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May 31, 2021

Intense Discussions Among Doctors, Nurses and Administrative Officials Working on the Front Lines of COVID-19 Response

JICA Tokyo held the online sessions extending over three weeks. In the sessions, doctors and nurses on the front line of COVID-19 responses in Japan were invited as lecturers. Eight administrative officials who are each in a core position of the formulation of health policy in each country have participated in the sessions.

Discussion with doctors and nurses on the front line of COVID-19 response in Japan

PhotoOnline sessions were distributed from JICA Tokyo.

One of the lecturers was a specialist in a national institution involved in measures regarding Japan‘s COVID-19 response from the perspective of health crisis management. The other lecturers were a medical safety officer and a nursing director who have experienced patient acceptance at each regional hospital. The lecturers had a discussion with the participants.

There were lively question-and-answer sessions after the introduction of national measures, such as three-Cs avoidance, cluster measures, inspection system, and contact confirmation application.

In the experience of patient-acceptance, issues due to visitation restrictions were taken up. Problems such as the mental burden on patients and their families and the difficulty of sharing information, which prevented team medical care, aroused sympathy. The introduction of online visits was expected to solve such problems.

In addition, regarding the specific process that the local hospital experienced from the acceptance decision to the opening of the ward, questions were asked about the infection risk to staff and prejudice against patients, and the teamwork of the hospital was highly praised.

The fight against COVID-19 and Ebola in each country

PhotoPresentation of the director of the Primary Health Care Bureau of the Ministry of Public Health of Sierra Leone

The director of the Primary Health Care Bureau of the Ministry of Public Health of Sierra Leone, a trainee who completed this training in 2019 and a participant this year, made a presentation on his experience of dealing with Ebola hemorrhagic fever that occurred in his country in 2014. A few days ago, the infection in a neighboring country recurred and the situation was unpredictable, so he was on the stage between emergency meetings. He told of his experience at that time being utilized for the COVID-19 response. His impassioned speech also included the topic of vaccines and the ingenuity of social mobilization. In addition, from Lebanon, where the number of people infected with COVID-19 has increased rapidly after the large-scale explosion in the capital Beirut in August 2020 and the tight medical system has become a problem, Director of the Bureau of the Ministry of Public Health, who was a trainee in 2007, gave a presentation. Based on the knowledge gained from this training, the Bureau of Public Health took the stage to improve the abilities of nurses and social workers at the front lines of medical practice, transfer accurate knowledge about infection control to local residents, and patients and medical care. There was an explanation about a plan to work on the mental care of workers. Different countries have common issues, and trainees from each country listened enthusiastically and expressed their opinions.

Share many issues related to health policy

PhotoBig Smiles of the participants after completion of all the sessions.

Participants were very busy responding to COVID-19 in their own country, but all of them actively participated until the end.

In addition to introducing the COVID-19 response in Japan and other countries, important themes for considering health policies such as physical infection countermeasures for buildings, human resource development of doctors and nurses with/post Corona, and safety nets for vulnerable groups, were taken up.

Despite the various restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 epidemic, we reaffirmed that it is even more important to promote universal health coverage by establishing a service provision system and ensuring access.


  • Event date: February, 2021
  • Title of the training: JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program‘Health Policy Development and Implementation Toward UHC'
  • Participating Countries: Afghanistan, DRCongo, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Africa


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