EHS-COVID (473) Q2 How have you responded to the challenges of COVID-19? (2)

24 November, 2021

'Improving the awareness and health literacy of populations, policy-makers and the health workforce is key to preventing and controlling any disease that threatens the safety and security of populations in the region.'

This is the conclusion of a paper in WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health (September 2020). It would be interesting to hear from the same authors what lessons have been learned since this paer was published. I have invited them to join us.

CITATION: Poonam Khetrapal Singh & Manoj Jhalani. (?2020)?. Safeguarding essential health services during emergencies: lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health, 9 (?2)?, 93 - 94. World Health Organization. Regional Office for South-East Asia. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/334177. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. Corresponding author: Mr Manoj Jhalani (jhalanim@who.int)

EXTRACTS

Countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region have faced immense challenges in responding to the crisis while maintaining essential health services, owing in part to nderprepared medical and public health infrastructures and overwhelmed health workforces.

Between May and July 2020, WHO carried out a rapid situation assessment survey on the impact of the pandemic on the continuity of essential health services during the 3 months prior to the date of survey submission. Across the region, the survey revealed constrained access for pregnant women to antenatal check-ups, delivery and postnatal care, and for children to diarrhoea and pneumonia treatment and routine immunization services. In addition, supplementary polio immunization campaigns and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination drives were suspended...

Health resilience is strongly promoted by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, which emphasizes the need for new and existing hospitals and other health facilities that remain safe, effective and operational during and after disasters...

It is imperative that Member States develop a roadmap for

sustaining essential health services and public health programmes

in the context of COVID-19... An

extensive list of sample indicators for monitoring essential health

services during the COVID-19 pandemic is available...

Improving the awareness and health literacy of populations, policy-makers and the health workforce is key to preventing and controlling any disease that threatens the safety and security of populations in the region.

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I invite HIFA members to share any papers or reports that relate to the theme of our current discussion on Maintaining essential health services during COVID-19.

Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org