“We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.”

That was the message from Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Director-General. In a media briefing yesterday, the WHO Director-General’s stated the COVID19 outbreak had been characterized a pandemic.

“We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic. If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission.”

Last week we let you know that UK-Med responded to the call for assistance and our teams are part of the UK Emergency Team response funded by UK Aid, working with WHO and Ministries of Health in Ghana, South Africa and Cambodia. You can read the latest WHO situational report here.  We’ll continue to provide you on updates from the field, where our staff are working on a number of activities – helping to train staff in treatment centres, supporting Case Management and Infection Prevention Control Teams, developing country guidelines and screening tools for hospitals.

We are assembling more teams as requests come in, and will continue to keep you updated on our work to support the global response to the pandemic.

Update from Ghana

Dr Fredrick Mate during a visit to a health facility in Accra that handles many clients from across border and international seeking visas. Dr Mate was able to assess and advise on readiness and preparedness to reduce facility based infections. Neighbouring Togo and Burkina Faso have both reported cases.

Update from South-Africa

Our Humanitarian Health Advisor David Anderson presented this week at the national forum for Government Communication Infrastructure Systems on preparedness and took questions from the audience as the number of confirmed cases reached 7 (10 AM CET 11 March 2020, WHO).

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