Support for frontline health workers in sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East

Monday, 15 June, 2020

Support for frontline health workers in sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East

Johnson & Johnson has partnered with The World Continuing Education Alliance (WCEA), The Aga Khan University (AKU) School of Nursing and Midwifery East Africa and the International Council of Nurses to support frontline health workers in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

As a result of the collaboration, a focused training program will be delivered via mobile app, with the aim of reaching 600,000 nurses and midwives. The elements of the collaboration are as follows:

  • AKU has established a certifiable COVID-19 curriculum with six modules adapted from World Health Organization training.
  • The International Council of Nurses has provided support through its collaboration with nurses associations, nursing councils and ministries of health.
  • The WCEA is bringing this knowledge to scale via its virtual platform and mobile-based training capacity.
  • Johnson & Johnson is funding the rollout across 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal. Toll 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 frontlines who are at the heart of delivering care,” said Luis Diaz-Rubio, Managing Director of Janssen Emerging Markets and Board Member of the Johnson & Johnson Foundation (Scotland).

“Never has this ambition been more important than it is now as we face the biggest healthcare crisis in our lifetime.

The partnership … 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.”

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 frontline workers, the app will encourage information sharing, creating effective and quick feedback channels that will provide greater insight into the training needs and experience of those on the frontline across the world.

WCEA EMEA Director Craig Fitzpatrick said, “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.

Dr Eunice Ndirangu, Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM), AKU, said, “Preparedness of nurses and midwives who are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 is critical to successfully dealing with the pandemic.

“Through the use of online and a mobile app, SONAM in partnership with Johnson & Johnson and WCEA is able to ensure access to nurses and midwives, even those in rural and hard-to-reach areas.”

International Council of Nurses CEO Howard Catton added that, “Ensuring nurses have the most up-to-date information, training and guidance on COVID-19 is a priority for 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.”

Image credit: ©

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