A mural in Senegal of a girl blowing her nose

Irrespective of only obtaining 7 doctors for every 100,000 people today, Senegal has been widely praised for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The BBC’s Mayeni Jones and Naomi Scherbel-Ball glance at how the state has managed to keep Covid-19 in check out.

“When the initially situation came, we ended up incredibly nervous and I was offended simply because it was an imported situation,” says Dr Khardiata Diallo, who co-ordinates the epidemic remedy centre at Fann Clinic in the cash, Dakar.

“We worried that we lacked gear, for the treatment of coronavirus there were being just 12 beds with confined oxygen supplies for the total region.”

Medics at Fann Hospital are now able to keep track of individuals utilizing cameras as a way of minimising call

That was in late February when a Frenchman experienced returned to Dakar from a snowboarding getaway with a fever, sore throat and headache.

He was Senegal’s initially case of Covid-19, the 2nd claimed circumstance in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Diallo, who was component of the crew that addressed the country’s solitary Ebola scenario all through the West African outbreak of 2014 as very well as other cholera outbreaks over the final 15 yrs, knew they essential to act promptly to comprise the pandemic.

Cost-free 24-hour screening

Her colleagues at the prestigious Institut Pasteur in the Dakar, which in February was a person of just two laboratories in Africa that were able to examination for coronavirus, educated workers from dozens of other countries on how to exam.

Ibrahima Diop, who will work in a simply call centre, was 1st identified and addressed for malaria when he caught Covid-19 in April

By April, 43 international locations on the African continent had been able to diagnose Covid-19 correctly.

Right now the lab in Dakar’s central Plateau district has a 24-hour operation and screening has been expanded across the region.

Checks for individuals with symptoms are free and outcomes are released in eight hrs.

It is obligatory for people to put on masks in Dakar

When there have been fears above low tests charges throughout the continent, the Africa Centre for Disorder Handle is supporting international locations to ramp up testing stages and there are hopes that cheap self-screening diagnostic kits could help that hard work.

The Institut Pasteur has been critical to this effort, with its chief virologist Amadou Sall partnering with British isles-based business Mologic to develop two residence test kits:

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1 to exam if someone presently has the virus, related to the at the moment applied lab-centered PCR swab exams

The other to look at if an individual has designed antibodies for coronavirus from a past an infection

Dr Sall suggests the producing of the antibody exam has previously started and they must be released in the coming weeks.

It will work like a pregnancy check, costing shut to $1 (£.80) with benefits in just 10 minutes.

The residence check that will demonstrate if another person at this time has coronavirus has been delayed and is now becoming validated by the Liverpool College of Tropical Medication, but there are hopes it will nevertheless be out ahead of the finish of the calendar year.

Greater concentrations of screening should also enable with early analysis.

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Ibrahima Diop, a 29-year-aged telemarketer in Dakar, fell ill in April and was to begin with handled for malaria.

It was only at the insistence of his mom, who worked at a hospital, that he was tested and identified with coronavirus – together with 60 of his contact centre colleagues.

He was swiftly treated and introduced from hospital in a week – his case showed the will need for persons to seek out tests in a nation in which signs or symptoms can quickly be perplexed with malaria, anything the authorities have emphasised for the duration of their each day morning televised coronavirus briefings.

Singing to defeat the virus

A world Covid-19 reaction index by International Plan magazine gave Senegal the optimum attainable rating for its communication method – and prime musicians far too joined the exertion to advise individuals.

In April they clubbed jointly to launch Daan Corona, indicating “Defeat coronavirus” in the regional Wolof language.

The track characteristics well known Senegalese musician Youssou Ndour calling on persons to stay at house and wash their fingers.

There are also vibrant murals on the walls of Senegal’s oldest university contacting on college students to share the correct coronavirus avoidance strategies with their classmates, instead than sharing coronavirus.

Murals in Dakar demonstrate men and women solutions to stop the distribute of coronavirus

Throughout the road, you can see the blue basins that have been established up for handwashing in some community areas.

In the early times of the pandemic, preventive measures have been put in location together with a state of unexpected emergency, entire school closure and a evening-time curfew

Places to eat, supermarkets and banking companies have been fast to introduce temperature checks at their entrances.

Community clean basins can be found in Dakar to encourage people to wash their arms

While that is now mostly been peaceful, on Dakar’s streets facial area masks are still obligatory, a rule that was released as early as April.

Currently all of Senegal’s 14 regions are geared up to address coronavirus patients and there are now just 26 clients remaining on ventilators across Senegal.

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In the acute coronavirus ward at Dakar’s Fann clinic, Dr Oumar Kane screens his past coronavirus individual dependent on a ventilator.

The 58-calendar year-aged has been taken care of there for just above a week – he is diabetic.

To minimise speak to, cameras from the ward connection up to a television display screen outside the house.

The preferred Muslim Mouride brotherhood is encouraging individuals to put on masks

But again in March, when situations in Senegal first started off to rise, Dr Kane remembers a incredibly distinct circumstance.

“The difficulty was we only had 10 beds with ventilators and there had been times when there was force on the list, which intended that we would acquire phone calls inquiring for a bed and we couldn’t get the patient.

“That need ongoing for all-around a few months, until other hospitals have been equipped.”

The number of recorded day-to-day circumstances has been broadly lowering since mid-August. recorded

Senegal, which has a inhabitants of 16 million, has only had 15,000 constructive cases and just above 300 fatalities.

Its tactic for made up of the virus has tailored and quite a few clients with delicate symptoms are now handled at property, with clinic staff members monitoring their condition remotely and delivering drugs.

Muslim pilgrimage obstacle

When international flights re-opened in July, there have been fears that there would be a spike in cases.

Senegal, like lots of other African nations, has questioned site visitors to create a unfavorable Covid-19 certificate, dated no far more than a 7 days just before vacation.

There are typically large crowds at the tomb of the Mouride brotherhood founder throughout the Grand Magal pilgrimage

On arrival passengers have their temperature taken. So significantly, these measures look to have labored, with very low degrees of imported scenarios.

This 7 days 4 million people today are expected to go to the country’s largest yearly festival, the Grand Magal of Touba.

It is a historic pilgrimage to Touba, which is 190km (120 miles) east of Dakar and is the non secular dwelling of the Muslim Mouride brotherhood.

The pilgrims queue for several hours on the city’s streets to get to the Grand Mosque and to a mausoleum of the brotherhood’s founder.

Even though posters all around the funds clearly show the chief of the community contacting on followers to don experience masks, gathering such a large variety of worshippers in a single put will be a very important exam as the region seeks to keep the progress designed so significantly.

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