The current COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be devastating for health systems globally. To slow the spread of the virus and to reduce its toll, country leaders must manage strong systems-focused, multi-sectoral coordination, planning, and monitoring. Countries are asking how to create and manage the cross-sectoral teams needed to mount a coordinated response to the pandemic, including developing pandemic/epidemic preparedness and response strategies and strengthening coordination across sectors and across different levels of government to ensure a prompt and effective response.

On September 30, 2020 the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) and the Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator (Accelerator) hosted webinar to share some of the ways countries are coordinating their national COVID-19 responses, including the Accelerator’s support to Ghana; share insights on the priority challenges and key questions countries face; and learn about an upcoming virtual collaborative. 

Panelists:

  • Professor Samba Sow is the World Health Organization’s Director General’s Special Envoy for COVID-19 for Africa and will also be serving as a technical facilitator for the COVID Learning Collaborative convened jointly between R4D and the JLN with funding from BMGF. Prof. Samba is currently working at the Centre for Vaccine Development (CVD) in Mali. CVD is one of three sites in Mali with capacity for COVID-19 testing, and is Mali’s leading center for epidemiolocal surveillance, laboratory sciences, field surveys and clinical trials. 
  • Mr. Joseph Addo-Yobo is the Executive Director of Total Family Health Organisation (TFHO), an indigenous non-governmental organization in Ghana. Prior to joining TFHO he led and managed several USAID projects across Africa forging innovative with governments, non-governmental organizations and private companies for the sustainable delivery of health services and products.  When Ghana reported its’ first case of COVID-19, Joseph volunteered as the Program Manager at the Office of the Presidential Coordinator for the Country’s COVID-19 response.
  • Professor Jongsu Ryu is a Professor at the Graduate School of Public Health at Yonsei University, Seoul teaching at the Global Health Security/ Health Policy & Financing Master’s degree program targeting mid-career public health professionals. 
  • Professor Raquel Duarte is a pulmonologist and a Professor in the Medical School and Institute of Public Health of Porto University, and head of the Infectious Diseases Research Group at Institute of Public Health, Porto, Portugal. She was an advisor to the regional COVID-19 response in Portugal’s North region, organizing a multi-disciplinary team of mathematicians, public health professionals and communication experts to develop and resource response  strategies, develop and execute communication plans on television and social media, and organize multi-sectoral stakeholders and responses for transport, hospitality and nursing homes industries.

Following the webinar, the Accelerator, led by Results for Development, in partnership with the JLN will launch a 6-month virtual collaborative focused on multi-sectoral, multi-level coordination of pandemic responses that will facilitate cross-country exchange on what has worked, and not worked, and generate practical guidance.

Webinar presentations:

Webinar recording: