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An Equity-Based Approach to Pandemic Preparedness and Response: Emerging Insights from COVID-19 Global Response Leaders

July 7, 9, 14, and 16 | 10am - 11:30am EDT / 4pm - 5:30pm CAT
Free Registration

Jointly offered by Partners In Health and the University of Global Health Equity, this four-day online course presents a practical orientation to pandemic preparedness and response by public and global health leaders, implementers, and policymakers.

This unique opportunity to learn from experts leading national and global efforts to address COVID-19 and other pandemics will train participants to analyze and explain challenges of pandemic preparedness and response through a practical, interdisciplinary and equity-driven approach. 

Course Overview

Case studies on the response to COVID-19 in the U.S (the Navajo Nation; Newark, New Jersey; and Massachusetts), and in Rwanda will be analyzed to illustrate principles and frameworks for the design of effective interventions to emerging pandemics.

Participants will be assigned pre-readings and videos to watch prior to each session. During the online session there will be a lecture that elaborates on key themes, followed by a presentation of the Case Study, and an open discussion among presenters and participants. Participants are welcome to attend any sub-set of sessions. Participants who complete all four session will be awarded a certificate. The content will subsequently be available for online self-learning.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the evolution of COVID-19 and other pandemics and epidemics and role of the leadership, policy makers and implementers in effective systems readiness.
  • Evaluate essential practices to address domestic and global epidemics and pandemics. Be able to assess, critique and improve the existing tools and resources for effective implementation of COVID-19 response.
  • Compare the dimensions of public health response to COVID-19 and other epidemics.
  • Analyze strategies to integrate health equity as a central principle to the success in overcoming COVID-19 and threats of other infectious diseases outbreaks.
  • Share and discuss preliminary lessons on effective design and implementation of COVID-19 interventions.
  • Recognize the important contribution the community plays in slowing down the spread of the infectious disease.
  • Review the progress in prevention and therapeutics of SARS-CoV-2.

 

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Course Schedule

Session 1: A Global Overview and Evolution of COVID-19

Date

Tuesday, July 7

Instructors 

Prof. Paul Farmer, Prof. Agnes Binagwaho, Dr. Sheila Davis, Prof. Abebe Bekele, Dr. Joia Mukherjee

Overview

This session will provide a global overview of major forces that have shaped the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will review the global burden of SARS-CoV-2; its epidemiology; and the historic legacy of global pandemic preparedness and response systems. Building on both evidence-based models and lived experience, faculty will lead a reflection journey on our recent shared history with COVID-19. While efforts are still underway to understand all aspects of the pandemic, this session previews social-economic impact, domestic and global health solidarity and its challenges, and the role of bilateral and multilateral organizations. Participants will also explore ups and downs of global health diplomacy and major strategies for effective pandemic preparedness and response, and health systems recovery.

Learning Objectives 

  • Review the origin, evolution, and early warning indicators of SARS-CoV-2
  • Understand the legacy of past pandemics on domestic and global pandemic preparedness and response
  • Discuss successes, pitfalls, and impact of global health financing and global health diplomacy
  • Illustrate the relationship between global health security and pandemic preparedness and response
  • Discuss leadership dimensions for effective preparedness and response to COVID-19 and other pandemics
  • Describe the role of bi-lateral and multilateral organizations in crossing the equity chasm for effective pandemic preparedness and response
  • Understand the role of robust public health responses to pandemic control

 

Session 2: Integrated and Human-Centered Contact Tracing: Lessons From Massachusetts, US

Date

Thursday. July 9

Instructors 

Dr. Joia Mukherjee, Dr. John Welch, Dr. Emily Wroe, Dr. Shada Rouhani, Dr. Paul Sonenthal

Overview

As of June 17, 2020, the United States reported the largest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths with over 2 million and 115 980, respectively. All States’ public health departments have invested significant resources to tackle COVID-19 since the first case was confirmed on Jan. 21, 2020. Social distancing, testing, contact tracing, and treatment have been adopted as means to stop the spread of the virus and minimize its case fatality rate. However, the design and package of COVID-19 response vary from State to State. In Massachusetts, the department of public health established a collaboration with Partners In Health to launch a community contact tracing collaborative to support the implementation of contact tracing by local boards of health. The collaborative focuses on reaching out to the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients to ensure they have the support they need to self-isolate, and to help protect others who have been potentially exposed to the virus. This session brings senior technical advisors of the Massachusetts response to share best practices and preliminary lessons. Beyond epidemiological surveillance, the faculty and expert panelists will highlight human-centered approaches to tackle COVID-19 and other pandemics.

