The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) said that its representative mission in Turkey had taken all necessary measures in case of any coronavirus (Covid-19) case appears in northern Syria, by participating in the joint operations room that includes the health directorates in Idlib and the countryside of Aleppo, and the Hatay Health Directorate in Gaziantep and Kilis, and organisations operating in the north of Syria, with the establishment of a technical and co-ordination working group among these bodies under the supervision of the World Health Organisation.
The QRCS explained that the health programmes section of the mission holds daily meetings to develop a response plan for the spread of the virus, while preventive measures were activated at the level of health facilities and multiple health services such as mental health and community health supported and managed by the Qatar Red Crescent Society.
Co-ordination is also underway to implement training for administrative and medical cadres working in the field on how to deal with infection cases, through three trainers from the QRCS, with the preparation of a guide for the initial procedures for prevention of and dealing with the virus in health facilities.
The mission participates in working groups under World Health Organisation, among them: (Covid-19) technical group for preparedness and response, the community health group, the mental health and psychosocial support group, the child protection group, the advocacy group and the protection of medical personnel.
At the level of health facilities, QRCS noted that urgent training courses were held for medical personnel in 6 primary healthcare centres and Al Bab hospital to learn how to detect and deal with infected cases in accordance with the recommendations of WHO, and the standard precautions of hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment.
Work is being done to equip the centers and hospital with materials and equipment to protect the medical and non-medical staff and beneficiaries, such as masks, gloves, disinfectants and sterilisers, and linking them to a system of referral and epidemiological monitoring with the Support Co-ordination Unit and health directorates through the "Early Warning, Alert and Response Network" programme (EWARN) accredited by the WHO.
The QRCS has confirmed that the installation of tents to separate cases has already been completed, entering the patients and accompanying persons in groups, examining them before they enter the centre, providing tents to isolate the suspected cases, placing hand sanitisers in various places of the centre, and stopping all activities that require attendance, and follow-up of simple cases via means of remote communication, and receiving only necessary cases in the clinic with all preventive measures taken.
At the level of community health services, primary prevention kits were provided to community health cadres, provision of cleaning materials and antiseptics to community health centres and mobile clinics, urgent training for cadres on methods of prevention and infection reduction, and observance of preventive standards during field trips and home visits to educate the community on how to prevent the virus.
With regard to child-friendly centers, the QRCS stated the reception of children and all group activities that require children to attend themselves were stopped, while communicating with the parents is being held through the mobile app to educate them about the ways to protect their children from the virus.
In the next stage, it is decided that parents will be introduced to the mechanisms and techniques of dealing with children, to alleviate negative reactions caused by the Pandemic such as anxiety, fear, stress and stigma.
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