In Honduras, health workers trained via digital platforms help combat COVID-19 in the north


@ UNICEF Honduras


For Ministries of Health, it can be a challenge to share new lessons and guidelines with their health workforce, especially given the remote locations in which they work and the time it takes to plan for in-person trainings.


Honduras was confronted with the question of how to keep its health workers continuously informed during its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining routine health services. Given that traditional face-to-face education was not feasible during the lockdown and during high transmission waves (or periods), creative ways had to be found to guarantee that the health workforce was educated on how to prevent and protect against the virus.


The delivery of educational content through digital platforms provided a solution to address these challenges. To this purpose, UNICEF collaborated with the COVID-19 Digital Classroom Consortium, WHO, and John Hopkins University to develop an openly-licensed COVID-19 curriculum and digital content for health workers, producing a catalog of various courses with COVID-19 topics. The COVID-19 training content was adapted to a variety of digital platforms including Moodle, Internet of Good Things, Telegram, and an SMS Chatbot to support the training of health workers both online and offline.



@ UNICEF Honduras


In Honduras, UNICEF implemented a digital training process aimed at community health workers on six courses: 1) Prevention and Protection, 2) Addressing Mental Health, 3) Home-based Care and Isolation, 4) Community Based Surveillance, 5) Risk Communication and Community, and 6) COVID-19 Vaccination Training. The goal of the training is to strengthen the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Cortés through the incorporation of community health workers trained virtually in protection, prevention, case tracking and promotion of vaccination services.


The intervention focused on the Cortes Health Region of Honduras located in the northern part of the country as it is one of the regions of the country with the highest number of cases of COVID-19. In addition to UNICEF supporting community organizations and promoting volunteer work to increase maternal and child health services there, the remote trainings aim at reaching 567 community health workers in total. The training was made available to the health workers on WhatsApp.


The trainings were deployed for seven weeks over the summer months of June and July 2022 and reached over 650 health workers, more than initially expected. An outpouring of positive responses was received, including many health workers who sent videos and handwritten notes thanking the team for sharing these vital trainings. One of the community health workers sent a WhatsApp message encompassing her gratitude: “Thanks to all the people who are teaching us more about health and diseases, so that we can teach our people.” Given the success of this first deployment, UNICEF Honduras, with continued support from the Regional and HQ digital health teams, is beginning a second phase of trainings for community health workers, aiming to reach an additional 750 health workers in total in the second half of 2022.