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COVID-19 Case Management Training in Hargeisa, Somaliland

4 June 2020


In partnership with King’s College London and the Somaliland Ministry of Health, THET facilitated a Case Management Workshop for COVID-19 Centre Coordinators.

The health system of Somaliland is slowly recovering  from the impact of the Somali civil war which has led to the destruction of healthcare facilities and the migration of health professionals. With limited resources, the current COVID-19 pandemic is raising many challenges for health service delivery.

To fight the pandemic, the MoH is working to enhance regional coordination and to improve the functionality and organisational capacity of the health system to enable better surveillance and case management by rapid response teams.

To equip COVID-19 Treatment Centre Coordinators with the knowledge and skills required to safely manage patients with COVID-19, a training workshop was held on 17-18 May 2020 at the Hargeisa Group Hospital (HGH).

The training was attended by six medical coordinators from each region of Somaliland, plus doctors and nurses from HGH, the head of the HGH laboratory, directors and senior advisors from the MoH, as well as the Director of HGH.

Over the two day workshop, participants gained an understanding of COVID-19 disease epidemiology and pathology, referral pathways and criteria for patient admission to hospital/treatment centres. The workshop also enabled participants to become familiar with the Somaliland national pandemic plan and public health response, and with core principles of infection prevention and control (IPC), giving them the skills to train others on hand washing and the safe use of PPE.

Participants also gained a working knowledge of the administrative and environmental controls required to manage COVID-19 patients in the hospital/treatment centres while protecting staff and other patients (includes patient flows, triage, isolation wards and supporting procedures) and a working knowledge of how to manage patients with COVID-19 (including diagnostics, monitoring, triage for intensive care, oxygen therapy, management of ARDS and sepsis and mechanical ventilation).

The workshop concluded with each of the medical coordinators committing to implement the new national guideline for COVID-19 at their respective treatment centers.

Case discussions were conducted on Day 2, allowing participants to share their personal experience with different cases and how they handle each case.

The psychosocial effects of COVID-19 on frontline health workers and how to provide a psychological first aid was a strong theme, with participants sharing the issues and challenges they face on daily basis.