Good practice of support of volunteering in the Municipality of Lousada, Portugal

The Municipality of Lousada in collaboration with the Ministry of Health created in November 2020 the EMA – Multidisciplinary Health Support Team of Lousada.


Practice is ongoing, starting in 2020.


These teams were made up of volunteers from different areas and received specific training by local health authorities, being available to work remotely under guidance and in conjunction with the health authority of the regions that wanted to obtain their collaboration.
These multidisciplinary teams worked every day, with coordination ensured by ACES and the Public Health Unit.


How is the solution implemented?


The Multidisciplinary Teams carried out, during the pandemic, follow-up visits, sharing of relevant information, support to citizens in a situation of mandatory confinement, checked whether citizens in mandatory confinement needed food aid, social support for themselves or their families, need for psychological support or verify the adequacy of housing conditions for compliance with mandatory confinement.
In addition to this support, they made telephone contacts and monitored positive cases to Covid-19.

The team also took an important role in assisting in the most bureaucratic part, such as taking care of situations that have to do with statements of isolation or Certificate of Temporary Disability (Casualties) and articulate with the Functional Units of the Health Centre Group on any care situations involving at-risk or vulnerable populations with exceptional conditions of social isolation and lack of social protection.
In this work of proximity were delivered by volunteers, in all visits, surgical masks and disinfectant gel to the citizen, in order to reduce the risks of transmission among the population.


In what local context has it been applied?


The creation of Multidisciplinary Teams to monitor patients with COVID-19 and infected with SARS-CoV-2 in a situation of home confinement was one of the measures established by the Municipality of Lousada to help stop the increase of contagions in the parishes of the municipality of Lousada most affected by the pandemic.

In view of the exponential growth of new cases and the consequent inability of health authorities to contact, in a timely manner, all persons who were in prophylactic isolation, The City Council decided to proceed with the creation of a computer system to support the Multidisciplinary Monitoring Team of Lousada (EMA), created in November 2020 and which included a group of local volunteers.

These volunteer teams had an intervention throughout the territory, covering the entire population of the municipality of Lousada, which contributes to the reduction of new cases, as well as high-risk contacts.


What difference has it made?


This team of volunteers surveyed the high-risk contacts in 1553 cases of Covid-19 of those indicated by the Public Health Authority and in need of a Declaration of Prophylactic Isolation (DPI), between October 2020 and January 2021. They contacted more than 1400 people considered high-risk contacts for IPD issuance during the same time period. Since September 2020, phone calls have been made to more than 20,000 people, including high-profile contacts and positive cases.

The numbers also reveal that the Municipal Helpline was contacted by 7000 people, who needed some kind of support and more than 13,000 users were summoned for Covid-19 and flu vaccines.

The Multidisciplinary Team and the intervention model carried out were fundamental in helping to break the chains of transmission and prevent the growth of new infections, and volunteers had a crucial role to support the most vulnerable families in a situation of confinement.

In the municipality of Lousada, the multidisciplinary and intersectoral work methodology allowed for rapid and appropriate answers to families flagged up by the public health team, ensuring compliance with their prophylactic isolation.

The experience of multidisciplinary intervention was highlighted as a very innovative aspect, making it possible for households to have several problems solved, in different areas, with a single service in the home.

However, this methodology also proved to be challenging, given the different backgrounds, knowledge and working methods of the volunteers, who came from different areas.

Through these teams it was possible to guarantee direct support for the population in a direct and close relationship that also made it possible to act quickly and prevent the spread of the virus in the community.


What’s needed?


Financial resources 

During the implementation of this program, all resources used during the intervention of the multidisciplinary team of volunteers were financed by the budget of the Municipality of Lousada. The Municipality provided a budget to support the most vulnerable teams and population during the pandemic.

Human resources

Throughout this period, from November 2020 to October 2021, there was the collaboration in this team of 24 volunteers, from different areas, who jointly debated and worked on combating the pandemic. In addition, the Municipality also had the support of local associations.

Physical resources

All the necessary resources for the operation of this team were made available by the Municipality of Lousada, since the creation of a computer system to support the team, as well as computers, telephones, personal protection kits. In addition, these teams used the facilities of the Municipality and local associations to work on combating the pandemic.


Find out more



Contact person: Artur Pinto



Good practice was prepared by the Municipality of Lousada, Portugal