Cologne/Douala. Malteser International is deploying its Emergency Medical Team (EMT) to Cameroon after the country requested international assistance to control the rapid spread of COVID-19. Cameroon has one of Africa's highest infection rates with more than 10,000 cases and over 300 people reported dead.
Oliver Hochedez, Malteser International’s Emergency Response Coordinator, said: “Acting in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), our Emergency Medical Team will be leaving for Douala, Cameroon’s largest city on June 25. The team will be assisting and providing training for medical staff of three hospitals in the city as they respond to COVID-19. Our goal is to ensure that healthcare workers treating patients do not become infected themselves and that medical facilities remain free of infection.”
The deployment to Cameroon will be Malteser International’s first EMT operation since the organization received WHO classification in 2018.
“We are particularly delighted to have received support and advice from our friends at Ordre de Malte France, who have been on the ground for many years,” said Hochedez. We will also be working with Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), the Workers' Samaritan Federation of Germany, an organization exceptionally competent in infection control. Our EMT also includes a staff member of the ASB.”
The Emergency Medical Team (EMT)
EMTs are teams of health professionals certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) to treat patients needing medical care following disasters, disease outbreaks, and other emergencies. The Malteser International EMT deployed to Cameroon is a six-strong team of doctors, anesthesiologists and experts from the fields of water, sanitation, hygiene and logistics.
With the exacerbation of Boko Haram attacks in the north, a violent conflict in the English-speaking west, and a Central African refugee crisis, Cameroon is facing three separate emergencies. For the second year running, the country is first on the list of the most neglected crisis in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding these crises and adding more suffering to already vulnerable populations. The spike in new COVID-19 infections has prompted the national government to request international support from the WHO.
Note to editors:
Oliver Hochedez, Head of Emergency Response at Malteser International, is available for interviews.
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Reference: "Coronavirus Emergency"