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New support in Mauritania and a return to Eswatini

We’re excited to announce our new responses in Mauritania and Eswatini to support their COVID-19 responses, in partnership with the WHO.

Eswatini

Biomedical engineer Rob has arrived in Eswatini to deliver a four-week training course to biomedical technicians on the use of oxygen equipment which is essential for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

In the New Year, Eswatini was hit by a surge of COVID-19 which also hit its neighbouring country South Africa at the same time. Eswatini was almost completely dependent on oxygen supplies from the larger country, and with the borders closed and South Africa’s own oxygen supplies in short supply, Eswatini was left with a huge oxygen shortfall – just 45% of the oxygen it needed, which had a devastating impact on patient care.

We sent a team as part of the UK Emergency Medical Team in late January 2021, and the team’s biomedical engineer Sean was able to support the Ministry of Health to plan for the installation of four national oxygen plants to enable Eswatini to provide more than 70% of its own oxygen supplies.

During this four-week follow-up response, Rob will be:

leading theoretical and practical training sessions on equipment testing, fault finding, maintenance and decontamination;

providing technicians with a ‘train the trainer’ session, to enable them to pass on their new knowledge and skills to technicians from around the country.

As Eswatini comes to the end of battling a third wave of COVID-19, with daily cases peaking at nearly 5000 per day in mid-August – nearly twice the number of daily cases during the second wave (Eswatini MOH) – this vital work will help to equip healthcare staff in Eswatini to be able to better manage the ongoing battle with the virus.

Mauritania

Morning market; Kiffa, Mauritania. Photo credit: bobrayner / Flickr

A team of four UK-Med doctors and nurses have arrived in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania on the Northwest coast of Africa. Mauritania is mainly located in the Sahara, with around 90% of the country being desert. Malnutrition is widespread, with around 30 % of the 4.4 million people living under the national poverty line.

Following a request for support from the WHO EMT Secretariat and WHO Country Office, the team will provide training and on the job supervision to national health teams to treat seriously and critically ill patients with COVID-19.

Mauritania experienced a third wave of cases of COVID-19 in August and September with 7,889 new cases reported in August. This latest response will support national health care teams with their on-going response and help prepare them for a possible fourth wave.

This will include working alongside Mauritanian doctors and nurses to provide further training in the early identification and management of patients with COVID-19 and to ensure the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are in place in the hospitals where we will work. We plan to provide support in the capital city of Nouakchott, as well as in the provinces of Kaeidi and Kiffa, which are located in further south and south east.

The team have recently completed a three-month response in Djibouti (East Africa) with UK-Med. They will be bringing the same skills and experience to Mauritania as they support and strengthen health services there too.

1 Comment

  • Adama Diarrassouba

    Reply 20th October 2021 8:50 pm

    Fantastic

    Cheers

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