Health practitioners from Haiti participated in a virtual course on Hospital preparedness for crisis planning

Health workers in Haiti

Washington DC, 22 April 2021 (PAHO)- Forty-two health practitioners from ten hospitals in Haiti participated in a ten-week virtual training course to strengthen the hospitals’ capacity to deal with crisis situations in the country. The initiative was organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Human Resources for Health unit, PAHO/Haiti, and the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) to build local capacities to plan, implement and monitor health crisis situations. 

The virtual course, offered through the PAHO Virtual Campus for Public Health, was designed by GIMI to prepare a work/contingency plan for Haitian hospitals to handle health crises. Each hospital nominated 2-3 participants who worked together as a team to learn practical tools and skills required for the implementation of a preparedness plan for medical crisis management in the hospital. The sessions were held twice weekly from 14 July to 17 September 2020 and included 30 academic hours. 

The course was designed as a practical workshop and included a theoretical framework, assignments, group discussions, and real-life exercises. The program focused on the management of human resources for health (HRH) during a pandemic with emphasis on:
•    Embedding behavioral changes
•    Supplies and medicines
•    Waste Management 
•    Equipment maintenance
•    Bed management and resilience 
•    HR management during epidemics 

GIMI experts supported and gave participants feedback on their plans throughout the program. At the end of the course, the hospital teams presented their crisis preparedness plans that were evaluated by the experts. The learning materials and final presentations will be available on the PAHO/Haiti Virtual Campus for Public Health node. 

The Galilee International Management Institute delivers training in several technical areas including health systems management and preparedness and response to disasters and emergencies. This initiative was coordinated by the PAHO Human Resources for Health unit’s Fellowship program that facilitates capacity-building activities as part of the Plan of Action on Human Resources for Universal Health. 

Participants’ comments on the course

I humbly believe that this course is of crucial interest in this pandemic period, starting with the behavioral standards in emergency situations, time management, etc., up to the end of the course. The knowledge on infrastructure is very useful as it reinforces the knowledge used in my supervision/evaluation practices of both public and private health infrastructures. 
Dr. Edda Pierre Paul
Head of the Accreditation and Quality Control Department (SACQ)

The most useful skill delivered during this course was the staff’ work valorization and motivation. Indeed, using resources to value the work of health professionals has greatly improved their performance. Therefore, participation in a training seminar allows the workers to increase their performance; also showing gratitude for the worker who has worked overtime, or publicly acknowledging the worker who stood out, are all elements that have helped to improve the service offered to patients. 
Dr. Emmanuel Louis Charles
Medical Director of the “Hopital Communautaire de Reference Ary Bordes de Beudet (Haïti)