Chad has one of the lowest Human Development Index’s in the world, ranking 3rd amongst the poorest performing countries. With an average life expectancy of just 54, 2.4 average schooling years per child, low universal health coverage and high maternal and child mortality rates, the threat of more COVID-19 cases could have a serious impact on vital health systems in Chad.
The in-country response to the 1097 cases and 81 deaths (GMT 22.09.2020, WHO data) has been fragmented. There are huge gaps in resource and knowledge – from communicating the risks of the virus, to coordinating a national response. This is particularly apparent in the capital city of N’Djamena where transmission is occurring in both health facilities and amongst the community.
In response to this, we are providing expertise and support to facilitate Chad’s response to the virus.
On August 4th, on behalf of the UK Government we deployed a team of seven clinical and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) specialists to N’Djamena who have been providing additional Intensive Care support at Farcha Provincial Hospital, easing stress on the system and allowing for greater preparedness for cases.
Our team has currently trained over 157 personnel including 7 Doctors, 65 Nurses and 14 Health Assistants. This has been complemented by the development of a new referral system for COVID-19 patients, which is allowing for improved case management, appropriate screening of patients and greater overall co-ordination of COVID-19 services.
We have a truly global team on the ground made up of nationals from Switzerland to Côte d’Ivoire. The team is headed by Veronique Urbaniak and Benjamin Semakuba, and consists of Intensive Care staff Emery Ebele, Pierre Zankou and Alphonse Tuyshini.
The team are currently mentoring health workers at Farcha Hospital on the management of COVID-19 cases. The WASH and Infection Prevention Control (IPC) members of the team Adama Diarrassouba and Romain Mensah are developing a training curriculum on COVID-19 IPC, which will ensure the hospitals are meeting international standards, keeping transmission rates down and patients and staff safe. They have also carried out an assessment of Hospital La Renaissance and are hoping to support efforts there too very soon.
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