Najib underlines how important it is for countries to have surge capacity and for health workers to hone their skills, since this pandemic won’t be the last one.
Distribution and use of standardized applications, information, diagnosis, treatment are really, really important to try to deal with future pandemics and also other kinds of issues.
Najib: Overall, when dealing with pandemics and trying to gather as much standardized and accurate information as possible, it’s really important to follow standardized and centralized procedures. In this way, information can be quickly analyzed and quickly reported, and it’s also important to have standardized methods of diagnosis and treatment, because you know what you’re dealing with. So, this distribution and use of standardized applications, information, diagnosis, treatment are really, really important to try to deal with future pandemics and also other kinds of issues.
But that said, it’s also important to break it down into small pieces and ensure that the communities and those in the frontline can use them properly. Information can be centralized, but then that information needs to be brought down to a community level to make sure the supplies and resources that are limited anyway because of a pandemic can be put to good use.
Training of healthcare workers has been mentioned as one of the key ways to make sure high-quality services are delivered. Many doctors and nurses who just finished medical school or nursing school or were still studying, were asked to participate in COVID-19 response. A lot of the basic skills such as sample collection of PCRs, taking temperatures and different kinds of procedures, including surveys, can be done quite easily with very basic public health training. Though what’s important and has been mentioned several times in [the PRC] and in many other developing countries, in these kind of extraordinary circumstances, it’s very important to have surge capacity, meaning the buffer of resources you have and also to make sure that some healthcare workers are ready to learn while doing or getting their training while doing, which is one of the best ways to get your training. This was seen as a good opportunity for many healthcare workers to learn and provide their skills when they’re needed most.