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WHO Announce VR Tool for Maritime Ship Sanitation Training

Transforming Maritime Health: WHO Announce VR Tool for Ship Sanitation Training

In an era where technology blends with health standards to foster safer environments, the World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced an innovative Virtual Reality (VR) tool for ship sanitation inspection. This groundbreaking development, a beacon in maritime health, is set to redefine the training and preparedness of port health officers worldwide.

The Catalyst: COVID-19 and Maritime Sector Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic exerted an unprecedented impact on the maritime sector, highlighting the critical need for robust public health capacities at ports and on ships. Restrictions, including port closures, hampered access to ships for sanitation inspections, leading to a pressing need for trained port health officers. Recognizing this, WHO/Europe organized a comprehensive 4-day training in Istanbul, bringing together professionals from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan.

A Leap into Virtual Reality

At the heart of this training was the trial of WHO’s novel VR tool, an immersive solution that allows users to interact with realistic representations of ships. Kevin Carlisle, Technical Lead of the project at WHO/Europe, elaborates: “The virtual tour starts at the office of the inspector, where we select personal protective equipment, and then we board the ship to meet the captain and inspect various areas.”

Immersive Training Experience

This VR simulation provides a life-like experience, enabling trainees to walk through a virtual vessel with headsets and hand controllers. They learn to conduct thorough sanitation inspections, from risk assessment to interacting with ship personnel. The VR journey through meticulously recreated ship areas, including engine rooms and dining areas, ensures comprehensive training.

Global Impact and Future Potential

The VR tool, upon full launch, will significantly elevate training standards in ship sanitation inspection. It will benefit over 230 ports in the WHO European Region, enhancing public health capacities crucial for preventing, detecting, and responding to health events related to international sea travel.

Feedback from Participants

Participants expressed high satisfaction with the training. Nurtugan Yerubayev from Kazakhstan praised the organization and practical knowledge imparted, while Huseyn Gasimov from Azerbaijan highlighted the VR equipment as a “new discovery” with tremendous potential in trainings.

Conclusion

WHO’s VR tool for ship sanitation training is not just a technological marvel; it’s a testament to the power of innovation in enhancing global health standards. As the maritime sector resumes its full swing, such advancements are pivotal in ensuring a safer and healthier world. We invite you to share your thoughts on this revolutionary approach to public health training. How do you see VR shaping the future of global health standards? Join the conversation in the comments below.

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