During the COVID-19 pandemic, all countries in the Region of the Americas implemented measures to strengthen health services to respond to the new needs and challenges it has generated. Largely at the start of the pandemic, responses focused on strengthening and expanding hospital capacity in terms of human resources, personal protective equipment, hospital beds, intensive care units and medicines, supplies, equipment, and medical devices.
As the pandemic has spread over time and territorially in countries, health systems have seen the need to maintain health services to the population; ensure access, continuity and quality of care; while maintaining actions and measures for the containment and care of COVID-19 at Community level, in hard-to-reach or border areas and vulnerable populations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the validity of the postulates and axes of the Universal Health Strategy, with a view to maintaining and advancing the achievement of equitable access to quality health services sensitive to gender, social and cultural differences. Far from limiting the response of services to hospital levels, the activation and use of all health service network resources, including the First Level of Care (FLC), is a critical and essential component in addressing the current pandemic. Increasing the resolution capacity of the FLC is essential to facilitate public access to health services and continuity of care at Community level.
As a cornerstone of health systems, measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 as well as actions aimed at ensuring the continuity of essential health services, promotes the necessary and sustainable conditions for adjustment strategies or step-by-step return to normal for the duration of the pandemic.
Provide recommendations and share experiences to strengthen the resolution capacity of the First Level of Care during the pandemic as a strategic element of the health services network's response to COVID-19.
- Overview of the impact of the pandemic on health services and care at the First Level of Care.
- Share experiences and lessons learned in adapting and strengthening the First Level of Care to ensure continuity of essential services during the pandemic.
- Share recommendations to adapt and strengthen the resolution capacity of the First Level of Care in the context of the Pandemic, based on the Universal Health Strategy.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Date: September 24, 2020.
Time:2:00 pm to 3:30 pm WDC time, 12:00 pm Costa Rica, 1:00 pm Jamaica
Platform ZOOM. Registration in advance for this webinar at:
Language: English and Spanish.
Live- YouTube: www.youtube.com/pahotv
The conference is aimed at national health authorities, mayors and municipal health secretaries, director of health care networks, directors of First Health Services, First Level health personnel.
Amalia Del Riego, Unit Chief of Services and Access Unit, PAHO.
- Welcome and introduction. James Fitzgerald, Director of the Department of Health Systems and Services. Brief introduction to the conference and explanation of the background and frameworks that underpin the need to strengthen the First Level of Care. (5 minutes)
- Countries' experiences with organization and measures taken in response to COVID-19 and continuity of essential services at the First Level of Care during the pandemic. Guest countries: Paraguay, Costa Rica, Bahamas, and Jamaica. (10 minutes per country)
- Adaptation and strengthening of the First Level of Care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hernán Luque, HSS/HS. It describes the relevance of integrating and articulating essential programs and services at the First Level of Care within the framework of actions aimed at containment and mitigation of COVID-19 at Community level. (10 minutes).
- Questions and Answers (25 minutes)
- Closing. Anselm Hennis, Director of the Department of Non-Communicable Disease and Mental Health (5 minutes).