Editor's note: This article has been updated with further training resources as of Apr. 6.
The World Health Organization announced on March 18 that it is providing real-time training related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their OpenWHO Massive Online Open Courses for COVID-19 are targeted toward health professionals as well as the general public and key decision makers.
As the COVID-19 situation is quickly changing, WHO plans to expand upon the languages offered, update current courses, and add new resources as the world learns more about COVID-19.
Their current course offerings include:
- Operational Planning Guidelines to Support Country Preparedness and Response
- Infection Prevention and Control
- Acute Respiratory Infections (ARIs) and basic hygiene measures to protect against infection
- Clinical Care Severe Acute Respiratory Infection
- Emerging respiratory viruses, including COVID-19: methods for detection, prevention, response and control
Several other organizations and companies are also offering COVID-19-specific training. IntelyCare, a Massachusetts-based workforce management solution for long-term care facilities, is offering free COVID-19 training for nurses, while Area9 Lyceum, a training and education company also headquartered in Massachusetts is offering a free course to laboratory professionals. In addition, the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies at the Watson Institute of Brown University is partnering with nonprofit health care organization Project HOPE to develop a COVID-19 training program for health care workers.
According to a Watson Institute press release, the training, which is still in development, will focus on “core competencies, including biology and transmission mechanisms; infection prevention and control; contact tracing; screening and triage; diagnosis and management; stabilization and resuscitation; health facility operations and surge capacity; and risk communication and public health messaging.”
Watson and Project HOPE are currently looking into which platforms to use for the training, including online and telephone-based methods, given current travel restrictions. They aim to use a “Training-of-Trainers” model to quickly build a group of qualified teachers to train health care workers in their own communities. The training will begin next month in Kosovo and North Macedonia before expanding to other countries.
“Health workers are the most valuable resource of any nation’s health care system, and we need to ensure that they are well trained all over the world to protect themselves and care for patients during this worldwide pandemic,” said Adam Levine, director of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies at the Watson Institute.
WCG, a company that supports the clinical research community, recently launched a weekly webinar series that aims to share COVID-19 clinical research best practices as quickly as possible. The goal of the series is to help researchers conducting clinical trials continue to do so effectively in the COVID-19 era.
“In the past weeks, many industry colleagues have reached out to us for guidance and for our perspectives on the many uncertainties that they are facing. We consider it a duty and a privilege to offer our guidance and support to share the best practices that will shape this era of discovery. After all, this is the time for all of us who are part of the global research community to share advice on how best to conduct clinical research during this pandemic, so no one feels like they are making decisions alone,” said Donald A. Deieso, PhD, executive chairman and CEO of WCG.
Elsewhere in the world, the Australian Government’s Department of Health is offering a 30-minute training module on its website for health care workers.
Since this article was first published, the following free training courses have been launched: