Strengthening the treatment of reported COVID-19 cases
The WHO supported the MOH to conduct capacity building needs assessment for treatment of COVID-19 through a stakeholder meeting and by visiting health centers.
The assessment covered the human resource, logistics capacity and the vision of The Gambia’s case management committee. An internal preparatory meeting was held at WHO offices on the 16th November 2020 chaired by Dr. Dr Desta A. Tiruneh-WHO Country Representative. This was followed by stakeholders’ meeting on 20th November 2020 at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul and representatives from the WHO included Dr Sharmila Lareef and Dr William Addison whilst representatives from the MOH included Dr Adeyemi Roberts-Chairman of COVID-19 Management and Dr Abubacarr Jagne-Head of Case Management team and the main COVID-19 treatment centre. In both meetings, WHO and MOH agreed to strengthen capacity in the management of severe and critical COVID-19 cases; capacity in provision of ventilatory support and management of mild and moderate cases in other geographical areas beyond Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) and Medical Research Centre (MRC) Clinic.
Two (2) designated treatment centers, Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) and Medical Research Centre (MRC) Clinic for COVID-19 were assessed between 18th-25th November 2020, and interactions were made with frontline health workers. Noticeable gaps during the assessment of the treatment centers include inadequate capacity to manage the severe/critical cases of COVID-19, inadequate capacity for non-invasive ventilation, non-capacity to conduct endotracheal intubation and non-capacity to carry out invasive ventilation. A training roadmap was agreed with MOH focal persons; trainings to address these gaps were scheduled at EFSTH from 2nd December 2020 to 4th January 2021. Twenty-two (22) health workers would be trained on the management of the severe and critical COVID-19 cases, ventilation, and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Seven (7) medical doctors and 10 nurses would be trained on non-invasive ventilation. 5 Doctors would be trained in intubation and ventilation. Five (5) medical doctors and 10 nurses would be trained on invasive ventilation, and drills on ventilation support would be done. Training these clinicians on management of moderate, severe and critical COVID-19 cases will improve the treatment outcomes at the treatment centers in the event that such patients are admitted.