PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center
In 2009, the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine was named a Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Collaborating Center on Occupational Health.
Our staff provides technical expertise and content knowledge in support of the WHO Global Plan of Action on Workers' Health-with an emphasis on the healthcare sector.
Currently, our Center is working to enhance capacity among PAHO employees who are themselves healthcare workers, regarding their own safety and health and sustaining their advances through safety and health committee functions and responsibilities
We are also assisting in providing toxicology, infection control training in collaboration with PAHO partners and WHO Collaborating Centers in occupational health in the Caribbean and the Americas.
This activity also includes provision of technical training and assistance in occupational and environmental cancer control and prevention.
Activities to date have included:
Articles Addressing Worker Health:
- COVID-19 and Essential Workers: A Narrative Review of Health Outcomes and Moral Injury
Gaitens, J.; Condon, M.; Fernandes, E.; McDiarmid, M. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2021, 18(4), 1446
- The Healthcare Sector Employer’s Duty of Care: Implications for Worker Well-Being
McDiarmid, M.; Condon, M.; Gaitens, J. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2021, 18(11), 6015
Since 2014, the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has had ongoing collaborations with the Gambian Ministry of Health and the University of the Gambia School of Medicine and Allied Health Science to strengthen the Gambian health system by building local capacity to protect health workers from workplace hazards. As part of this effort, several tools (described below) were developed to help assess occupational health and safety practices within the health sector.
Occupational Health and Safety Dashboard:
Asset Dashboard Contents:
- Asset Dashboard to Identify Existing Resources for OHS
- Group Exercise Using the Asset Dashboard to Identify Existing Resources
Since 2018, the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has provided consultation to the University of Maryland’s Center for Vaccine Development in Mali on implementation of a Hepatitis B screening and vaccination program for study staff. To better understand the occupational risks for study staff and identify opportunities for intervention a Hepatitis B questionnaire was developed.
In August 2019, PAHO Collaborating Centers for Occupation Health met in Washington D.C. During meetings focused on strategies to eliminate silica-related disease and assessing the burden of occupational cancers in the Americas, an emerging body of literature focused on the utility of lung cancer screening using low-dose chest CT (LDCT) in occupationally-exposed cohorts was discussed.