COVID-19 IN COTE D’IVOIRE
[The following is a transcript of Dr. Seydou Kouyaté’s COVID-19 update for Côte d’Ivoire, pre-recorded for the HAI Event: How does COVID End? What we need to say out loud.]
The first cases of COVID-19 in Cote d’Ivoire were identified in Abidjan, the economic capital of the country in March 2020. Later, cases were reported in other towns and cities in the country. Of all the cases of COVID-19 reported in Cote d’Ivoire, the majority (about 95%) were recorded in Abidjan. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, fear gripped the entire population of the country as was the case in other countries around the world.
Following the notification of the first few COVID-19 confirmed cases in the country, the government of Cote d’Ivoire (GoCI) implemented a series of actions to control the spread of the virus. Some of these measures included, lockdown of the city of Abidjan, closure of the national borders, declaration of a state of emergency, establishment of a nighttime curfew and closure of schools. The Ministry of Health (MSHP) also provided preventive education and encouraged the population to adopt preventive behaviours (e.g. frequent handwashing with soap and water, wearing of face marks, social distancing etc) to break the chain of transmission of the virus.
With the support from the government, the MSHP has strengthened the capacity of health centers in Abidjan and other regions of the country on COVID-19 case identification through testing suspected cases and providing quality care to those infected with the virus. Specialized health facilities with intensive care units have been equipped with ventilators to reduce the number of COVID-19 deaths. In addition, treatment sites for COVID-19 patients have also been established and equipped to ensure the proper management of those infected. One of the challenges observed at the height of the pandemic was the decline in the number of consultation visits due to fear of contracting the virus. This decline impacted certain interventions, especially the vaccination of children against preventable diseases.
From my point of view, the efforts of the GoCI and [its] partners, including Health Alliance International (HAI), have substantially reduced the number of COVID-19 cases from a hundred cases per day at the start of the pandemic to around ten cases per day presently. Although all restrictions have been lifted, the population is continuously being advised to practice positive COVID-19 preventive behaviours.
[Supported by] our leadership, HAI has established a local COVID-19 committee and developed a contingency plan to continue providing services to people living with HIV. HAI has procured and supplied health facilities with preventive materials (e.g soap and hydroalcoholic gel for handwashing, facemasks etc) so that health care providers and Community Counselors can continue to provide HIV testing, treatment and viral load testing without exposing themselves to the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
As of today, HAI is pleased to report that no health care provider or Community Counsellor at supported sites has contracted the COVID-19 virus because of the measures we have deployed on the sites (regular awareness messages, soap and hydroalcoholic gel for handwashing, facemasks, screening of all suspected patients) and all health workers continue to provide care and support to PLHIV (including ART patients) according to established guidelines while at the same time respecting COVID-19 preventive measures.
STORIES OF CHANGE
HAI’s Annual Campaign runs Dec. 7-31. We’re saying farewell to 2020 by sharing stories that brought us hope this year. Examples of a seed that grew (or is growing) into something pretty spectacular.
Read the stories and plant a seed of your own.
COVID INFO HUB
Since April, HAI has been sharing information about our COVID response and the response of our government and social sector partners in teh countries where we work.
Learn more about the actions taken in Côte d’Ivoire by visiting our COVID info hub.