VN034 National Consultant for development of a COVID-19 occupational health and safety guideline for healthcare workers
Acute respiratory infections caused by SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) are group A acute infectious diseases, capable of spreading rapidly between people. To date, the disease has not had specific therapeutic drugs. Some countries around the world and Viet Nam have started vaccinating against diseases, but the current number of vaccines is not enough to meet the needs, so prevention is very important.
In Viet Nam, the epidemic is complicated with many new variants such as those from the UK and India, high levels of infection, rapid spread in communities and in the workplace especially in health-facility, health workers are facing many risks of COVID-19 infections from sick people and their families. In addition, health workers must directly contact patients and directly participate in the handling of infectious disease outbreaks, which make them are very susceptible to transmission of infectious diseases. During work, healthcare workers may be exposed to occupational hazards that put them at risk of disease, injury and even death in the context of the COVID-19 response. These occupational risks include (a) occupational infections with COVID-19; (b) skin disorders and heat stress from prolonged use of PPE; (c) exposures to toxins because of increased use of disinfectants; (d) psychological distress; (e) chronic fatigue; and (f) stigma, discrimination, physical and psychological violence and harassment.
Mitigating these hazards and protecting the health, safety and well-being of health workers requires well-coordinated and comprehensive measures for infection prevention and control, occupational health and safety, health workforce management and mental health and psychosocial support (4). Insufficient occupational health and safety measures can result in increased rates of work-related illness among health workers, high rates of absenteeism, reduced productivity and diminished quality of care.
While providing care to COVID-19 patients and delivering essential health services, health workers may be exposed to other infectious hazards, such as bloodborne pathogens and tuberculosis. Therefore, the prevention and control of occupational infections among health workers requires a comprehensive approach, bearing in mind the hierarchy of controls and close collaboration between occupational health services and IPC programmes.
In the current situation, the Ministry of health is planning to implement the “Occupational Health and Safety Mission (OSH) for health workers in the prevention and control of COVID-19” in 2021. Vietnam Health Environment Management Agency (VIHEMA) is responsible for development of OSH guidelines for health workers based on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO). A national consultant is hired to support VIHEMA to achieve this purpose.
Objectives of the consultancy activity
To develop a COVID-19 occupational health and safety guideline for healthcare workers based on guidance from the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization
Timelines: Part time for 5 months
Start date: 1 July 2021
End date: 1 December 2021
Address for applications:
World Health Organization
UN Building, 304 Kim Ma Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam
Or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: applicants should indicate vacancy notice number and title of position in the email subject