Burundi prepares itself against Novel Coronavirus disease
The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which first appeared in Wuhan Province, China, continues to pose a global public health challenge. A total of 6,065 cases have been confirmed, of which 68 cases have been detected outside of China. On 30 January 2020, the Burundian Ministry of Public Health and Fight Against AIDS, together with WHO, OCHA, UNICEF and IOM, met to discuss preparedness, and produce both a readiness checklist and risk analysis toolkit.
The work on EVD preparedness undertaken can serve as a strong basis for a possible response to 2019-nCoV. For example, a national multi-sectoral taskforce and a public health emergency operation coordinating centre can be activated within two hours. Moreover, some of the preparedness activities, such as registering people’s temperatures upon arrival at Bujumbura airport and at other key entry points, are already in place and can also be used for carriers of 2019-nCoV. In addition to this, several health facilities are already equipped with the required medical supplies, and systems of risk communication and community engagement are already in place.
In the coming weeks, humanitarian partners will gear their efforts to: - train Rapid Response Teams in handling respiratory-related cases - pre-position Personal Protection Equipment and other supplies at border points of entry - create dedicated ambulance services for suspected 2019-nCoV patients - equip isolation facilities - assess ill travelers - train health workers on 2019-nCoV case management
Since the early 2000s, there have been several examples of respiratory viruses which have posed grave threats to global public health, including SARS, H1N1 influenza, and MERS. WHO declared the outbreak of 2019-nCoV as a public health emergency of international concern last Thursday 30 January 2020.
The risk of these respiratory pathogens spreading is increased by population growth, climate change, increasing urbanization, and international travel and migration.
Stay up to date on 2019-nCoV here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
Recommendations on key preventive measures against 2019-nCoV can be found here: https://hr.un.org/page/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov