By Momodou Torp
Public health workers and border security agents in the country are being prepared to respond effectively to prevent the entry of the deadly Coronavirus in the country.
They were trained by the IOM last Tuesday on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) to keep the killer virus at bay.
Speaking during the two-day preparatory training at a local hotel along the Senegambia strips, health minister Dr Amadou Lamin Samateh, thanked the IOM and the government of Japan for supporting the initiative.
“This is a multi-sector problem and the better we work together, the better we achieve a better result in averting the coronavirus,” minister Samateh said.
He said this is a virus among a family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe respiratory syndrome.
He said: “The Ministry of health is currently engaging relevant partners including international organisations such as IOM, WHO, WAHO, Unicef and other partners to prepare the country for proper response to the ongoing public health emergency caused by the novel coronavirus disease.”
He urged all health institutions to enhance their systems to deal with and contain acute respiratory systems especially unusual pneumonia cases and also enhance the detection and management systems.
According to him, there is a need to strengthen the surveillance system especially at the point of entry be it land, sea or air to enhance screaming for severe respiratory illnesses, temperature monitoring, and history of travel which he said is very crucial.
He expressed delight to PURA for donating four mobile phones with 1025 numbers accessible to all networks for emergency calls in case of any suspected case (s) of coronavirus.
“Although the outbreak constitutes a global health emergency, there is no cause for alarm as measures to prevent the disease from entering the Gambian borders are ongoing by the ministry of health and its partners,” the minister assured citizens.
Madam Fumiko Nagano, the chief of mission of the IOM, urged the participants to make best use of the training.
“With the mandate of leaving no migrant behind, IOM looks forward to further engage the government of the Gambia in the initiatives that recognise both the right to save migrants and the right to health as a fundamental human right.”
Meanwhile, IOM gave 13 First Aid kits, nine stretchers, 190 CPR masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), 15 blood pressure monitoring device, 10 non-contact thermometers and 10 insecticide sprayers, four computers and four printers for border posts.