Published on August 28, 2020

United Nations System and SENAMA present the NODO Emergency Platform for the Elderly

It is a digital innovation that strengthens with new technology the network of accompaniment, support and containment of the elderly in pandemic. 

August 24, 2020, Santiago de Chile. -  The health emergency generated by the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile, has positioned the living conditions of the elderly as a sensitive issue in public opinion, and highlighted the urgency of new initiatives to strengthen support networks in this area. 

Along these lines, the United Nations System, through the Office of the Resident Coordinator, in conjunction with UNDP, FAO and ILO, have established an alliance with the National Service for the Elderly (SENAMA) to expand the scope and systematize in a better way, the FONO Mayor, specifically through a digital platform that has made it possible to systematize and strengthen the management of cases by telephone. 


Presentation of the platform 

With a conversation between the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Chile, and the National Director of SENAMA, Octavio Vergara, this remote event, presented live on Facebook Live, began on Friday, August 21. 

In this instance, Silvia Rucks began by highlighting that this project has been selected by the Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund (Joint SDG Fund) from among more than 100 initiatives at the international level, also highlighting the adaptation of the NODO project due to the pandemic:

" COVID made us think differently, in the sense of how we can reach older adults, which is a vulnerable group that requires more care networks, and so we made the adaptation by talking with SENAMA, the Ministry of Social Development and also the Office of the First Lady ”.  

Meanwhile, the National Director of SENAMA highlighted the rapid progress in the implementation of this platform, emphasizing that, “four months ago there was a telephone that was answered in a central with one person, and today it has been transformed into a a tool that has the ability to connect with the elderly who are most in need in a pandemic, with a sense of community and articulation that we would never have thought of ”. 


The comprehensive view of the United Nations System 

The next block of the event aimed to integrate the approaches of three United Nations agencies that implement the NODO Project, which allows projecting this initiative in the response to the pandemic from a comprehensive approach. For this, the participation of Claudia Mojica, UNDP Representative in Chile; Fabio Bertranou, ILO Director for the Southern Cone, and Eve Crowley, FAO Representative in Chile. 

In the first intervention, Claudia Mojica highlighted the integrative approach of UNDP after the United Nations reform, and that “the current development challenges cannot be treated in isolation, and the challenge for our United Nations team is that the response and the support that we give also has coherence from our different mandates, and that is why the different agencies are here ”. 

Later, Fabio Bertranou, from the ILO, pointed out that, “for us the contribution we can make as an institution specialized in the world of work is very important, in the understanding that we are an agency with more than 101 of existence and we have accompanied the countries since the birth of social protection systems. The care of the elderly is not only a responsibility of SENAMA, but has to do with a response from all the actors collectively, and especially those who come from the world of work ”. 

Regarding FAO's vision regarding this area, its Representative in Chile, Eve Crowley, highlighted that “in the case of older adults there are very particular challenges. Because you have specific needs that can be exacerbated by the context of COVID. We know that they have a higher risk of contagion and death from COVID, and that risk is more acute if an older adult has not had a good previous diet, since many of the diseases associated with COVID are related to inadequate nutrition. But another aspect is that many depend on pensions, pensions that are often not enough for economic access to food, and these issues are addressed in this project ”. 


More than 20 thousand calls in four months 

At the end, the event featured remote greetings from telephonists who have been part of SENAMA's FONO Mayor COVID-19 in different regions of the country, including testimonies from older people who have used the service. 

To date, and according to reports prepared by the SENAMA Studies Unit, mostly women communicate (68.5%), registering calls mainly from the Metropolitan and Valparaíso regions. 

Regarding the age of those who consult, the report indicates that 79% are older adults, being mainly the segment between 60 and 79 years old (53%), followed by people aged 80 and over (25.3%). 

In total, and from March to August, there were more than 20 thousand calls to the 800-400-035 phone from more than 300 communes of the country, representing the interest of all the regions of the national territory for this channel of containment and accompaniment to the older people in the face of the pandemic, free and public use. 


You can review the full event on NODO Chile Youtube channel: