IiH innovator OneWorld Health currently operates 11 self-sustaining healthcare facilities and 1 mobile medical unit in East Africa and Central America, staffed by 200 professionals, who provide life-saving care to more than 100,000 patients each year. OneWorld remains committed to its mission of providing quality, affordable care to communities in need. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the organization has worked hard over the past 30 days to develop a robust response plan in the communities it serves.
As facility-based care remains the heart of its service model, OneWorld has adapted safety measures, including social distancing, in order to continue to serve patients. The organization is also providing comprehensive training on COVID-19, implementing new infection control measures, and procuring essential PPE, in addition to launching several new service models to reach patients remotely:
- Online COVID-19 Screening Tool. As concerns rise in regard to the risks and realities of COVID-19 infection, individuals will want more information to determine the risk of visiting a public or private health center. OneWorld has developed a patient symptom checker that provides comprehensive public health advice and directs patients as to proper self-care, and if necessary, to seek medical attention. This simple algorithm can be shared widely on social media and through WhatsApp groups, emails and texts.
- TeleHealth Consults. While not every medical consult can be done via telehealth, OneWorld can provide access to a medical professional for many patients in the safety of their homes. After completing an online intake form through social media or WhatsApp, a patient receives a call from a provider to review their symptoms and decide whether they need to go to a medical facility or can care for themselves at home. This saves clinic resources, prevents high numbers of patients grouped together in waiting rooms, and diverts patients with clear COVID-19 symptoms to public facilities that are equipped to treat them.
- Pharmaceutical Delivery. Patients remaining “safe at home” still have ongoing medical and pharmaceutical needs that OneWorld can address. Patients can call the nearest facility or the central Telehealth line, to consult with staff, refill their prescriptions and order over-the-counter medications, which will then be delivered to their homes by drivers who have received infection control training and supplies.