For Immediate Release

Harnessing Jordan’s Private Health Providers to Care for COVID-19 Patients

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Online courses cover mental health, patients with disabilities, counseling, and more

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A health care provider in Jordan completes the Ministry of Health’s online COVID-19 training. (Photo: Sami Kattan)

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Online COVID-19 training is preparing health care providers in Jordan’s private hospitals and clinics to save lives and unlocking their potential at a time when their country needs them most.

The training, designed and carried out by the LHSS Project in collaboration with the Jordan Ministry of Health, has reached more than 3,000 hospital staff, recent medical school graduates, and students in their final year of medical or nursing school since October 2020.

Among them is Maram Alshawayyat, a nurse working in Istiklal Hospital. “The topics are very important to my work. I can log in and complete the sessions in my free time, which is very encouraging to me,” said Ms. Alshawayyat.

The training offers health care professionals courses on mental health and coping during the pandemic, treating patients with disabilities, providing home care for patients, and improving counseling skills. It also addresses some of the unique social and cultural challenges Jordan’s health care providers have encountered, including gender and equity concerns, since the pandemic hit in March 2020.

“I learned how to personally cope with stress at work,” says nurse Razan Al Qudah.

The course on managing COVID-19 patients with disabilities is one of the most popular. Designed and led by people with physical, hearing, visual, and mental disabilities, it has helped health care providers rethink how they care for their patients.

“I learned how to communicate properly with patients with disabilities, and how to protect them from infection whenever they visit the hospital,” said Khaled Al Amro, a physician working in Ibn Al Haitham Hospital.

The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of Jordan’s health care providers. From challenges dealing with patients to balancing home and social responsibilities, men and women health professionals cope with stress in different ways.

“This training was very useful to me on a personal and professional level. I learned how to personally cope with stress at work, and now can offer advice or help to my colleagues if I feel they are stressed out,” said Razan Al Qudah, a female nurse working in Istishari Hospital.

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Razan Al Qudah (left), a nurse at Istishari Hospital, and other health care providers in Jordan engage in the training. (Photos: Sami Kattan)

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LHSS has examined gender and social norms that have negatively impacted both women and men health care providers’ ability to perform their duties during the pandemic. For example, women have noted that as their work responsibilities intensified during the pandemic, so did their home and childcare responsibilities, leaving them emotionally and physically exhausted Male nurses reported experiencing discriminatory incidents in their communities, like being teased or denied services by shopkeepers. The LHSS gender-focused course discusses these kinds of challenges and suggests ways to manage them.

To ensure local ownership beyond the project, LHSS has uploaded all the trainings onto the Ministry of Health’s website so they are accessible to all health care providers. The project has also developed a database to track private health care providers who have taken the trainings, so the Ministry of Health can call on them not only for the ongoing COVID-19 response, but also for future health emergencies.