MSF teams are also present in Bouaké, the country's second largest city, assessing the local capacity to manage cases of COVID-19. In Ivory Coast, as elsewhere, the limited availability of tests is a major obstacle to rapid response, but some suspected cases have been tested in the area in the past days.
"Bouaké is located on the northern road that connects to the border of Burkina Faso and Mali," said Abdoul-Aziz Mohamed, executive director for West and Central Africa for MSF in Abidjan. "With the current evolution of the situation in Burkina Faso, it is essential to ensure a presence there to be able to react quickly if a case is confirmed and quickly cut the chain of transmission. To do this, it is necessary to prepare for the management of cases, to ensure the protection of health personnel, but also, and above all, to invest in raising awareness among the population."
Training activities for health workers and screening at the different entry points of the city are already ongoing. Water and sanitation activities are also being implemented in Bouaké: Hand-washing points have been set up in six health centers as well as in the university hospital center. In the coming days, a hospitalization capacity of 10 beds will be established for the care of potential patients. An additional series of training sessions for health workers is also planned in Bouaké and Abidjan to train medical staff on preventive measures and case management.