The AHEPAN Fall 2020 - 19

Outdoor training session of local healthcare workers
by Dr. Zaoutis Theoklis at one of the specialized
COVID-19 centers in Athens.

AHEPA-backed
COVID-19 Research
A PROGRESS REPORT
DR. THEOKLIS ZAOUTIS AND THE CLEO TEAM

I.	 BACKGROUND &
IMPORTANT DATES
Greece reported its first case of COVID-19 on February 27, 2020,
which marked the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in
the country. Two weeks later, following a rise in cases, Greece
entered a full lockdown. The need to armor Greece against the
virus became immediately apparent. On April 7, Prof. Theoklis
Zaoutis and CLEO were propelled into action and submitted a
proposal to AHEPA for the support of two initiatives:
1.	 To train healthcare workers in infection prevention and
control practice in new COVID-19 centers in Greece.
2.	 To conduct research into the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of healthcare workers around COVID-19 and infection
control measures in healthcare settings in Greece.
On April 27, AHEPA accepted the application and funded
CLEO's proposal with a $30,000 grant. (See feature in the Summer
2020 edition of The Ahepan.)

II.	PROGRESS MADE
Training healthcare workers
By April 2020, Greece was seeing a rapid increase of new cases
of COVID-19. To prevent hospitals from becoming overpopulated and overwhelmed, the country decided to establish health

www.ahepa.org	

centers specialized in tracing and managing COVID-19 infections.
These centers were designed to be open 24/7 and to focus on the
screening and management of patients who may present with
symptoms of COVID- 19 and who do not necessarily require hospitalization. The centers operate in conjunction with hospitals
in the five largest cities of Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras,
Larissa and Heraklion) and provide a much-needed boost to the
primary healthcare sector, enhancing preparedness of the overall
Greek health system against the pandemic.
The opening of those centers, along with other urgently
needed preparations such as securing supplies, required the
training of healthcare personnel.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Dr. Theoklis
Zaoutis, member of the COVID-19 response team of experts in
Greece and Director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and
Outcomes Research, CLEO, was called to design and deliver training to healthcare workers in the very first specialized COVID19 centers located in Athens and the greater vicinity of Attica.
CLEO conducted trainings in four centers in total. The number
of personnel per center varied from 20 to 40 people, consisting
of doctors and nurses, as well as other health and administrative
staff. Each training session consisted of:
*	 A presentation by CLEO's staff that provided a theoretical
background to the principles of control of COVID-19, including prevention measures and practices that can interrupt

Fall 2020 ยท THE AHEPAN | 19


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The AHEPAN Fall 2020

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