resources took place on 15 October. To view the recording click here [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ypc-RJQ-YE].

The 2021 State of the World’s Hand Hygiene report [https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240036444]was launched on 15 October 2021 for Global Handwashing Day [https://globalhandwashing.org/global-handwashing-day/] by WHO and UNICEF. This report is a global call to action to make hand hygiene a priority in policy and practice.

HIV Quality of Care

We are excited to announce that three new action briefs detailing initiatives in different countries to improve the quality of HIV care delivered to people living with HIV (PLHIV) are now available to view in the HIV Quality of Care Learning Pod of the Global Learning Laboratory for Quality UHC.

These briefs focus on quality assurance and improvement applied to HIV programs, their results and what was learned from implementation experiences. To access these briefs, click here. [https://www.who.int/news/item/09-12-2021-quality-of-hiv-care-from-guidan...

Learning Pod Updates

National Quality Policy and Strategy (NQPS)

Quality of care in fragile, conflict-affected and vulnerable settings: taking action

We are delighted to announce that the Quality of care in fragile, conflict-affected and vulnerable settings: taking action [https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240015203] document is now available in French and Arabic.

This guide provides a starting point for multi-actor efforts to address quality of care in the most challenging settings and includes practical approaches to action planning and implementation in these contexts.


The Global Health Compassion Rounds held on 22 September highlighted 'The Movement to Eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): Successes & Challenges of a Foundation in Compassion'. The webinar recording [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ksgfy4GFPgg&t=9s] and report [https://taskforce.org/the-movement-to-eliminate-ntds-successes-challenge... are now available.

The final Global Health Compassion Round for 2021 was held on 16 December. The focus of the Round was Compassion and Respectful Maternal & Newborn Care: Exploring intersections and synergies. A recording of the webinar will be available soon.

Other News

Quality Management in Healthcare - a collection of stories from the field [https://www.who.int/news/item/05-12-2021-a-collection-of-stories-from-th... the GLL has a new collection of nine action briefs on quality management across five countries that have been developed by GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). The briefs take stock of quality approaches applied at the national, district and facility levels to enhance quality of care. If you are not already registered with the GLL and are interested in viewing the briefs, email GLL4QUHC@who.int to join.

In September, a webinar on HIV quality of care (QoC) and realizing quality of life (QoL) for people living with HIV in all their diversity took place. The webinar is part of the WHO HIV QoC technical working group webinar series [https://hsc.unm.edu/echo/partner-portal/programs/covid-19-response/inter... for health policy makers, national program managers, healthcare providers, donors, implementing agencies supporting interventions on HIV, and for the health of people living with HIV. Click here [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqD8e_jJ1J4] to view the recording.

Happy Holidays from the WHO GLL for Quality UHC Team!

We wish all of our GLL members and subscribers a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to connecting with you all again in 2022!

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WHO Global Learning Laboratory for Quality UHC

Department of Integrated Health Services

Division of Universal Health Coverage & Life Course

World Health Organization



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