By Estelamarie ‘Tats' Papa, Communications Manager
On September 10, 2020, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) program handed over a set of eLearning modules on infection prevention and control (IPC), health care waste management, and supply chain management to the Philippine Department of Health (DOH). These modules will help Philippine health care workers as they continue to deal with the COVID-19 disease.
In the Philippines, the number of COVID-19 cases has reached 220,000. Frontline health workers must have the latest information on the disease and be supported to strengthen IPC and health care waste management, which will improve their own safety and that of their patients and ensure an uninterrupted flow of goods and services in health facilities.
Online trainings between April and September 2020 reached more than 14,000 health workers from public and private health care facilities in all regions of the country. With the eLearning modules now available via the DOH Academy e-Learning Platform, many more health care workers can be trained. The eLearning courses are based on the three modules developed by MTaPS in collaboration with WHO, UNICEF, and the DOH. These self-paced learning modules include knowledge checks and a final assessment as well as additional references and learning resources.
The virtual handover ceremony drew 157 attendees from the US Government, MTaPS, the DOH, professional organizations, development partners, and other stakeholders. The program included a short video clip showing the journey to develop the courses and a live demo of the eLearning material. The handover and acceptance statements were delivered by Ms. Michelle Lang-Alli, Director, USAID Philippines Office of Health, and DOH Assistant Secretary Kenneth Ronquillo, respectively. Commending the DOH and MTaPS for their successful completion of the COVID-19 response virtual training, Ms. Lang-Alli said:
“We are expanding the access to the IPC e-learning modules so they are readily available – at all times, for free, and for all health workers. This is an important step in enhancing the capacity of the health system to deal with this ongoing crisis.”
Health workers can earn professional development credits by completing the courses. DOH Undersecretary Carolina Vidal-Taino, speaking on behalf of Dr. Francisco Duque III, Secretary of Health, acknowledged this opportunity, saying that:
“While the intention of these e-courses is to keep our health workers abreast with updated information on IPC, health care waste management and supply chain management areas, it is an added advantage that we can support them in keeping their professional licenses valid through this mechanism.”
The online courses are expected to reach health workers across the country and further strengthen their IPC, waste management, and supply chain capacity. This is a testament to the commitment of USAID in investing in people, technology, and resources to fight this pandemic and to MTaPS’ continuous support to the Philippine government in the use of innovative capacity building strategies.
To learn more about the courses, visit the DoH Academy site.