Defending Local Healthcare Heroes


In the Philippines, over 400,000 cases of COVID-19 have already been confirmed to date, of which more than 8,000 have died. As cases continue to rise amid the easing lockdown restrictions, fear of rapid virus transmission is becoming prevalent once again. To address this concern, Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), in partnership with international global health organization Project HOPE, organized a series of online training courses to aid healthcare workers in screening and treating COVID-19 patients. 

Under the Saving the Lives of the Healthcare Workers project, ASSIST and Project HOPE will provide Infection Prevention & Controls (IPC) training to healthcare workers and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to COVID-19 hotspots in the Philippines.

From December 15-18, a total of 65 participants from various health institutions attended the fourth and final batch of training-of-trainers seminars in 2020. These seminars were organized in partnership with the Philippine College of Surgeons (PCS) Surgery in Underserved Regions for Education (SURE) Commission, and covered topics such as infection prevention and controls, diagnosis, and other similar areas related to COVID-19 patient management. 

During the session, medical trainers warned of the possible surge of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, especially after the holiday season. Dr. Elmer Soriano, MD, MPA, one of the trainers, emphasized healthcare workers play an important role in spreading awareness and reducing virus transmission. 

“If we do this well, then there will be less transmission during the holidays because people understand how to celebrate Christmas without transmitting the virus,” Dr. Soriano said in his statement. “We should not let our guards down during the holidays. In fact, we should be even more vigilant,” he added.

Of the total 422 participants trained across all four batches, an additional 210 healthcare professionals were trained as Master Trainers for Infection Prevention & Control. 

To learn more about how to support the project, please contact ASSIST’s Director of Projects and Strategy, Francis Macatulad at [email protected]