Session Date: April 21, 2021
Session Description: This panel presents a data-driven, remotely-coordinated approach to COVID-19 workforce modeling and results from its implementation in Kenya and Mali. The pandemic has added strain to health systems in low- and middle-income countries that already struggle to meet staffing requirements. In response, in March 2020, IntraHealth International rapidly mobilized experts in health workforce, data science, epidemiology, and clinical practices to forecast caseloads and anticipate health worker needs. We combined health systems, demographic, and COVID-19 data and model verification activities with World Health Organization (WHO) tools we adapted to the African context (Health Workforce Estimator and Adaptt Surge Planning Support Tool). Working remotely with teams in Kenya and Mali, we enacted a phased implementation plan to gather stakeholder support, collect data related to health systems and COVID-19 cases, populate data into the tools, verify modeled results with results on the ground, and develop policy measures to meet projected needs. Ministries of health in Kenya and Mali used these policy measures and data generated by the tools to direct allocation of resources to meet the predicted upcoming demands of COVID-19 workload surges.