WHO publishes updated interim guidance on community-based health care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
A community health worker gives medication to a community member
HKI/Sierra Leone

On May 5, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) published “Community-based health care, including outreach and campaigns, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” which includes updated guidance for neglected tropical diseases (NTD) programs, as well as other public health intervention programs.

This updated WHO guidance is intended to replace the previous interim WHO guidance disseminated on April 2, 2020. It contains specific considerations for national NTD programs and outlines activities that should be temporary suspended or continued with strict precautions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes considerations that should be taken into account when resuming NTD activities.

The updated guidance pertains to community-based health care activities of both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It is intended for decision-makers and managers at the national and subnational levels and complements a range of other guidance, including that on priority public health interventions, facility-based care, and risk communication and community engagement in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional technical and operational guidelines for implementing NTD interventions are available on the WHO website.

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Excerpts from Community-based health care, including outreach and campaigns, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic