As WHO advocates for more equitable vaccine distribution, the Organization continues to provide hands-on support in the fight against COVID-19 around the world, thanks to the generous support from its donors and partners.
Ethiopia: training health workers to provide mental health services in humanitarian settings
WHO recently collaborated with Mekelle University and the Tigray Regional Health Bureau to provide training of trainer’s sessions on mental health service provision in humanitarian settings. A wide range of health care professionals undertook the training and went on to themselves become trainers for primary health care workers. The scheme is increasing the number of professionals competent to address basic mental health services, including counselling, prescribing medications and referrals for patients at health facilities and camps for internally displaced persons.
Mozambique: African Development Bank and Southern African Development Community donate equipment to cope with continued COVID-19 threat
The African Development Bank, through the Southern African Development Community, recently made a US$ 1.6 million donation of medical and protective equipment to WHO to support Mozambique’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The donation will contribute to strengthening the country’s capacity to diagnose and treat cases as well as protect health professionals.
Caribbean and Latin America: Canada and WHO support COVID-19 vaccination for vulnerable populations
A new collaboration between the Government of Canada and the WHO Regional Office for the Americas was recently launched to improve the health and protection of groups who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
Canada contributed approximately US$40 million to support the WHO regional office’s critical work in the Caribbean and Latin America. The donation will support increasing readiness for and access to COVID-19 vaccines for at-risk women, migrants and refugees as well as transient, indigenous and vulnerable populations in areas where health conditions are precarious.
In Honduras, for example, WHO has been supporting the continuation of essential health services to hurricane and flood affected areas through its work with the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund. WHO also supported a clinical training mission for doctors in the country to manage suspected cases of dengue during the ongoing pandemic.
Americas: WHO Regional Director Welcomes United States’ COVID-19 vaccine dose-sharing plan
WHO Regional Office for the Americas Director Carissa F. Etienne recently thanked the United States Government for its commitment to a COVID-19 vaccine dose-sharing plan through COVAX.
“The actions announced by the White House are a good step forward in our drive to get vaccines into the arms of our people in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Dr Etienne said. “We are grateful for this dose-sharing initiative and encourage other countries with surplus vaccines to follow the lead of the United States.”
The U.S. said it plans to send the first batch of 25 million doses, including 19 million procured through COVAX, to countries around the world. This includes “approximately 6 million for South and Central America,” the White House statement specified.
Pakistan: collaborating to detect virus variants
WHO and Pakistan’s National Institute of Health recently signed an agreement to collaborate on detecting COVID-19 variants of interest and concern through PCR detection and genome sequencing. The initiative will help rapidly identify known and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, track their geographical spread and ensure real time sharing of sequence data via global databases.
India: WHO delivers oxygen concentrators to remote Ladakh
WHO recently provided 100 oxygen concentrators to the union territory of Ladakh in India to support its response to a COVID-19 surge in this mountainous region, one of the world’s coldest and most elevated inhabited locations.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh: Germany supports COVID-19 response through large donation
Germany recently handed over a consignment of protective surgical masks to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health through the WHO country office. The consignment includes more than 900 000 surgical face masks. They will be distributed to health workers to strengthen infection prevention and control in health facilities and in the delivery of community services. Germany also donated a large stock (462 000) of masks to Bangladesh.
Nepal: 11 000 healthcare workers trained to care for critically ill COVID-19 patients
Following a recent rapid surge of COVID-19 cases in Nepal, a demand for training to enhance the skills of healthcare workers to take care of critically ill COVID-19 patients was addressed by the Ministry of Health and Population, the National Health Training Centre, the Nepal Medical Association, and the WHO Country Office for Nepal. Together, they held a Critical Care Training for Health Care Workers: COVID-19 Program that attracted more than 11 000 medical professionals including doctors, nurses, specialists, and paramedics from all over the country.
Cambodia: EU and WHO support COVID-19 response and strengthen health system
The European Union and WHO recently joined forces to support preparedness for and the response to COVID-19 as well as future health security threats in Cambodia.
The European Union is investing a total of more than €2.8 million (US$ 3.5 million) over 3 years, through WHO, to support the Royal Government of Cambodia’s preparedness and response to COVID-19 and to strengthen the country’s health system. The funding is part of a broader EU-WHO regional health programme to support ASEAN member states.
Europe: as the pandemic continues, WHO Europe launches #SummerSense campaign
Following the trend in 2020, when COVID-19 cases surged in the autumn following a relaxation in measures in the summer, The WHO Regional Office for Europe has launched its #SummerSense campaign together with UNICEF Europe and Central Asia. The campaign aims to help people enjoy the warmer months and avoid getting infected with and spreading COVID-19, maintaining efforts to bring the pandemic to an end sooner.
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