Free online course for healthcare workers to fight Covid-19

As part of the educational initiatives aimed towards promoting Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), UNESCO New Delhi is supporting a training course designed to upskill nursing and healthcare professionals in India engaged with treating Covid-19 patients. This is a free online course offered by Generation India Foundation, a social impact initiative of McKinsey & Company. The course is divided into modules complemented with a series of assessments to ensure learning outcomes, providing a certificate upon successful completion.

This collective effort by UNESCO New Delhi, Generation India Foundation, Columbia Asia Hospital, The Trained Nurses’ Association of India, ABP News, Learnet Skills, and Hosmac aims to reach more than 100,000 nurses and healthcare workers throughout India.

The TVET response to Covid-19 is a unique industry driven initiative as it breaks important lessons down into different modules with learning outcomes to facilitate needs-based practical learning of the most important professional group right now. In this context, ILO, UNESCO, and other partners have started conducting surveys to gather information on how TVET system in various countries are responding to the pandemic, it is still work in progress and not many specific examples have emerged.

Hence, it is important to recognize the challenges faced by essential workers and address their needs. While healthcare workers all across the world have been applauded and appreciated for their brave effort, it’s important to assist them with concrete and accessible tools.

The course is designed in a video and demonstration format, requiring around 4 hours, allowing for self-paced progress. It is accessible at all times from any device (laptops, phones, tablets) free of cost.

The content for the course has been designed in line with the standards set by World Health Organization (WHO) globally, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in India keeping in mind the broad guidelines and advice for the public to deal with Covid-19.

This model has been tested in Italy, which was in a crisis with regards to the spread of Covid-19, requiring a major upskilling of nurses to handle the situation. To date, the course had an uptake among 10% of the total nurses in Italy. Overall, it has been well-received, with 80% of participating nurses stating the course was immediately relevant to their work and 93% saying the quality of the course was excellent or very good.

UNESCO New Delhi aims to advance Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) namely SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 4 (quality education), and SDG 16 (partnership for the goals) through this initiative by supporting healthcare workers with skill-training through a multi-stakeholder partnership to ensure responsive health action amidst the pandemic, ultimately, leading to improved healthcare services.

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