Covid-19 Health Worker Voices
The Nossal Institute for Global Health and the School of Computing and Information Systems, both at The University of Melbourne, have entered into a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Twilio, to initiate a WhatsApp channel that enables the compilation of voice memos from health workers across Australia and the world on their challenges and successes in the face of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis.
We will ask health workers to share their stories through simple voice memos which will give us insight into the specific challenges they face, as well as solutions proposed and innovations undertaken, by both health workers and the health systems in which they work. The stories will also convey the range of coping strategies adopted by health workers over time. The hope is that the sharing of stories will also provide cathartic purpose for health workers.
The idea was borne from the experience of other epidemics/ pandemics, principally the recent Ebola pandemic, which highlighted that in order for valuable lessons to be learned around support needs, the response capacity and resilience of health systems, insight is needed into how decisions are made and with what effect, as the public health needs evolve. Such data are challenging to collect in hindsight. We seek to gather individual health worker testimony as an archive for analysis both during the current crisis, as well as afterwards to inform retrospective evaluative work and efforts to boost future preparedness of health systems.
The findings of the project will be analysed through automated intelligence and more formal methods of qualitative data analysis with weekly updates through this webpage once the channel is launched.
Participation in the platform will be free and open to all health workers, enabling an extensive data repository of stories:
· both from within Australia and across the world – to include a range of high, middle and low income countries, and from a range of urban, per-urban and rural settings within countries;
· from all levels of the health system and from a full spectrum of health worker cadres - from community health workers, to residential aged care workers and hospital intensive care units;
· spanning all phases of the pandemic - including crisis, subsequent epidemic waves, post-pandemic recovery and preparedness for future pandemics.