Sudan has reported over six thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19 which is the highest number among Eastern African countries.
A national curfew and traffic restrictions were imposed to control the spread of the virus.
Currently a Chinese medical team is in the capital Khartoum to share its experiences when handling the coronavirus.
CGTN’s He Weiwei is traveling with the team and has this report.
The Chinese medical team arrived in Sudan on may 28, and they have a lot of work to do here. For the past several days, they met with officials from the health ministry as well as the higher committee for health emergencies, which is a national cross-department body for the COVID- 19.
Besides that, they also visited a number of hospitals? where they held in-depth talks with the local medical personnel. And also, they visited patients of the COVID- 19, not only those with mild or moderate symptoms, but also some severely ill patients inside the ICU.
They also have talks with members of the WHO office in Sudan as well as the organization of Doctors Without Borders.
Earlier, I talked to Sudan’s health minister who talked about the Chinese doctors work here, as well as the Challenge that Sudan is now facing.
“This is a very important visit for us, and we’re very glad to have our colleagues in the health professionals from China, particularly in what was the overall experience of how the state of the city of Wuhan and other parts of China and how the national response faced the epidemic, addressed it, suffered a lot, but then faced it in a very strong way, a very comprehensive way with strong leadership, locally and nationally. So, to the extent that today in China we are seeing that this is no longer a big challenge, that kind of journey is what we are very keen to learn. When will we get to that stage?” Akram Ali Altom, Sudanese Health Minister said.
He adds, “I would say the second most important part, how do you treat it? How do you identify it? How do you make sure that the rest of the health services for people who do not have the disease are still continuing?”
Currently, we know that Sudan has the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID- 19 among eastern African countries. So what are some of the challenges that Sudan is now facing?
The minister submits that: “I think the biggest Challenge we face in Sudan is the importance of further strengthening and restricting mass gatherings and the movement of people within cities within states and between states of Sudan, and making sure that we really close the border in a very strong way. If we are able to do that with stricter measures, then I think we would be able to then start looking at a lower number of new cases and also a better ability to control it.”
He Weiwei: “Right now, are we facing a shortage of medical supplies or medical personnel at the moment?”
“If I ask now how much stock do we have of masks, gloves, personal protection equipment, I am sure we will have no more than one month supply at the current numbers of cases. So, when we talk about coronavirus today, we always see corona. but then corona came on. What kind of situation where we have to deal now with not just a corona, but other diseases, other supply shortages, funding for our health workers, and funding also for the medicines that none corona cases need all the time? In the amounts that I mentioned, Our government is working very hard to make sure that these inputs are provided either from the government’s own budget, which is really constrained, or from international donors like China,” the Sudanese health official says.
He Weiwei: “In terms of this issue, for the past several decades, China has been consistently providing medical aids to African countries, including Sudan. So how do you see china’s role and responsibility in this matter?”
“Being the first country that was affected, you gained and developed a lot of good experience, and you turn the epidemic around. The minister for health adds that, “The second most important thing that China can also do the context of general health services is that china’s investments. We would like to add a dimension, whereby a Chinese university or a Chinese number of professionals can come to Sudan, provide the technical support, or a Chinese businessman or businesswoman would like can come to Sudan and invest in infrastructure that relates to health or invest in a joint venture in producing the kind of equipment and medicines and protective personal protection equipment that I just mentioned, I hope can start a kind of people to people diplomacy that would, in my view for the country of Sudan be much more beneficial than a relationship that goes only through governments. That one should also continue, but it should not be the only one.”
However, before the Chinese team leaves Sudan, they will deliver a report on their suggestions on different issues such as the prevention and control of the COVID- 19, such as the treatment and also the hospital management and so forth. This report will be delivered to the Sudanese government.