Published: May 27th 2020

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Public Health

Event Summary - 'Business Unusual: Ensuring Continuity of Care With Remote Working'

Published: May 27th 2020

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

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(Click here to view a full recording of the event)

Introduction

We hosted the third and penultimate webinar in the COVID-19 Exchange series on Tuesday 26th May, delivered in partnership with Medixus. It was another fascinating discussion bringing together a diverse group of experts to explore the challenges, exchange learnings and promote best practice in the fight against COVID-19. Chaired by Lord Paul Boateng, we enjoyed some excellent presentation from a great lineup of speakers, including:

Event Overview

Lord Paul Boateng introduced the session, outlining how the strict lockdown measures imposed by many governments in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus, have forced many of us to reimagine the way we work. Nowhere is the new reality we live in more prevalent than in the healthcare sector, where workers have to balance the real risk of infection with a duty of care.

Dr. Millicent Wanjeri opened the discussion, speaking passionately on the role of digital solutions strengthening health systems during the COVID-19 outbreak, drawing on her experience as a member of the National Response Team. Dr. Wanjeri also shone a light on a number of organisations helping to provide solutions to some of the challenges faced in Kenya, across Africa and around the world. These organisations included Medixus, MyDawa and Ilara Health

Dr. Kunal Patel followed Dr. Wanjeri, speaking knowledgeably on a whole host of educational and training challenges and opportunities that COVID-19 has raised. He highlighted the fact that in many instances we are dealing not just with a breakdown of healthcare systems, but education systems also with nearly 300 million students having lost the capacity to learn and train. This number extends to almost 1 billion students across the world. Dr. Kunal also spoke of the potential for virtual communities of practice that new technology enables, but stressed the need for contextualised, cost-effective remote learning delivery channels, including radio, TV and even the telephone.

Next up, Dr. Toseef Din laid out some of the hazards health workers are currently facing in the COVID-19 setting, including fatigue, psychological stress and occupational burnout. She also spent time introducing participants to the suite of innovative and timely solutions M.P. Shah Hospital has implemented to counteract them, including engineering and admin controls, ensuring safe work practices, providing access to PPE, training and education, as well as psychological support. Dr. Din also talked about the need for hospitals to act decisively and gave the example of her hospital setting up an acute respiratory infection tent that allowed for the prompt identification and isolation of infected patients.

We were also lucky to hear from Eunice Tole who gave a candid account of some of the operational, as well as emotional, challenges she and her colleagues at Aga Khan University Hospital faced in preparing for the COVID-19 crisis. Eunice explained how they created a task force committee that has been instrumental in helping cross-functional strategies and disseminating information to staff and patients alike. She also spoke the role of telemedicine; nothing new for many patients in Africa and around the world. But what is new, Eunice explained, is that such teleconsultation, which were previously rarely covered by insurance companies, are being endorsed by them. This means that they are still able to easily communicate with patients currently avoiding hospital for fear of contracting COVID-19.    

The speaker's presentation can be viewed in full here:

The full recording of the webinar can be found here. Please feel free to share with anyone you feel will benefit.

The next webinar in the series will take place on Tuesday 2nd June at 1.00pm BST (2.00pm CET / 3.00pm EAT). Click on the link below to register to attend:

Event 4

 Tue 2nd June: 1.00pm - 2.30pm (BST)

Pandemics and Premiums: Financing COVID-19 Treatment and Recovery

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

And don’t forget, if you or your organisation is currently delivering a project, programme or initiative related to tackling COVID-19, you can upload your work directly onto our interactive projects map - it’s a great way to spread the word and promote what you’re doing to the global Bobab community.

Also, if you are interested in publishing an opinion piece, blog or interview related to COVID-19, we’d love to hear from you. Contact Nick Staite: nick[at]bobab.org.