By HENRY OWINO
Johnson & Johnson have formed a new partnership to support frontline health-workers in Sub Saharan Africa and Middle East in the fight against COVID-19.
In response to COVID-19 pandemic, the new partnership includes The World Continuing Education Alliance, The Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery East Africa and the International Council of Nurses to support frontline health workers.
The result of this collaboration is the development of a focused training program that will be delivered via mobile app and aims to reach 600,000 nurses and midwives in Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
The Aga Khan University (AKU) has established a certifiable COVID-19 Curriculum with 6 modules adapted from World Health Organization (WHO) training.
The International Council of Nurses has supported through their collaboration with Nurses Associations, Nursing Councils and Ministries of Health.
The World Continuing Education Alliance (WCEA) is bringing this knowledge to scale thanks to its virtual platform and mobile based training capacity.
Johnson and Johnson is funding the roll out across 10 priority countries in Sub-Saharan Africa namely: Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal. A roll out to Egypt, Jordan and other countries in the Middle East is yet to be confirmed
“One critical part of our response to COVID-19 is strengthening health systems by supporting and championing the people on the front lines who are at the heart of delivering care. Never has this ambition been more important than it is now as we face the biggest healthcare crisis in our lifetime” said Luis Diaz-Rubio, Managing Director, Janssen Emerging Markets, and a Board Member of the Johnson & Johnson Foundation (Scotland).
“The partnership announced today, 10 June,2020 will allow us to share more knowledge quickly and efficiently to many more frontline health workers which in turn will not only lead to better outcomes in the long run, but will help us beat this disease together”. He added.
The content developed for the app is open source and is currently available in English, Arabic and French. As well as enabling the program to reach a huge number of front-line workers the app will also encourage information sharing, creating effective and quick feedback channels which will in turn provide greater insight into the training needs and experience of those on the frontline in these countries.
“In response to COVID-19, with the aid of the Johnson & Johnson Foundation and our valuable training partners, The Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery East Africa, we are able to supply training resources to many more nurses, midwives and medical workers to assist in defeating the pandemic.” commented Craig Fitzpatrick, EMEA Director at the WCEA.
“Preparedness of nurses and midwives who are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 is critical to successfully dealing with the pandemic,” said Dr. Eunice Ndirangu, Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM), Aga Khan University. Through the use of online and a mobile app, SONAM in partnership with Johnson and Johnson and WCEA is able to ensure access to nurses and midwives, even those in rural and hard to reach areas.”
“Ensuring nurses have the most up to date information, training and guidance on COVID-19 is a priority for International Council of Nurses (ICN). We have a number of free resources, including the WCEA platform, available on our Covid-19 portal. This mobile app will be a helpful addition for nurses to ensure they are better prepared as they fight this pandemic.” Howard Catton, CEO International Council of Nurses emphasized.