Today, WHO is launching a series of video courses on epidemics, pandemics and health emergencies. Geared for those working in emergencies, the courses are also accessible to the public.
The courses – which are on a platform called OpenWHO – transform complex scientific knowledge into easy-to-understand introductory video lessons, using a smaller bandwidth so that people in any country can access them. Offline versions are available on both IOS and Android devices.
The platform can host an unlimited number of users and is free and open to anyone wishing to register.
OpenWHO has three main channels:
- Outbreak focuses on diseases that are epidemic or pandemic-prone such as Ebola, yellow fever and pandemic influenza.
- GetSocial! covers social science interventions such as risk communication, community engagement and social mobilization.
- Ready For Response offers courses on WHO’s emergency response framework, Incident Management System and pre-deployment trainings for people who might be sent to countries for emergency response.
In addition, there is a channel for partners in the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), which provides them with the training necessary to participate in responses.
All courses are in English and many are also available in Arabic and French. To ensure that everyone involved in emergency response has the latest science and operational information, WHO makes some courses available in local languages and dialects during epidemics and emergencies. For example, during the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, WHO translated the Ebola introductory course on the platform
into Lingala, the local language most used in the epicentre.