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1st Virtual Meeting of RETS-CPLP

Updated: 07/14/2020
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1st Virtual Meeting of the Network of Technical Schools in Health of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (RETS-CPLP)

The work and training of health technicians in times of the COVID-19 pandemic



On July 1, 2020, the 1st Virtual Meeting of the Network of Technical Schools in Health of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (RETS-CPLP) was held, with the presence of representatives of six of the nine countries that make up the Community. At the opening of the event, CPLP's Director of Cooperation, Manoel Clarote Lapão, highlighted the importance of the meeting, especially in the context of the pandemic that affects all member countries, albeit in different measures, and that requires a change in the strategy of the Network that allows the work to continue. The representative of the Center for International Health Relations at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Cris/Fiocruz) Sebastian Tobar, also emphasized the relevance of the meeting and CRIS support for strengthening the group. Finally, the director of the Escola Politécnica de Saúde Joaquim Venâncio (EPSJV), coordinating institution of RETS-CPLP, Anakeila Stauffer, welcomed all those present and sought to highlight the role of the Network at a time when social inequalities, inter and intra-country, make the challenge of overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic even more complex.

The meeting continued with the presentation of the EPSJV International Cooperation coordinator, Helifrancis Condé, who gave a brief history of RETS and its subnet, RETS-CPLP. He highlighted the current moment when the use of ICTs in the work of networks is intensified, as the 4th phase of the existence of RETS. Besides, it made a brief assessment of the current work plan, highlighting the need to define actions that confirm the strategic guidelines defined at the meeting held in November 2018.

More than 30 people, representing institutions from Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe, were present. Also, we registered the presence of Luiz Ary Mesina, representing the University Telemedicine Network (RUTE). Unfortunately, in that first virtual meeting, three countries in the Community were unable to attend: Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and East Timor.

How to strengthen the Network's work in Covid-19 times?

The main objective of the meeting was to discuss the scenario of countries concerning work and the training of health technicians in times of Covid-19 pandemic. Based on a script sent by the Executive Secretariat, African countries presented an overview of their reality in terms of strategies and needs for the work and training of health technicians. The representative of the School of Health Technology of Lisbon (ESTeSL), in turn, showed some of the possibilities of remote teaching, from experiences developed at her institution in quarantine conditions due to the pandemic. The purpose of the presentation was to encourage discussion on the topic and help to think of any possible action to be taken together with the other countries.

The meeting confirmed the importance of ICTs at present and of working in networks, enabling exchange and debate on topics such as health care for technicians in training; virtual teaching strategies; technological infrastructure in training institutions, and all the challenges brought by the pandemic.

The agenda will continue with the discussions of a special issue of Revista RETS Especial Covid-19 and with other specific technical meetings for the definition of possible actions to be developed within the scope of the Network.

Important documents (in Portuguese)

Country presentations (in Portuguese)

Meeting Videos