A team of researchers has begun conducting study on the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on healthcare workers to come up with policies that will aid in future emergency preparedness and response.

To be conducted in Mombasa and Kilifi county, the study is aimed at knowing the difference in how male and female healthcare workers suffered the COVID 19 impacts and the mitigation measures.

Dr. Merleen Temmerman, Director CoEWCH EA, making presentation to health stakeholders during Research and Training Equipments’ handover to Mombasa County Health Department. Photo by Chiriba Ali, KTMN.

The gender-based study targeting non-paid and paid health workers, will be conducted under  project dubbed WHEELER(Women in Health and their Economic, Equity and Livelihood statuses during Emergency Preparedness and Response).

Speaking during handover of research and training equipments worth Ksh. 600,000 to Mombasa County’s health department, the County’s Executive Committee Member Dr. Sabah Ahmed said that the research will help prepare the hospital providers to be prepared should any pandemic occur.

“From the COVID19 lesson, we are looking at how going forward we will be able to build resilient systems to overcome these disparities within different counties,” Sabah said.

Sabah commended the equipment donations saying that it will help in communicating data collected from the community levels to the analysis centers in order to inform decisions.

Dr. Sabah suggested that research stakeholders should incorporate all levels of health workers including community health volunteers  so as to enhance the needed research.

Dr. Marleen Temmerman from the Agakhan university explained that the research will reveal how the mental health and socio- economic issues affected health workers to be in better position to cope in a probable future re-occurrence.

She said that as much it is assumed that female health workers suffer pandemic’s impacts more than the male, the research will determine the truth through an evidence-based approach.

“This program is looking at, is there a difference between male and female workers in relation to the economic livelihood and career. It will look at how the two genders suffered differently during the COVID19 pandemic and the mitigation measures”, Temmerman said.

“We want to collect this data, not because we want another pandemic to occur but to ensure that the healthcare sector is better prepared to take actions in relation to health status for the next pandemic”, She clarified.

WHEELER project is funded by the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC) in collaboration with Agakhan university’s Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health East Africa, University of Manitoba, and the counties of Kilifi and Mombasa.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of https://www.ktmn.co.ke KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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