The READY Initiative, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Centre for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins University and the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies hosted a weekly series of COVID-19 related webinars from April to July 2020

To complement this initiative, COVID-19 Humanitarian, an open access, web-based platform, has been created to promote and value the collection and sharing of field-based COVID-19 programme adaptations and innovations, facilitating learning among organizations in different sectors and contexts.

Past webinars:

Lessons Learned from the Field: Experiences from the COVID-19 Humanitarian website.

1 July, 2020

For the final webinar of the COVID19 Humanitarian series, speakers discussed some of the lessons learned from the field that have been shared on the website, with a focus on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and triage.

Professor Paul Spiegel from the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health and select panelists discussed the challenges and some solutions according to different contexts on responding to COVID-19 in diverse humanitarian settings.

The recording of the final webinar will be available soon.

Violence Against Health Care and the COVID-19 Response

24 June 2020

Violence against health care in humanitarian settings is common and occurs with impunity. Assaults on health care, whether or not directed specifically at the COVID-19 response, impede efforts to control the pandemic and must be understood and addressed. Professor Len Rubenstein from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and select panelists discussed the nature of these attacks, and potential solutions for addressing them and keeping health care workers safe. 

The recording of this webinar is available here.

Caring for people with NCDs in Humanitarian Settings during the COVID-19 pandemic

17 June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the delivery of health services for people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in humanitarian settings. In this webinar, experts from humanitarian organizations and the World Health Organization shared their experience with challenges, current responses, lessons learned, and the pending agenda for non-communicable diseases in the context of the pandemic. 

The recording of this webinar is available here.

COVID-19 and maternal and reproductive health in humanitarian settings

10 June 2020

 The health, economic, and social impacts of COVID-19 are felt worldwide and most critically by those who are at risk of exposure, severe forms of illness, mortality, and those facing the brunt of the economic downturn. There is a risk that existing inequalities in maternal and reproductive health outcomes will be exacerbated, if we don’t act now. Maternal and reproductive health is at the core of global and national health efforts to prepare, respond, and mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

 This webinar discussed the primary and secondary impact of the pandemic on maternal and reproductive health and current mitigation efforts. An expert panel presented the latest epidemiology of the pandemic, provide current information about health care of pregnant women with COVID-19 and their newborns, and share programmatic adaptations to mitigate the secondary impact of COVID-19 on availability and use of maternal and reproductive health services from a global perspective and from experiences in Bangladesh and Colombia.

The recording of this webinar is available here.

The Next Crisis Wave of COVID-19: Impacts on household food security and nutrition and preparedness considerations

27 May 2020

As the world focuses on responding to the first wave of COVID-19, we must recognize the next crisis wave: the impacts of the pandemic on household food security and nutrition. As disruptions to markets, food systems, and health services are felt critically by households around the world, we invited experts and field practitioners to discuss projections related to food and nutrition security as well as ways we are adapting to both measure and respond to these shocks.

The recording of this webinar is available here.

COVID-19: Magnifying Gender Inequalities

20 May 2020

Yeva Avakyan from Save the Children and select panelists had a fruitful conversation about the impact of COVID-19 on gender equality. Initially labelled the ‘great equalizer,’ the COVID-19 pandemic is anything but. Anchoring the discussion in the feminist perspective, speakers discussed how power hierarchies exacerbate inequalities during a crisis, including the ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender-based violence. Colleagues from East Africa and Middle East shared examples of programme adaptation in humanitarian contexts. The panelists shared practical actions and discuss lessons learned in gender equitable program response to COVID-19.

The recording of this webinar is available here.

Additional resources referenced in this webinar:

WASH and COVID-19 in Humanitarian Settings: How can we improve hygiene behaviors?

13 May 2020

The seventh webinar focussed on “WASH and COVID-19 in Humanitarian Settings: How can we improve hygiene behaviors?”. The webinar’s speakers discussed community-level preventative behaviors for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in crisis-affected settings. In particular, speakers focused on handwashing promotion and physical distancing measures in these challenging settings. The webinar started with a global overview on why these behaviors can be challenging to promote in crisis-affected settings and provide some practical solutions. We then heard two case studies which shared examples of current work and the challenges of implementing preventative programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria

The recording of this webinar is available here.

COVID-19 case management in humanitarian and low-income settings: dilemmas and decisions.

6 May 2020

This webinar tackled the difficult but central issue of how to manage COVID-19 patients in humanitarian responses and low-income settings. We discussed decision-making on which services to offer and dilemmas to consider, and hear from a real-life scenario treating patients in Sudan.

The recording of this webinar is available here.

Risk communication and community engagement: perceptions, misinformation, and concerns in African countries in the time of COVID-19

29 April 2020

Recent reports and provisional modeling by UN agencies and the WHO estimate that the number of cases and lives lost in Africa due to COVID-19 could surge within 3-6 months. Urban populations are of particular concern since the majority lives in overcrowded neighborhoods, while unreliable access to hand-washing facilities and widespread rumors and misinformation are challenges in both rural and urban settings. Sharon Reader, Senior Advisor Community Engagement and Accountability, IFRC Africa Regional Office, and Sharath Srinivasan, co-founder and Senior Advisor, Africa’s Voices Foundation discussed the work they are doing to understand the concerns, perceptions, and misinformation barriers to practicing preventative behaviors Sub-Saharan African countries, and what is being done to address them.

The recording of this webinar is available here.

Mental health and psychological support for COVID-19

22 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and related public health measures have profound effects on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of people all over the world. In humanitarian settings, the pandemic leads to increased demand for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) interventions, and strains existing MHPSS programming. Drs. Peter Ventevogel, Fahmy Hanna and Florence Baingana explored how MHPSS issues in pandemic settings can be addressed, drawing upon field examples from COVID-19 and past outbreaks, including the West Africa Ebola epidemic.

The recording of this webinar is available here.

Programme Prioritization and Adaptation in COVID-19 Times

15 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many systemic deficiencies in outbreak preparedness and response capacities across the world, and has posed significant challenges to program implementation and service delivery. Dr. Michelle Gayer, Emergency Health Director, IRC, and select panelists discussed some of the challenges faced by humanitarian agencies and innovative ideas for programme adaptation to circumvent these challenges.

The video of this webinar is available here.

COVID-19: Can we really learn from past outbreaks?

8 April 2020

During this webinar, speakers discussed various lessons emerging from past global outbreaks of infectious disease through multiple perspectives and disciplines, from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2005, to H1N1 in 2009, to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, each of which marked a milestone in the history of infectious diseases. They synthesized what information has surfaced from these challenges to inform efforts to strengthen governance and response in today’s COVID-19 pandemic.

The video of this webinar is available here.

 Shielding high-risk populations against COVID-19

1 April, 2020 

The first webinar of the series focused on shielding high-risk populations against COVID-19. 

The video of the webinar is available here.