Start of program: 2020
COUNTRY KEY FIGURES
- 16.2 million inhabitants *
- 13,655 confirmed COVID-19 cases **
ALIMA KEY FIGURES*
COVID-19 epidemic response:
- 604 confirmed cases cared for (498 in Fann and 106 in Yeumbeul)
- 464 patients cured (375 in Fann et 89 in Yeumbeul)
* As of August 6, 2020
Areas of intervention
Senegal is one of the most stable countries in Africa, with most major political changes that have taken place since the country’s independence in 1960, occurring peacefully.
But while Senegal has so far been spared by ongoing violence and terrorism that is affecting neighboring countries, there is a risk of the instability crossing borders.
Despite recording some of the highest rates of economic growth in Africa the past few years, 47% of the population lives below the poverty line (World Food Programme, 2020). The arrival of COVID-19 in the country, risks straining the health system, which has just 0.3 beds per 1,000 inhabitants and 0.07 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants (2016)*.
© Sylvain Cherkaoui / ALIMA
ALIMA’s Impact – Our fieldwork
Since January 2020, ALIMA has been preparing to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in our countries of intervention. The innovations and lessons learned during past responses to Ebola outbreaks in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have helped ALIMA to effectively combat COVID-19.
In Senegal, relying on the strength of our experience in managing outbreaks, ALIMA quickly and effectively responded to the Senegalese Ministry of Health’s request for support in the management and medical care of patients affected by COVID-19.
© John Wessels / ALIMA
Support for Fann University Hospital
In order to support the Ministry’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Dakar, ALIMA began supporting the COVID-19 Treatment Center at the Fann University Hospital in Dakar in March 2020. ALIMA provides support in terms of medications, equipment, medical materials (oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters, supply of Personal Protective Equipment), laboratory reagents and staff.
A well-defined circulation of patients and staff within the hospital, with strict biosafety rules, reduces the risk of contamination. This is why the ALIMA teams also helped set up a triage unit at the hospital’s COVID-19 Treatment Center. When a person tests positive for the virus, he or she is immediately transferred to an individual room. The medical team at the Treatment Center can then provide the necessary care.
Teams from the Infectious Diseases Unit of Fann Hospital ensure the management of COVID-19 cases with the support of other services (resuscitation, imaging…). The COVID-19 Treatment Center is a department dedicated to the management of patients with coronavirus. Since the beginning of the outbreak in the country, 604 patients have been treated in the different structures supported by ALIMA, and 464 have been cured. ALIMA has also trained 30 health personnel (doctors, nurses, hygienists, etc.) at the Fann Hospital.** In addition, a stock of oxygen concentrators are available for local health centers, as needed.
ALIMA’s collaboration with the University Hospital of Fann was aimed at preventing and controlling the risk of infections within the hospital center and limiting the spread of the virus within the population.
© Sylvain Cherkaoui / ALIMA
Support to Yuembeil health district
When it was decided to decentralize case management, ALIMA redirected its support and strengthened its presence in the periphery, intervening in the health district of Yeumbeul, a suburb near the capital of Dakar.
In Yeumbeul, ALIMA supports the activities of a COVID center for the care of patients and the follow-up of vulnerable people (people over 60 years old and/or patients with comorbidities: diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc.). In addition, our teams support nine other health centers in nine of Dakar’s 12 health districts and 15 health posts dedicated to triage and Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures. 75 staff at the Yeumbeul health post have been trained by ALIMA in ICP. The objective: to organize free monthly consultations.
At the same time, ALIMA is developing a community surveillance strategy with the District Chief Medical Officer in order to specifically target profiles vulnerable to COVID-19.
The strategy has evolved from an exclusively hospital-based approach to a home-based approach for cases with few or no symptoms. Severe patients and those with vulnerability factors are the only patients currently being managed in hospital.
In addition, our teams have carried out several missions in the regions with the Emergency Health Operations Centers (COUS), in Thiès, Saint-Louis, Louga, Touba and Dakar in order to provide occasional support in the organization of Treatment Center circuits.