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Strengthening frontline public health services during COVID-19: Introducing innovative IYCF tools for health and nutrition workers

May 25, 2021 | Introducing innovative IYCF tools for health and nutrition workers

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global emergency affecting almost every country in the world with millions of cases and deaths. Research findings show that there have been disruptions and reductions in key maternal and child health services in many countries due to COVID-19.

Funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, Save the Children and partners have developed new tools focused on innovative solutions to support health and nutrition workers providing lifesaving services and support to caregivers during a time requiring social distancing, reduced contact, and other service adaptations.

In this one hour webinar, the following innovations were presented:

  1. An interactive digital platform providing access to the most up-to-date and relevant resources in Infant and Young Child Nutrition in Emergencies
  2. A set of micro-learning videos for frontline staff; and
  3. A set of globally-endorsed guidelines on the provision of e-Counseling, the facilitation of group support, and home visits during COVID-19.

Practitioners from Save the Children and partners shared their experiences and challenges protecting and supporting caregivers and their children during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their insights on these innovative and game-changing tools.

Participants shared their thoughts, questions, and considerations around the new tools.

This webinar featured representatives from:

  • Save the Children’s global technical team
  • Infant Feeding in Emergency (IFE) Core Group
  • Frontline health and nutrition practitioners from Save the Children country programs

Platform/Global Repository

Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies Hub (“IYCFEHub”), This growing collection (460 resources at this writing) presents resources related to IYCF, filterable by audience, topic, user challenge, country, and many other facets. The repository is curated by Save the Children, IFE Core Group, ENN, USAID, ACF USA, PATH, and SafelyFed Canada (2021).

Guidelines (housed on IYCFEHub)

Videos (housed on Save the Children’s Resource Centre)

These two videos are both approx. 5 minutes long, and are available in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish.

The Guidelines and Videos above were produced by Save the Children, IFE Core Group, ENN, USAID, ACF USA, PATH, and SafelyFed Canada (2021).

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A COVID-19 isolation and treatment center in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh (Sonali Chakma / Save the Children)

Integrating Technical Sectors in a COVID-19 Response: A framework and expert panel discussion

May 6, 2021 | Speakers: Maria Tsolka, Kathryn Bertram, Lori Murray

This webinar is part of READY’s roll-out of the new Integrated Framework for Isolation and Quarantine as Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions Against COVID-19. The webinar explained how the tool can be used and featured experts discussing some of the challenges and solutions to integrated programming. READY’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Advisor Maria Tsolka, Social and Behavior Change Advisor Kathryn Bertram, and Senior Humanitarian Child Protection Specialist Lori Murray were our panelists for this exciting launch.

Liberian scientists and community members discuss zoonotic disease risk reduction, including tips on living safely with bats. (Image credit: Catherine Machalaba / EcoHealth Alliance)

Operationalizing One Health to Support Humanitarian Sector Outbreak Response

April 16, 2021 | 08:00-09:00 Washington (GMT-4) // 13:00-14:00 London (GMT+1) | Speakers: Dr. Catherine Malachaba, EcoHealth Alliance; Dr. William Karesh, EcoHealth Alliance; Dr. Katherine Newell, Save the Children; Emma Diggle, Save the Children

Please note: Due to a technical error, this recording is missing the first ten minutes of the webinar. | View presentation slides

The One Health approach has gained interest at intergovernmental and national levels as a key focus of COVID-19 recovery efforts. However, operationalization remains limited in practice, and to date there has been poor integration of the humanitarian sector in One Health initiatives.

This webinar provided an overview of the One Health concept and practical guidance on entry points for One Health approaches targeted to humanitarian sector operations for outbreak response. Tools and case studies showcased how One Health approaches are advancing multi-sectoral coordination in community-based surveillance and risk communication, development and implementation of plans and response measures, and design and use of information management systems. A key goal of the webinar is to promote dialogue on how One Health strategies can be best leveraged to add value to existing humanitarian operations to improve readiness for health threats and emergencies at the human-animal-environment interface.

This event was hosted by the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance-supported READY initiative. Live interpretation was provided in French for this event/La traduction en direct était fournie en français.


Dr. Catherine Machalaba serves as senior policy advisor and a senior scientist at EcoHealth Alliance, a scientific non-profit organization working at the nexus of conservation, global health, and capacity strengthening. She was a lead author of the World Bank Operational Framework for Strengthening Human, Animal and Environmental Public Health Systems at their Interface (“One Health Operational Framework”) published in 2018 to assist countries and donor institutions in implementing One Health approaches. She chaired the American Public Health Association (APHA) Veterinary Public Health group, where she led development of APHA’s One Health policy statement. She holds degrees in Biology and Public Health and a PhD in Environmental and Planetary Health Sciences.

Dr. William B. Karesh is the Executive Vice President for Health and Policy for EcoHealth Alliance. He served as the inter-project liaison for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT-2 program (a $140M effort to prevent infectious diseases in 30 countries) and is a member of World Health Organization’s IHR Roster of Experts. Dr. Karesh also serves as the President of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife and a Co-chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Wildlife Health Specialist Group. In 2016, he was appointed as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Katherine Newell is an Epidemiologist at Save the Children, focusing on epidemics and global outbreaks of infectious diseases. Katherine has also worked on strengthening disease surveillance systems in South Africa and Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, for the World Health Organization. She has diverse public health experience and, prior to her position at Save the Children, worked for the University of Oxford in collaboration with WHO to develop the clinical case report forms for COVID-19 used to inform public health and clinical operational response. She holds degrees in Public Health and a PhD in Epidemiology.

Emma Diggle is a Senior Health Advisor at Save the Children, focusing on vaccine, epidemic, and pandemic preparedness and response. She holds a clinical degree in nursing and a degree in public health. Emma has extensive field experience, in particular responding to a number of different infectious disease outbreaks in different humanitarian settings. She has a particular interest in the role public health information and surveillance can play in outbreak detection. In addition to supporting various country programs, Emma sits on a number of global working and academic groups.

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