Webinar 1: Mobilizing surge capacity of health care workers in response to COVID–19 pandemic
- Episode 1: Mobilizing surge capacity for public health actions, which include field epidemiologists, public health workforce for case identification, contact tracing, quarantine, risk communication and community engagement, leverage of private sectors, identify innovation strategies (if any), challenges and recommend effective solutions.
Host: WHO South-East Asia Region
Co–host: USAID and Assian Development Bank
Date and time: 14 August 2020; 18.00-19:45h Bangkok time (UTC+7)
Main issues (background):
Health workers (HWs) are at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. They not only play a critical role in delivering COVID-19 related care but also in preventing the transmission of the virus and in delivering routine essential health services.
Most countries in Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions already face an overall shortage of health workers, along with skill-mix imbalances, geographical maldistribution and a short supply of clinical specialists.
Rapid increases in the workload due to COVID-19 related demand for services has further exacerbated the shortages. In addition, countries have had to plan and create the surge capacity for the health workforce to meet the growing COVID-19 public health needs such as case identification, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation and risk communication among others.
The emerging health workforce situation poses a challenge for the COVID-19 response that needs to be addressed. Countries in the three regions have been implementing policy actions and initiatives to address the health workforce needs. This webinar presents an opportunity to share some good practices on health workforce policy, planning, management and training.
- Recognize the current public health workforce challenges for the COVID-19 response and efforts undertaken to address them;
- Share good practices and lessons learnt on improving public health workforce surge capacity to respond to COVID-19 pandemic;
- Identify policy options and actions needed to strengthen the public health workforce, to create a resilient health system and to respond to COVID-19.
Moderator / Speakers / Commentary
- Mr Manoj Jhalani, Director Health Systems Development, WHO South-East Asia Region
- Wanda Jaskiewicz, Director of the USAID/HRH2030 project
Speaker 1: Country experience from a high COVID-19 burden country in EMR
- Dr Assad Hafeez, Vice Chancellor, Health Services Academy University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Speaker 2: Country experience from a high COVID-19 burden country in SEAR
- Dr Rajan Khobragade, Principal Secretary Department of Health, Kerala State, India
Speaker 3: Country experience from a high COVID-19 burden country in WPR
- Professor Yik-Ying Teo, Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore
- Prof Gabriel Leung, Dean of Medicine and Chair of Public Health Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- Dr. Patrick Osewe, Chief of the Health Sector Group, Asian Development Bank
- National and subnational health policy-makers responsible for developing and implementing health workforce plans for COVID-19 response
- International organizations, professional associations, and research institutions working in the field of health systems and more specifically in the area of human resources for health