As of 18 March 2020, there have been 207,855 cases and 8,648 deaths confirmed worldwide. Global spread has been rapid, with 166 countries now having reported at least one case.
The last time the world responded to a global emerging disease epidemic of the scale of the current COVID-19 pandemic with no access to vaccines was the 1918-19 H1N1 influenza pandemic.
As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, countries are increasingly implementing a broad range of measures intended to reduce transmission by reducing contact rates in the general population and to reduce the health impact of the epidemic.
Disasters such as pandemics pose a major challenge to human health and development. COVID-19 illustrates the profound impact disasters have on health systems.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recommend scaling up implementation of holistic disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and plans as means to improve resilience to disasters globally.
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) are offering this e-learning course to present the Public Health System Resilience Scorecard as a tool to assess public health systems capacity to address aspects of disaster planning, mitigation and response. The scorecard is a 10-point check list to evaluate to what extent disaster risk management strategies integrate public health considerations.
The Scorecard developed by UNDRR addresses issues related to pandemics, epidemiology, health supplies chain management, underlying health risk factors and vulnerable group management, health data, tracking and alerts for communities, quarantine, and surge capacity. All issues which are very relevant to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
 WHO Health Emergencies Programme. COVID-19 Situation Dashboard. Update 18 March 2020.
 Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team. (16 March 2020). Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand. Imperial College London
In line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and SDG 3.D, this e-Learning Course aims to contribute to strengthening the capacity of government officials for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health threats.
At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Identify public health related issues and disasters
- Explain the term public health system
- Evaluate to what extent health is integrated into disaster risk reduction strategies at national and local levels
The e-Learning Course is comprised of 2 modules that can be covered over the period of 1 week:
Module 1: Concepts and introduction
Module 2: Public Health System Resilience Scorecard
In addition, webinars to introduce this tool will take place starting 1 April 2020.
- Government officials
- Health professionals
- Disaster management professionals
- Academic and training institutions working on DRR