The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) organized a webinar entitled “Shielding Workplaces from COVID-19” under the series “Ensuring Occupational Safety and Health under a Risk-based Scenario” on 27 May 2020.
Dr. Francisco Salcedo Cruz, MD, MPH from the Safe Workplaces Against COVID-19 team focused on the discussion of Behavioral Change Communication (BCC) as an important tool to shield businesses and workplaces from COVID-19. He gave a clearer picture of the epidemiology of COVID-19 as an emerging evolving disease. Moreover, he presented the whole-of-government service delivery approach whereby different agencies are tasked to promulgate different policies and procedures to cope up with the COVID-19 situation in the country.
It was also emphasized through the “Hierarchy of Interventions” diagram presented that “prevention” should be the major intervention that government should focus on. BCC is a viable option to be promoted because it is an easy-to-do and affordable intervention, and can be done at the workplace. It can start in workplaces; but it should also expand in the barangay communities and in the families staying at home.
In terms of COVID-19 case detection, Dr. Cruz differentiated the two (2) present diagnostic tests done to identify COVID-19 which are the Rapid Antibody Test and PCR Test (nasal swab). He reiterated that companies must seek the help of a public health expert when choosing what test should be done to their employees to maximize its purpose and results.
Lastly, there were 8 key behavior changes that was shared that could pave way to a successful Behavioral Change Communication: 1) physical/social distancing, 2)respiratory hygiene including face masks, 3) personal hygiene including handwashing and not touching face with unclean hands, 4) environmental hygiene including cleaning and disinfecting, 5) promotion of mental health support, 6) modified work schedules and structures, 7) provision of support for essential workforce such as transportation and accommodations, 8) counseling on safe homes and communities.
Visit ECOP COVID-19 Center