2021 Volume 3 Issue 2 Pages 115-118
WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WPRO) organized an online meeting connecting WHO Collaborating Centres (WHO CCs) in the region on 25 August 2020, to share experiences and promote networking on COVID-19 response. The meeting shared regional update on situation and responses, and COVID-19 related experiences of selected WHO CCs, followed by discussions on opportunities for enhancing collaboration between WPRO and WHO CCs. Priorities of WPRO’s support to countries included a health systems approach rather than single intervention. On behalf of WHO CCs in Japan, the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM) delivered a presentation on the results of a survey about COVID-19 related activities of these WHO CCs. These activities were categorized into collaboration with WHO, research and development, public health responses, and clinical services. Collaboration with WHO included sending consultants through the scheme of GOARN, strengthening of COVID-19 testing, and contribution to development of WPRO guidelines. Research and development involved establishment of a nationwide registry of COVID-19 clinical data. Following the meeting, NCGM further enhanced its activities as WHO CC. Since WHO CCs in the country have a wide range of expertise that could contribute to health system strengthening, it is worthwhile for the WHO CCs to consider amending existing work plans for supporting countries in the region to incorporate a health systems approach as part of COVID-19 response strategies.