Coronavirus: WHO plans refresher training for Nigerian clinicians, lab scientists, others

By Hassan Zaggi

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded plans to conduct a refresher training for medical doctors, medical laboratory scientists and other health professionals on how to respond and deal with Coronavirus.

WHO Technical Officer for Health Emergency Programme, Dr. Dhamari Naidoo, disclosed this while sensitizing Journalists on the global novel Coronavirus outbreak in Abuja, weekend.

According to her: “What we are currently doing and the activities that we will be rolling out next week or so is training and capacity building.

“This event is a respiratory outbreak event. This means that we need to go back to our healthcare facilities, our clinicians, our doctors, our laboratory staff and just do a refresher training on how to respond and how to deal with this.

“There is man power out there, we just need to retrain and get them up to speed with the most relevant information.”

While responding to questions on the availability of health facilities that have the needed equipment to handle Coronavirus if its eventually slipped into the country, she said: “In terms of facilities available for isolation and patient care, we are currently performing assessment to identify which are most appropriate facilities we can work with and what additional resources they need.

“There is always a need for improving infrastructural, putting in new equipment etc and so with that we will have more information in the coming weeks. The assessment to determine that is ongoing.”

She disclosed that WHO is currently supporting all countries on their preparation efforts.

Dr. Naidoo, however, disclosed that 13 countries have been identified as priority countries in Africa that need to increase their preparedness measures due to their direct links or high volume of travel to China.

The countries, according to her, include Algeria, Angola Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia

Speaking on when the declaration of Coronavirus as global health emergency by the WHO will end, she explained that, “this depends on how China quickly manages to control the outbreak and how countries affected will stop the importation and further spread in their countries.

“We cannot put a time point on this, we monitor regularly and then it is up to the Director General of WHO to decide when to call the next meeting. This requires time, data collection and information sharing.”

She noted that WHO will continue to encourage countries to “continue with their preparedness work and their capacity building.

“This takes resources and commitment by the government to continue the work they are doing.”

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