Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) has taken a leading role in informing global communities on methods of prevention and controlling the spread of COVID-19 with an innovative online course titled the MBRU Community Immunity Ambassador Programme.
The programme has drawn an incredible global response, with more than 647,000 people signing up to become MBRU Community Immunity Ambassadors on the University’s dedicated online learning platform: www.learn.mbru.ac.ae. More than 450,000 people have completed the course and received their certificates and ambassador status.
While the majority of MBRU’s Community Immunity Ambassadors are from within the UAE, the initiative has engaged online users based in the U.S., UK, India, Cuba, Pakistan and the Philippines eager to gain valuable knowledge in the fight against COVID-19. It is available in English and Arabic and will shortly also be available in French.
Omnia Health Insights spoke to Professor Nabil Zary, Director of the Institute for Excellence in Health Professions Education at MBRU, to find out more about how people can sign up for the course and the impact it will have on breaking the chain of infection.
Who is eligible to take the course?
Anyone can take the course as caters to all age groups. Users can take the course at their own pace, with an estimated completion time of one hour. After finishing the course, users will receive a certificate confirming that they are now an MBRU Community Immunity Ambassador. Participants are prompted to share their success on their social and professional networks, challenging three people to join the movement.
Why should people take the course?
The MBRU Community Immunity Programme is a public health initiative composed of two main parts:
- A course that aligns with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Federal and local authority measures implemented in the UAE, addresses the chain of infection and provides comprehensive details on how infectious diseases are transmitted. The course also clearly puts forward simply and easy-to-adopt solutions to break the chain of infection through concrete preventive actions.
- A community engagement movement through social media where the Ambassadors are asked to spread the gained awareness among the public in general and more specifically by recruiting more ambassadors to the programme.
What are the key takeaways from the course?
This course is an ideal opportunity to engage and empower the various sections of society to come together and play a part in making a difference in these extraordinary times. The course contains factual information aligned with advice from WHO. The course, through its innovative and interactive outlook, identifies the chain of infection, provides comprehensive details on how infectious diseases like COVID-19 are transmitted, and advocates effective solutions, implementable all over the world to break the chain of infection.
With global advice about COVID-19 changing almost daily, how do you ensure that the information on the MBRU course is up-to-date?
The course covers the foundational aspects of infection transmission and prevention. It is aligned with key advisories and directives put forward by the WHO and UAE's Federal and local governments. The course team meets on a regular basis to review if changes are needed.
What are the key solutions put forward to break the chain of infection through concrete preventive actions?
The solutions put forward to break the chain of infection are simple, effective, and widely adoptable. They include practising basic hand hygiene (washing hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, the regular use of alcohol-rich hand sanitisers, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands), practising cough etiquette which includes coughing solely into a tissue and disposing it off immediately in a safe manner, sneezing into the crook of your arm (elbow) instead of covering your mouth with your hands, cleaning your everyday environment and common areas with a disinfectant regularly (door handles, kitchen surfaces, etc.), and maintaining effectively social distancing.