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COVID-19 Actions in Spain, Part 2: Understanding COVID-19 from a public health perspective
Author: Andalusian School of Public Health
Understanding COVID-19 from a public health perspective, Andalusian School of Public Health, Spain
A snapshot of COVID-19 interventions from a School of Public Health.
In the first days of the quarantine, the Andalusian School of Public Health (EASP) created a space on its website for citizens and professionals, focused on providing information about Coronavirus and resources to help different sectors of the population facing confinement.
To this was added a space to understand the pandemic from a Public Health perspective. The portal has already published 75 entries, to which more than 50 EASP professionals and collaborators have contributed and has received 132,500 visits. It includes COVIDiario, a portal for statistical computing and graphics of national and regional COVID-19 data, run by EASP, based on governmental figures with the objectives to monitor the evolution of the epidemic and to use this information to disseminate epidemiological concepts in a language understandable to the public. Trends are also disseminated through social media.
Furthermore, the very proactive Andalusian School of Patients has started a classroom for people in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19. Through this website, one can access a space for "Confirmed cases of COVID-19" and another for "Close contacts". In each of them, anyone in this situation can find information about: instructions and tips for isolation and quarantine and videos of patients, caregivers and professionals, who have gone through this situation, with first-hand testimonies.
In the fields of training, research and evidence dissemination
Based on needs, EASP reached out with several training topics including a Contact Tracing training program for 600 professionals from Primary Care Centers, a training program on strengthening and coordinating surveillance activities, and training for health service workers about workplace risk prevention. The latest success story is the creation of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed as a virtual learning community for nursing homes for the elderly and other care facilities. The MOOC includes online training courses dedicated to health care workers at Andalusian nursing homes and other care facilities. More than 3000 people have signed up so far to the following sessions: emotional well-being of people who live and work in nursing homes and other care facilities in the context of COVID-19, basic measures of prevention and protection against COVID-19 in residences, care for people with COVID-19 who live in nursing homes, design of a contingency plan against COVID-19, end-of-life accompaniment and detection and notification system for COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and other care facilities.
The EASP also contributes to the management of the pandemic with the development of a statistical predictive model on prevalence, care activity and frequency of usage of health services and occupation of intensive care units, among others. Data is shared in a platform with the Andalusian Health Ministry for supporting regional public decision makers.e have signed up so far to the following sessions: emotional well-being of people who live and work in nursing homes and other care facilities in the context of COVID-19, basic measures of prevention and protection against COVID-19 in residences, care for people with COVID-19 who live in nursing homes, design of a contingency plan against COVID-19, end-of-life accompaniment and detection and notification system for COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and other care facilities.
In collaboration with the medical journal Gaceta Sanitaria, EASP launched 45 interview sessions, live streamed on YouTube, with public health experts that were viewed almost 1500 times. Interviews picked up the knowledge at the given moment and at the same time provided a diverse view of public health. Interviewees spoke about resilience of health systems, mental health, sociology of care, health inequalities, epidemiological surveillance, palliative care and death, anthropological perspective of health, gender perspectives, professionalism and prioritized decision-making, technology and health, community health, nursing management; to name a few. All interviews can be viewed here.
Furthermore, EASP published 15 scientific articles with diverse angles, listing just a few of the topics here: socio-economic impact, nursing homes, comorbid conditions and chronic disease, gender perspectives, psychosocial aspects in health workers, etc. All publications can be accessed here.
Finally, senior and associated professors are daily involved in providing management support to public decision makers and participate in the fight against misinformation. More than 120 newspaper articles, radio interviews, TV interviews and podcasts were published.
An international view of the pandemic
In line with the interest arising in other countries, EASP has dedicated a platform on information and resources specialized in the pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Maghreb and the Middle East. The portal has received 1,440 visits.
Furthermore, an exchange of experiences in COVID19 management by Ibero-American Countries was launched. In partnership with the Ibero-American Ministerial Network for Health Learning and Research –RIMAIS-, EASP has organized 10 webinars about “Lessons learned from Covid-19 management” leading to a pre-conference with more than 1000 attendees. Speakers were policy- makers and academics from 10 different Latin-American countries. This pre-conference laid the foundations for the realization of a Conference "Lessons learned from Covid-19 and challenges for health systems" to be held on September 28-30, 2020.
As well, EASP has been involved in the “Health Information for All” initiative since 2018 and all relevant products and activities generated by EASP during the pandemic are being disseminated through the Spanish forum covering 34 countries