Stowelink in partnership with the Kukachora network and other entities has been running a series of monthly webinars since March where we have been able to gather youth from 24 institutions of higher learning situated across the country. We have talked on various issues ranging from mental health, to innovation to entrepreneurship in the health sector just to name a few. On the last knowledge exchange sessions, the topic was Lessons From 2020 And Experiences From 2021 and here are some of the highlights.
LESSONS IN HEALTH CARE FROM 2020
First, Build Resilient Health Systems
The most important element of pandemic preparedness is a resilient health system to rapidly detect, assess, report, and respond to novel outbreaks. The International Health Regulations, which govern pandemic response, require all countries to have core health system capacities, including surveillance, laboratories, human resources, and risk communication. Health systems also need capacity to test for, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases.
Second, Leadership and Public Trust Are the Single Greatest Indicator of Success
Although health systems are important, COVID-19 demonstrated that even countries with strong capacities often performed badly. The Global Health Security Index, for example, ranked the US first in the world for pandemic preparedness. Yet, as of August 12, the US had reported more than 5 million cases, the most COVID-19 cases and deaths globally. The coronavirus pandemic teaches that leadership is crucial. Perhaps the single greatest indicator of success in responding to COVID-19 has been whether governments gain the public’s trust.
Third, Defend the Integrity of Science and Public Health Agencies
Science has enabled societies to understand the virus, its modes of transmission, and most effective public health interventions. Within weeks of reports of a cluster of atypical pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, scientists had sequenced the virus. Epidemiological studies subsequently determined severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection was transmitted person to person, including by asymptomatic individuals. Further research showed that personal hygiene, physical distancing, and face coverings were effective nontherapeutic interventions. Research laboratories rapidly developed viral and antibody testing technologies.
OPPORTUNITIES IN HEALTH CARE FOR 2021
Virtual care and remote medicine
If it’s possible to receive the same level of care at home as you would from a visit to a doctor’s surgery or outpatient clinic, then surely it makes sense to do so? Particularly for minor and routine appointments, the number of virtual visits have skyrocketed during the pandemic and is predicted by Forrester analysts to hit one billion by the end of 2020. It’s also thought that during 2021 one third of virtual care appointments will be related to mental health issues.
Healthcare a consideration in every aspect of life
In 2020, every company has had to become a tech company as data and computing have become essential to everything we do. In 2021, every company will learn to become a healthcare company, too, as safeguarding employees and customers becomes a core requirement of doing business. Once again, technology will play its part in mitigating these dangers, from health apps that monitor our activity and remind us to take breaks and exercise, meditation and mindfulness apps, and remote therapeutic services.
Lets change lives
Let’s save lives
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