WHO Medical Devices Newsletter, October 2020

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Here's the latest info shared by WHO's Adriana Velázquez regarding Medical Devices and the World Health Organization (October 2020 Edition).

Dear colleagues,

We wish you and your family are doing well. As we see the numbers of COVID increasing again, please stay safe and share knowledge, evidence, and guidance with others.

Wear your masks! Take care of your families and of yourself!


As per the last 3 months please find the 3 sections:


For Information COVID-19 Medical Devices

Director-General of WHO addresses the need to increase access to oxygen and comments on the participation of biomedical engineers: you can listen: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Dr. Mike Ryan also comments on the multidisciplinary professionals to tackle COVID-19, including engineers.

Read the full speech at https://www.who.int/director-general/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---23-october-2020 


WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - October 23, 2020

We are at a critical juncture in this pandemic, particularly in the northern hemisphere. The next few months are going to be very tough and some countries are on a dangerous track. We urge leaders to take immediate action, to prevent further unnecessary deaths, essential health services from collapsing, and schools shutting again.

Oxygen is one of the most essential medicines for saving patients with COVID-19 and many other conditions. WHO is committed to working in solidarity with all governments, partners, and the private sector to scale up sustainable oxygen supply.

Tomorrow marks World Polio Day week, and partners around the world – led in particular by Rotary International – are organizing events and raising awareness about the need to eradicate polio.


“Oxygen is one of the most essential medicines for saving patients with COVID-19 and many other conditions. Many countries simply do not have enough oxygen available to assist sick patients as they struggle to breathe. Estimates suggest that some of the poorest countries may have just 5 to 20 percent of the oxygen that they need for patient care. Through the pandemic, the demand for oxygen has grown exponentially…

As daily cases rise around the world to over 400 thousand, the need for oxygen has gone up to 1.2 million cylinders each day, just in low- and middle-income alone, which is 13 times higher…

And to be successful the health workforce needs to be ready. Not only doctors and nurses with experience in caring for severely ill patients; but also biomedical engineers, respiratory therapists, and maintenance staff. Oxygen saves lives of patients with COVID-19 but it will also save some of the 800 thousand children under-five that die every year of pneumonia and improve the overall safety of surgery.”

A better world means ensuring oxygen is available for all; where and when it's needed.


Important pages (these continue to be updated every month):


1. On medical equipment:


2. On the Personal protective equipment:


3. On in-vitro diagnostics:


4. On the role of imaging diagnostics, ( now available in 7 languages).

5. The Emergency Global Supply catalog. Updated 13 October 2020.


For Information COVID-19 Medical Devices 

2.1 Facility Surveys for biomedical equipment and oxygen supply required to manage COVID-19 and other diseases.

You can use this tool to complete your inventory, then use it to define the gaps of equipment or oxygen sources. The data is owned by the facility and will help do benchmarking, national assessments and to define your needs. If approved by the submitter, will be made public. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-2019-nCov-biomedical-equipment-inventory-2020.1 

then the electronic survey can be found: https://o2therapy.surveycto.com/collect/who_covid_oxygen_therapy_scto_open?caseid=  Username:biomedequipment Password: facilityoxygen20


2.2 Country profiles - Global atlas of medical devices (2020 update to be collected November December 2020!)

Global Atlas of medical devices book provides the global, regional, and country data particularly on the availability of specific medical devices, policies, guidelines, standards, and services.
Please kindly update your country’s information for the Global Atlas on medical devices, so that the information is actual. Steps:

  1. Go to https://www.who.int/medical_devices/countries/en/
  2. Search for your country in the word version: Atlas Word document to update your country profile [Word, 4.62mb]
  3. Related links:

Ministries of Health of Member States will be contacted in November to provide updated information. Also, MOH can send requests or changes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as needed before 30 NOVEMBER 2020.


2.3 Training and learning.

https://openwho.org/ “OpenWHO is WHO’s interactive, web-based, a knowledge-transfer platform offering online courses to improve the response to health emergencies. OpenWHO enables the Organization and its key partners to transfer life-saving knowledge to large numbers of frontline responders.”

https://www.who.int/about/who-academy/ “With COVID-19 science now doubling every 20 days and new guidance being published daily by WHO, the WHO Academy continues to improve its COVID - 19 mobile learning app so that health workers can keep up with the constantly evolving knowledge related to this disease.”


2.4 Innovation

WHO https://www.who.int/medical_devices/priority/COVID-19_innovations/en/ 

WHO will be assessing all innovations submitted and those submitted in November, for inclusion on the WHO Compendium of innovative technologies for low resource settings. Please submit your prototypes or commercially available products if you consider they are important innovations that might support patient care or health care workers' protection, especially in limited-resource infrastructure.


3. Short term consultancies and staff vacancies

For consultants:

When submitting your CV please state for which specific activity, using the reference number. (These reference numbers are the same as last month but some +10 consultants have been already selected and hired for other projects no longer listed below).

If interested, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 27th October indicating the reference number of your application and add your CV.

Thank you!

Reference Number Activities Comments


Global guidance on local production of personal protective equipment.



Global guidance on local production of medical equipment.



Global guidance on oxygen supply costs and delivery.



Global guidance on personal protective equipment: standards and quality assurance.


3.2 Country Support

Country / Regional support: Locally recruited


  1. support facility assessments of biomedical equipment including oxygen sources, (inventory survey listed above)
  2. follow up for the training of new medical equipment
  3. evaluate innovative technologies in the setting
  4. consolidate information on donated equipment status
  5. support the provision of country information for any of the surveys mentioned in section 2 above
  6. provide information for local production of medical devices including personal protective equipment
  7. provide input for operational research on medical devices
  8. disseminate locally WHO information on medical devices, as needed


(when you send your CV's please state which if these tasks (a to g) you gave expertise)

WHO Regional offices: Brazzaville, Manila, Cairo, New Delhi

Examples of countries

  • Afghanistan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo, Dem. Rep.
  • Congo, Rep.
  • Eritrea
  • Gambia, The
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Kiribati
  • Liberia
  • Libya Mali
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia, Fed. Sts.
  • Myanmar
  • Niger
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tuvalu
  • Venezuela, RB
  • Yemen, Rep.
  • Zimbabwe 


For staff position for Unit head of assistive and medical technologies.


Unit Head - (2004068)




Other Vacancies: https://careers.who.int/careersection/ex/jobsearch.ftl 



Any doubts on COVID related, please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Any requests or comments, please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Any news on your on-line conferences, please send information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can disseminate as appropriate. All past newsletters can be found at https://www.who.int/medical_devices/publications/Medical_Devices_Newsletter/en/ 

PLEASE STAY SAFE!! | Let’s remember the importance of increasing access to affordable, appropriate, good quality medical devices, especially for those that need them the most!

Adriana Velazquez Berumen, MSc. | Biomedical Clinical Engineer | Team Lead Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostics, MDD | Health Product Policy and Standards Department, HPS | Access to Medicines and Health Products Division, MHP | World Health Organization, WHO | Geneva, Switzerland

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Web: www.who.int www.who.int/medical_devices/en/ | Follow WHO on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.