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PMM projects and coronavirus

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Out of concern for the safety of the local workers involved in aid project carried out by the Polish Medical Mission and the social responsibility in connection with the PMM mission, we present a short report on the coronavirus situation in the countries where we deliver humanitarian aid projects.

Report on the coronavirus situation in the countries where we deliver humanitarian aid projects.

So far, 154 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed. A curfew was imposed on Saturday, 21st March. Leaving homes is forbidden. The mobile clinic is not working because permission was only granted to the units directly involved in lifesaving. We are in contact with the Ministry of Health of Jordan, the WHO and the UNHCR; we are trying to get permission to resume work. The PMM has provided all the staff employed in the project with protective items. The staff of the mobile clinic will receive training on how to deal with coronavirus suspects. The open days at the health care centre have been cancelled and postponed to a later dat

The Ministry of Health has reported that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Iraq has risen to 316 and the number of deaths due to the virus has risen to 27. Four weeks ago schools and universities were closed and travel to affected countries was banned as part of the fight against the disease. Iraq also banned travel to and from China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Bahrain, France and Spain, except for official and diplomatic delegations. A curfew was imposed in Erbil and the residents of Erbil, where the Polish Medical Mission delivers aid, were asked not to leave their homes and to take precautions. Sulaymaniyah is one of the first cities very close to Erbil to have reported a coronavirus infection. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the PMM had planned training courses; preventive equipment was purchased for the clinic staff in the camp: masks, protective suits, disinfecting gels and other medical supplies. PMM workers are distributing posters and leaflets among residents of the camp on the basis rules of fighting the virus. The camp residents have been advised by the workers to take precautionary measures.

The World Health Organisation has confirmed 99 cases of coronavirus infection in Senegal. One of the first infections came from a man who came from Italy to visit his family. All family members are hospitalised in a hospital in Dakar. The partner of the Polish Medical Mission in Senegal – ANPSCS conducts awareness-raising activities among patients at all of their 20 centres. As part of the consultation, they inform the population about the virus, routes of infection and prevention. Thus far, the PMM has not recorded any cases of disease in the partner’s structures but it is monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis. The whole team of the health care centre in Thiaroye held a special meeting in order to introduce new admission procedures. This is an internal initiative of our partner. The staff were equipped with protective masks, the compulsory use of disposable gloves was recommended, group educational meetings were abandoned, and hand washing was imposed for every person who enters the clinic. A limit was introduced on the number of people allowed inside the premises of the centre at the same time. Admission hours remain unchanged but measures are taken to avoid too many patients in the waiting room.

No confirmed case of the disease has been reported. In Wakema, we are helping with the distribution of information material on hygiene and prevention. We have supplemented our trainings for young people with a module on coronavirus. After 22nd March there will also be a training for local people. Should any cases of the disease occur, we plan to equip the medical personnel with whom the Polish Medical Mission collaborates with additional protective equipment.

So far, 12 cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in Tanzania. PMM’s partner, the Nyangao hospital, conducts educational activities to raise awareness among the inhabitants of the villages reached by the mobile team of health promoters. These are meetings with the community on the routes of infection and on prevention. In the hospital, the PMM medical team provides counselling for patients.
‘We have conducted training on the virus for all the local PMM workers at the Nyangao Hospital. We have also introduced education for patients who come to our hospital every day. We have limited the number of relatives visiting the patient to two per day. At the entrances to the hospital, we placed a bucket of water and liquid soap so that people can wash their hands before entering the facility. We have already prepared a special room with 5 beds in case someone is suspected of coronavirus and a rescue team consisting of 4 doctors, 5 nurses and 2 laboratory workers. In our hospital there are not enough masks or disinfectants, including hand disinfectants. We are currently waiting for the results of the examination on one of the patients from the hospital in Sokoine, 70 kilometres away from Nyangao, where we suspect coronavirus’, says Dr Francis Msagati who works with the PMM.

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