latest covid-19 situation report

FEBRUARY,  2022

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Content provided by W.H.O​ (www.who.int) Note: Content, including the the headline, may have been edited for style and length.

On 10 February 2022, South Sudan inaugurated its Public Health Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This is a critical component of detecting and controlling any potential outbreak and serves as the strategic coordination center for health emergencies, including the COVID-19response.

The center is part of a WHO-implemented US$ 4.2 million African Development Bank grant project that included procuring an oxygen plant, vehicles, essential medicines, biomedical equipment and personal protective equipment.

“The African Development Bank and WHO have played a crucial role in strengthening our capacity to reduce, mitigate and manage the adverse impacts of COVID-19,” said Dr Victoria Anib, the Undersecretary, Ministry of Health.

WHO South Sudan Representative, Dr Fabian Ndenzako, Dr Ndenzako described the establishment of the second phase of the Public Health Emergency Operations Center, which equipped it with hardware and software to facilitate emergency response operations, as “a key milestone in line with compliance with the International Health Regulations(2005) to strengthen communication and coordination for effective public health response.”

Boosting The mobility of healthcare workers to support communities in Romania

“During the pandemic the need for health-care workers to visit patients and care for them at home has become increasingly important. Community health nurses and health mediators are often a person’s first point of contact with the health and social care system, and as members of the communities themselves, they have a unique understanding of the neighborhoods and people they serve,” said Dr Cassandra Butu, acting WHO Representative in Romania. To address this need, the WHO Country Office in Romania recently donated over 1 800bicycles and helmets to health-care workers serving vulnerable communities, including rural areas where transport links are poor.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, restrictions limited people’s ability to access health care services and required many vulnerable people to self-isolate. Without the visits of community health care workers many people would have seen their health suffer severely. Particularly at risk were elderly patients who needed help with deliveries of basic goods (food, medicines and protective face masks),as well as regular health check-ups.

Many patients with chronic conditions, disabilities and special needs required medical care that could not be postponed and could only be carried out at home due to the pressure on hospitals and risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Pregnant women and new mothers needed regular health checks, practical training on correct breastfeeding techniques and nutrition, as well as immunizations for their babies and infants.

Another vital service provided by these health care workers over the last year is mobilizing their communities to get vaccinated – informing people about the vaccination schedule, ensuring that they have not missed doses, educating about vaccine benefits, and helping them to get to vaccination centres.

Community health nurses and health mediators serving their patients through home visits travel hundreds of kilometres a month, both tiring and time-consuming. The WHO-donated bicycles enable them to deliver timely care.

The equipment donation was made possible with the support of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the Romanian Ministry of Health and the County Public Health Directorates as part of measures to invest in professionals providing essential health services in local communities during the pandemic.

WHO and the Syrian Arab Republic combine efforts to raise COVID-19 vaccine accessibility and uptake

In coordination with the national health authorities, WHO and partners continue to bridge vaccine inequity and increase vaccination rates in the Syrian Arab Republic, aiming for the 40% national COVID-19vaccination target by April this year; despite sufficient supply as of 27 January to vaccinate 39% of the population, currently the percentage of fully vaccinated Syrians remains as low as 5%.

With WHO supporting the operating costs of vaccine administration, vaccination is now offered in 962 fixed vaccination sites: 39 hospitals and 923 primary health care centres. Implementing various strategies to scale up vaccination campaigns in the country, the national health authorities are supporting special teams to conduct vaccination at government institutions, universities, and schools. Syrians can also receive the vaccine whether or not they are pre-registered through an online platform.

With an additional 1075 vaccination teams in static locations and 391 mobile teams deployed in all governorates – a total of 5162 health care workers and over420 supervisors – the teams are operating at maximum capacity. The WHO-supported mobile teams are providing vaccination services at shopping centres, mosques, churches, ministries, and lately at the Syrian parliament. Moreover, mobile clinics have been stationed close to Immigration Directorates throughout the country to ease access to vaccination services. These significant efforts have been implemented hand-in-hand with regular vaccination campaigns at health centres all over the country.

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Content provided by W.H.O​ (www.who.int) Note: Content, including the the headline, may have been edited for style and length.

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