CARITAS GOMA IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Cellule de Communication | 19 mai 2020 | 0 | Articles Summary

Goma, 21 April 2020 (caritasdevgoma.org) – As part of the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic; with the funding of Caritas Australia, Caritas Goma in collaboration with the Provincial Health Division and the Groupe Médical d’Urgence du Nord – Kivu (the Emergency Medical Group of North Kivu), has launched a strategic training workshop for 20 anesthesiologists-reanimators on the management of Covid-19 patients and the use of respirators. This structure has also dealt with the sensitization in the communities on Covid-19 prevention measures and learning how to build a Tippy-up, that is a local hand washing device.

With His Excellency Willy Ngumbi during the training with some participants 

The World Health Organization (WHO), referring to the near-exponential progression of the Covid-19 pandemic up to April 10, 2020, has shown that this situation constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. Currently, the pandemic has already killed more than 171,249 people worldwide up to 21 April 2020, according to global statistics. In the coming days, the pandemic could reach 200,000 deaths. This is the worst crisis that humanity has ever faced since 1945.

As the number of cases of VID19 in Africa continues to grow, countries of the continent are experiencing how the virus is gradually spreading beyond their capitals. Already, about 3300 cases and 90 deaths have been recorded up to 14 April 2020.  Facing this wave that is sweeping across Africa, a continent that has got the weakest health systems and that is gradually registering cases; countries should be encouraged to build on the experience gained during the Ebola crisis to develop their response. In the DRC, Coronavirus response is still in a trial-and-error mode given the changing epidemiological situation.  This emergency comes to remind the difficulty that constitutes the response task in Africa, a continent confronted to the eternal repetition of epidemics. This is why Caritas Goma is committed in the prevention so as to slow down, as much as possible, this epidemiological hemorrhage.

With this in mind, Caritas Goma has organized a training to reinforce the capacity and skills of anesthetists on coronavirus victims’ medical treatment, to demonstrate the best way to handle the automatic respirator, to set up mobile teams engaged in the prevention. This is why the epidemiological doctors and biologists of North Kivu declared to be mobilized to bring their personal contribution to fight against COVID-19.

It should be noted that patients suffering from an acute respiratory infection of Covid-19 may require an oxygen supplementation and mechanical respiratory assistance. The overwhelming majority of these patients arrive in the ICU with acute respiratory distress syndrome. These patients require mechanical respiratory ventilation, which is essential for patients with severe forms of Covid-19. In addition, some of them need anesthesia. At a time when the city of Goma has registered positive cases of Covid-19, it is imperative to reinforce the health care personnel medical skills, emergency equipment and other emergency tools, the sensitization and popularization of preventive and response measures in the communities.

Present at this training, the Head of the Health Division in North Kivu, Janvier Kubuya took this opportunity to advocate for the case of anesthetists and emergency physicians who are working outside of Goma town to benefit from such capacity building.

Spiritus sana in corpore sano, which means ”un esprit saint dans un corps saint” in French; a  Latin expression has motivated Father Richard Muhindo, the current Director of Caritas Goma, to show that the human being must be cared for in all his dimensions. It is this wholeness (body and soul) of the human being that constitutes the vision of Caritas that works to alleviate the human being suffering.

As for the highest authority of the Catholic Church in Goma, the pastor of the diocese of Goma, his Excellency Bishop Willy Ngumbi Ngengele, took this opportunity to express his satisfaction when he realized that care providers are ready to face this disease and thus save thousands of lives during these difficult days of COVID-19.

Men, women and children all mobilized and engaged in the response against this pandemic/Goma

It should be added that, Caritas Goma is already on the front line of the response and is deploying community animators to raise awareness, from door-to-door, on preventive measures against Covid-19, placing posters displaying personal protection messages in public places, households and strategic corners of the community, and prepare the community for social distancing techniques to avoid or limit the spread of Covid-19 and interrupt the chain of infections.

In addition to this, there is the learning how to set up Tippy-up, which is a hand washing device that is easy to adjust, based on the community’s assets. Already in the local community, members are sensitized and taking ownership of this way of protecting themselves.  As the prevention against Coronavirus 19 is still at the embryonic stage in the city of Goma, the situation remains worrying and its evolution is still dramatic.

Kandi-da Augustin

Communication Unit

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