As the deployment of personnel to support countries becomes impossible due to travel restrictions and confinements put in place by several African countries to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Regional Office of the Organization World Health Center for Africa (WHO / AFRO) today launched the first online course for emergency responders to strengthen efforts to fight the virus.
The two-hour session via video link attracted 500 participants and focused on the clinical symptoms of the virus, the screening of COVID-19 cases, the treatment of complications, the management of critically ill patients, the testing strategy. in the laboratory as well as quarantine strategies.
“We used to organize such face-to-face training workshops in countries, but with the growing restriction of travel, we think this will be the way to go to support the countries of the Region”, said Ambrose Talisuna, head of the WHO Emergency Preparedness Program.
“We have designed the training to be as interactive and as short as possible with only 10 minutes for the five presenters based in Brazzaville, Geneva, Nairobi and Cape Town, and 50 minutes to answer questions from countries and have a discussion of the realities on the ground, ”said Dr Talisuna.
Participants in the first online training session came from ministries of health, private hospitals, medical schools, and WHO country offices.
Africa has experienced a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases since the first case on the continent was reported in mid-February.
On March 26, WHO Africa launched a 10-point strategy calling for the creation of a humanitarian corridor to facilitate the deployment of personnel and the dispatch of equipment, while urging governments and the private sector to increase equipment and medical equipment. The Organization also announced plans to train more responders in health emergencies, including through online sessions.
As part of this plan, WHO has asked countries to increase the number of deployed health workers by reassigning staff, raising public health awareness to help communities stay safe and protect others. , and by identifying and equipping treatment and patient isolation structures.