Chinese experts share COVID-19 response experience with Uganda, South Sudan

Source:Xinhua 2020-05-18

  KAMPALA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese medical experts on Friday shared their experience of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with their counterparts in Uganda and South Sudan.

  Speaking at the opening of the meeting held via Webinar, Aeneas Chuma, UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said the world is facing one of the biggest challenges that is not only affecting the health sector but could potentially set the world back by many years.

  "Life will not be the same again, as all evidence thus far suggests that the virus is here to stay until we achieve herd immunity or find a vaccine," Chuma said.

  He said the epidemic knows no boundaries and therefore there is need for global solidarity in combating it.

  "Now more than ever, it is important to stand together and extend help to each other, at all levels. We must show kindness, compassion, and empathy wherever possible," he said, noting that there have been cases of global solidarity where countries have provided medicines, expertise and human resources to sustain health services.

  Chuma hailed the support of Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundation to many African countries in containing the disease. Jack Ma sent various medical supplies to Africa to help fight the pandemic.

  Anthony Garang, acting chairman of South Sudan Doctors' Union, described the meeting as a unique opportunity to learn from their Chinese counterparts who were on the COVID-19 frontline in Wuhan.

  "We hope to see more of similar initiatives come up during and after COVID-19 pandemic," Garang said.

  Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) told the meeting that China implemented strict measures to stop the spread of the disease.

  In case of imported cases, Wu said China is implementing among others screening of passengers among which include providing a 14-day history and health status. He said for suspected cases, they are transferred to designated hospitals while close contacts are taken to designated hotels quarantine.

  He said travelers whether foreigners or domestic face two weeks' quarantine in the designated hotels, depending on the risk evaluation and local policy.

  Wu also responded to various questions which among others included creation of a herd immunity to halt the spread of the pandemic. He said there are two ways, one that includes exposing the population to the virus. He said this may lead to severe cases including fatalities. He said the other option is development of a vaccine, which is ongoing and may be available at the end of the year.

  Luo Congjuan, chief physician The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University made a presentation on the diagnostic and treatment protocol of COVID-19.

  The meeting was organized by UNAIDS China Office, World Health Organization, and WeDoctor, a medical health technology platform. Uganda Medical Association and South Sudan Doctors' Union were co-organizers.

  The webinar came shortly after one held with the Kenya Medical Women Association on April 18.

  The meetings, according to observers, aim at sharing experience and knowledge in COVID-19 prevention and treatment to contain its spread in Africa.

  Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across Africa rose to 75,866 as of May 15 evening. Enditem

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