MSH Launches Toolkit to Support Local Leaders During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has launched a new toolkit to help local leaders sustain health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sustaining Essential Health Care during COVID-19: A Toolkit for Local Leaders to Adapt Health Services in Low-Resource Settings was developed to help local leaders respond to a surge in health care needs that threaten to overwhelm health systems.
This toolkit aims to assist local leaders in maximizing their local health care delivery in a way that efficiently responds to the new needs presented by SARS-CoV-2 while continuing to provide essential non-COVID-19 services.
How does the toolkit help local leaders?
The toolkit uses a conceptual approach to protecting health systems during a health emergency. By focusing on the underlying concepts rather than specific planning guidance, leaders are given the tools to help them make decisions in a confusing and rapidly evolving situation that serve the ultimate objective of saving lives and reducing suffering.
The toolkit includes simple, easy to use worksheets that assist local health leaders, planners and managers in preparing for and responding to pandemic surge. A practical, implementable, and holistic approach to allocating scarce resources allows local leaders to maximize their health care capacity and capabilities.
The toolkit provides directions for an orderly, dignified, and locally-contextualized transition from routine health service delivery to triage based service delivery that maintains essential services for both pandemic and non-pandemic patients.
According to Dr. Elke Konings, MSH’s Senior Director for Pandemic Preparedness and Response: “The toolkit acknowledges the critical role of local leaders in a health emergency and provides tools to help with good decision-making and early action. Our aim is to equip local leaders with very pragmatic, simple tools to respond not just through this pandemic, but to prepare them for future epidemics that threaten their communities. We welcome feedback from these leaders as they use the toolkit.”
Dr. Jean Kagubare, Deputy Director, Health Systems Design at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation commented: "I found this toolkit to be very practical, and particularly useful for local leaders in resource constrained settings."