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No fewer than 25,000 people across the globe accessed real-time knowledge from the World Health Organisation (WHO) experts on Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in 10 days since the launch of open online training.

WHO stated in a statement posted on its website that the people accessed information on how to detect, prevent, respond to and control the new coronavirus.

It stated that the learning team of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme worked with technical experts to quickly develop and publish the online course.

It added that “the team developed and published the online course on January 26, — four days before the 2019-nCoV outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern.

“Approximately 3,000 new users registered for the training every day since its launch, demonstrating the high level of interest in the virus among health professionals and the public.’’

In addition, it stated that the high engagement levels emerged as the international community launched a 675-million-dollar 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 on WHO’s open learning platform for emergencies, OpenWHO.org.

The platform was established three 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.

Picture used to illustrate Coronavirus story Picture used to illustrate Coronavirus story

Heini Utunen, who manages OpenWHO for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) said “Our job is to work with technical health experts to package knowledge.

“We package knowledge using adult learning principles so that it is most useful to health workers and our staff.

“Our online platform – OpenWHO – is already accessed by users from every country on earth, providing more than 60 courses in 21 languages.

“Delivering training in the local language of responders is really important, especially in an emergency.”

WHO 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.

It has a small dedicated Learning and Capacity Development Unit that allows WHE to develop training quickly and get the know-how to those who need it at the front line.

(NAN)

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