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WHO strengthens support to COVID-19 contact tracing efforts to break chains of transmission in the Philippines

The World Health Organization (WHO) increases its support to the national government, through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Health (DOH), with the Contact Tracing Handbook for more than 1,700 local government units (LGUs) to enhance their local COVID-19 contact tracing systems and response strategies.

 

“Contact tracing and management remains one of the most important and effective public health interventions to break the chains of transmission of COVID-19,” said Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO Representative to the Philippines. “The handbook will be an essential tool to support our local government units in ensuring an efficient and effective system for detecting possible cases and limiting the spread of the virus.”

 

Although contact tracing has been around for decades, the increased demand due to COVID-19 has led to an immediate and substantial need for trained workers. To help meet this need and build capacity, WHO has produced and handed over 85,000 contact tracing handbooks to assist the local contact tracing teams in making its implementation more efficient. The handbook was made possible with the collaboration of WHO, DILG, DOH, and the National Task Force against COVID-19, with the technical assistance of the University of the Philippines Manila College of Nursing.

 

Establishing a nationwide contact tracing and management system

 

Given the recent surge in cases, the country is at a critical juncture and needs to ramp up capacity to effectively implement contact tracing and management (CTM) and other response measures. This includes establishing a well-coordinated nationwide CTM system that uniformly and effectively functions across LGU boundaries and includes quality assurance processes on national and sub-national levels.

 

The Handbook will be an essential tool to establish this system as well as support workers to engage and communicate with people and communities and raise awareness, acceptance and support for contact tracing for COVID-19 and future outbreaks and health emergencies.

 

WHO will continue to work closely with the stakeholders to establish the CTM system and provide ongoing support to strengthen local, regional and national capacities to break COVID-19 chains of transmission, protect health, and minimize the social and economic impacts of the virus.

 

Contact tracing for COVID-19: A Handbook for Local Contact Tracing Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO Philippine Country Office Focal Person for Contract Tracing:

Harold Doroteo, [email protected]