By Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia
Promoting good hand hygiene is one of the most basic yet powerful tools that Member States of the WHO South-East Asia Region must continue to leverage to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All Member States should urgently provide universal access to public hand hygiene stations as they embark on the next phase of the pandemic response, including at the entrance to every public or private commercial building and at all transport locations, especially major bus and train stations, airports and seaports. Regular and thorough hand-washing with soap or use of an alcohol-based rub are critical measures each of us can take to protect ourselves, each other and those who care for us: health workers.
As the world marks the annual WHO “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands” campaign on 5 May, which is also the International Day of the Midwife, it is imperative that Member States continue to enhance hand hygiene in health care. Based on WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme global estimates, 35% of health facilities in the Region lack functional hand hygiene facilities at points of care and toilets. Effective infection prevention and control measures, including hand hygiene, are crucial to ensuring health facilities do not become hubs of COVID-19 transmission, and to reducing health care-associated infections from other pathogens, which account for an estimated 8 million deaths globally each year. Nurses and midwives in particular must be provided the resources and training required to implement good hand hygiene practices to respond to the pandemic and to safely maintain essential services.
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There are several opportunities for Member States and health leaders in the Region to immediately scale up their support to nurses, midwives and other frontline responders to deliver clean care, for which they have WHO’s full technical and operational assistance.
First, all public and private health facilities should make functional hand hygiene stations readily accessible. Facility administrators should position hand hygiene stations at all points of care, in areas where personal protective equipment is put on or removed, where health care waste is handled, and within 5 metres of toilets. Hand hygiene stations must also be accessible at health facility entries and exits, and in waiting and dining rooms and other public areas.
Second, all health facilities should establish or strengthen hand hygiene improvement strategies. Facility administrators should provide refresher training on hand hygiene to nurses, midwives and other health workers. They should procure adequate quantities of good quality hand hygiene supplies. All staff must be encouraged to adhere to the “five moments for hand hygiene”, which are vital to protecting patient safety.
And third, health facility leaders should make hand hygiene a key quality monitoring indicator. Compliance with hand hygiene standards should be a core part of every health facility’s infection control regimen, with areas of risk identified and solutions found as a matter of priority. As part of this, all health facilities should sign up to and fully implement WHO’s global “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands” campaign.
In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, Member States in the Region must continue to support and strengthen the ability of nurses, midwives and other frontline responders to combat COVID-19, while also empowering the public to stop the spread and reduce the strain on health services. We are in this together and must get through it together. The health and well-being of the Region’s near 2 billion people is in all of our hands.
Tempotimor (Dili)- Prezidente Autoriedade Rejiaun Administrativu Espesiál Oekusse-Ambeno (RAEOA) José Luis Guterres "Lugu" ofisialmente entrega sentru saúde movel ida ba Sentru Integradu ba Jestaun Krize (SIJK) nasionál hodi apoiu serbisu prevensaun no migitasaun ba surtu Covid-19.
Tempotimor (Dili) - Hafoin Partidu KHUNTO fila kotuk ba partidu koligasaun foun Aliansa Maioria Parlamentár (AMP), Partidu CNRT ezije atu Partidu KHUNTO atu halo konferénsia hodi deklara retira husi AMP.
Tempotimor (Dili)-Bankada PLP iha Parlamentu Nasionál hatete, desizaun Prezidente Parlamentu Nasionál Arão Noe mak kansela enkontru lider bankada fó sinal la di’ak ba funsionamentu Parlamentu Nasionál (PN).
Hosi Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Diretora Rejionál OMS ba Rejiaun Sudeste Áziatiku
Promove ijiene liman ne’e mak maneira báziku ida nunee mós maneira forte ida ba Membru Estadu hosi Rejiaun Sudeste Áziatiku tenki kontinua halo tuir hodi hamenus COVID-19 hada’et. Membru Estadu hotu tenki ho urjente fornese asesu universal estasaun fase liman iha públiku haree ba Membru Estadu hotu tama ona iha faze tuirmai responde ba pandemia, inklui iha entrada hotu ba fatin públiku ka fatin komérsiu privadu no iha fatin transporte hotu-hotu, liu-liu iha estasaun transporte públiku, aeroportu no portu. Fase liman beibeik ho sabaun no bee ka uza dezinfetante ne’e nuudar medida preventiva ida ba ita hotu atu proteje an, proteje malu no sira ne’ebé kuidadu ita: pesoál saúde.
Tempotimor (Dili) - Karta petisaun inisiál ne'ebé Aliansa Maioria Parlamentár (AMP), kompostu husi Partidu CNRT ho nia aliadu sira ne'ebé fó sai, iha Kinta Feira (30/4), atu entrega ba Tribunal Rekursu, iha Segunda (4/5), la konsege tanba sei kompleta dokumentu balun.
Tempotimor (Dili)-Atual Prezidente Komisaun Funsaun Publiku (KFP) Faustino Cardoso ne'ebé hetan nomeiasaun hodi asume pasta nu'udar Ministru Administrasaun Estatal (MAE) husu ba Primeiru Ministru Taur Matan Ruak hodi nomeia figura ida hodi lidera KFP.
Tempotimor (Dili)-Bankada CNRT iha Parlamentu Nasional konsidera mosaun destituisaun meza Parlamentu Nasional nu'udar rumoris de'it.
Opinion By Jose Antonio Belo
Timor-Leste has managed the Covid-19 crisis very admirably since the crisis started. There has been no new Covid-19 cases for the last 5 days and the number of positive cases has been decreasing. On top of that, Timor-Leste has also seen zero deaths since Covid-19 became a global pandemic.
The bulk of the planned purchase of medical equipment and supplies for the management of this crisis has yet to materialize. Perhaps with the latest developments, further consideration should be given as to the actual requirements for the management of this crisis.
The purchasing of medical equipment and supplies can be divided into 2 large categories:
It is certain that personal protective equipment will be required. Even if it is all not utilized during this Covid-19 crisis, these will still be used daily at health centers and hospitals.
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However, further consideration should be given as to whether large purchases of highly specialized medical equipment are required. Ventilators and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment require very highly specialized personnel to operate them in a safe manner. Usually, they are managed by specialized Anesthesiologists, ICU nurses, respiratory therapist or physicians who are specifically trained to manage these equipment. Timor-Leste has a severe lack of these.
As such, much deeper consideration is needed if Timor-Leste is considering the purchase of around 100 units of ventilators and ICU beds. These are very expensive items to purchase. However, cost is not the main issue as we cannot value lives with money. The main issue is, are there enough capable people to operate and maintain these equipment?
Ventilators are dangerous to patients if not operated properly. They require constant monitoring, correct settings, constant power supply and they need to be operated in absolutely sterile and hygienic conditions. While Timor-Leste does need some of these equipment, Timor-Leste should also purchase according to its capacity to operate them instead of buying them and storing them. Worse still, operating them without the relevant expertise and causing harm to patients.
While it is understandable at the start of the crisis to make provisions and plans to purchase these highly specialized equipment due to urgency and uncertainties surrounding how the crisis will unfold, Timor-Leste can now have a better understanding of the likely impact Covid-19 will have on Timor-Leste.
Should Timor-Leste continue to test and monitor all those in quarantine as well as to keep its borders shut, the chances of a massive Covid-19 crisis seems less likely at the moment.