Worldwide support

Status: Current response

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the humanitarian sector to rapidly adapt the way it works. Our urgent emergency responses have continued, but we’ve also been part of some exciting developments in online learning and training.

With COVID-19 having a big impact on international movement, we’ve helped set up a system for allowing humanitarian health teams to travel during the pandemic.

As well as delivering in-person responses in several countries, we’ve been providing remote training, plus technical support to other teams and organisations, as outlined below.

Our selection process

Working closely with experienced technical partners, we’ve taken our pre-deployment selection exercise online. The result is an immersive, challenging virtual experience.

Moving training online

We’ve adapted our previous in-person training programmes, such as Hostile Environment Awareness Training, to create progressive online versions. This ensures we can still train NHS and international staff to the highest standard in preparation for UK Emergency Medical Team responses during the pandemic.

Psychological first aid

We’ve created a psychological first aid course adapted to COVID-19. This can be delivered online as a part of our induction process for new members of the UK-Med Register.

Just in Time training

Working with the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Medical Team Secretariat, we contributed to their Just in Time training for emergency medical teams responding to the pandemic.

Virtual reality learning

In collaboration with the research Centre in Emergency and Disaster Medicine (CRIMEDIM), we’ve developed a virtual reality learning tool. This simulates a highly specialized real-world environment, enabling safe training for high risk scenarios. It also means more people can be trained, including those working in remote areas. The tool uses the layout of a coronavirus treatment centre developed by WHO and our technical advisor, Veronica Sanchez. It supports understanding of infection prevention and control measures, including how patients move around a hospital.

Treatment centre design

We’ve provided technical support to countries, teams and other organizations adopting the coronavirus treatment centre design. We’ve helped them comply with international guidelines, and adapt them to the context and the resources available where they are.

Photos: Images from our virtual reality learning tool, developed in partnership with CRIMEDIM.

We’re grateful to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for UK Aid funding from the British people to fund this important response.