More than 25 000 people across the globe have accessed real-time knowledge from WHO experts on how to detect, prevent, respond to and control the new coronavirus in the 10 days since the launch of an open online training.
The learning team of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme worked with technical experts to quickly develop and publish the online course on 26 January – 4 days before the 2019-nCoV outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern.
Approximately 3000 new users have registered for the training every day since its launch, demonstrating the high level of interest in the virus among health professionals and the general public. In addition, more than 200 000 people have viewed the introductory video to the course on YouTube.
The high engagement levels emerged as the international community launched a US$675 million preparedness and response plan to fight further spread of the new coronavirus and protect states with weaker health systems.
The free learning resource is available to anyone interested in novel coronavirus on WHO’s open learning platform for emergencies, OpenWHO.org. The platform was established 3 years ago with emergencies such as nCoV in mind, in which WHO would need to reach millions of people across the globe with real-time, accessible learning materials.
The online training – entitled “Emerging respiratory viruses, including nCoV: methods for detection, prevention, response and control” – is currently being produced in all official UN languages and Portuguese.
“Our job is to work with technical health experts to package knowledge using adult learning principles, quickly so that it is most useful to health workers and our staff,” said Heini Utunen, who manages OpenWHO for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE). “Our online platform – OpenWHO – is already accessed by users from every country on earth, providing more than 60 courses in 21 languages. Delivering trainings in the local language of responders is really important, especially in an emergency”.
WHE has been investing in learning and training to strengthen preparedness and real-time response to health emergencies. The programme developed its first-ever learning strategy in 2018 and has a small dedicated Learning and Capacity Development Unit that allows WHE to develop trainings quickly and get know-how to those who most need it at the front line.
For the latest information on the new coronavirus, visit the 2019-nCoV page.