Learning Objectives

  • Review pillars of effective contact tracing and the role of public-private partnership in community-contact tracing initiatives
  • Discuss preliminary lessons, successes and challenges of COVID-19 contact tracing
  • Understand the role of public health leaders and private sector stakeholders on advancing contact tracing
  • Describe clinical care referral pathways and care coordination as essential components of effective contact tracing initiatives
  • Review resources and tools to support contact tracing and other components of pandemic preparedness and response

 

Session 3: COVID-19 & Health Equity: Perspectives of Frontline Implementers

Date

Tuesday, July 14

Instructors 

Dr. Regan Marsh, Dr. Sonya Shin, Katie Bollbach, Dr. Patrick Ulysse, Cate Oswald, Dr. Jill Moses

Overview

In this session, participants will review and discuss equity dimensions and integration for effective public health responses to COVID-19 and other pandemics. Frontline implementers, public health leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders involved with COVID-19 response in the U.S. and globally will share their insights on the impacts of inequity and racism on pandemic response. This session includes a thorough review of equity as a core determinant of public health outcomes, with a focus on the United States. As such, participants will examine the role of policy development and advocacy as a means to address health systems gaps. Based on practical case studies of Navajo Nation and Newark, New Jersey, in the U.S, our faculty and expert panelists will discuss equity integration as a core strategy to tackle COVID-19 and build sustainable systemic changes.

Learning Objectives

  • Review the current state of equity and its implications on public health response to COVID-19
  • Discuss a potential theory of change to strengthen health equity integration in the US and globally
  • Illustrate the impact of global health disparities and discuss potential recommendations
  • Describe and discuss the role of public health implementers, policy makers, and civil society
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of current and future leaders in eliminating social disparities in the context of pandemic preparedness and response

 

Session 4: Equity & Innovation: The Response to COVID-19 in Rwanda

Date

Thursday, July 16

Instructors 

Prof. Agnes Binagwaho, Hon. Minister of State Tharcisse Mpunga, Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, Dr. Jean Baptiste Mazarati, Dr. Joel Mubiligi

Overview

Participants will be guided through the response to COVID-19 in Rwanda, including the important measures the country did both before and after the first case of COVID-19. On March 14, 2020, when the first case of COVID-19 was reported, Rwanda rapidly went into full lock-down including immediately implementing quarantine measures and systematic contact tracing, and a week later halting air travel and closing borders. Despite threats from adjacent countries and the added risks of wide-reaching effects such as increased food insecurity and poverty, Rwanda is emerging as a leader in its response to COVID-19 globally, particularly in a low-resource setting. Success has come from strong and decisive leadership, decentralization of care, implementation of evidence-based interventions, innovations such as the use of drones to continue drug delivery and the local development of prototypes of ventilators (despite still being finalized, they will soon strengthen the health sector), social mobilization to support the poor and strong South-to-South collaboration. Government institutions and the response team instantaneously reacted to the pandemic with the overall goal of containing COVID-19 while ensuring the well-being of Rwandan residents including the most vulnerable.

Learning Objectives

  • Illustrate the critical importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and coordination to address problems in global health delivery.
  • Discuss how Rwanda used community education to contain COVID-19.
  • Critically evaluate the challenges facing low-resource settings during the pandemic and after it through an equity lens.
  • Discuss the significance of data-driven decision-making and response.
  • Investigate the strategic investments needed to continue care.
  • Recognize the importance of social mobilization to support the marginalized.
  • Evaluate the Government of Rwanda’s response to emerging infectious diseases

 

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Learn from the experts leading efforts to address COVID-19.

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