As part of efforts to check the COVID-19 outbreak, Chad’s leader Idriss Derby on April 14 announced that the government would recruit additional 1,638 health personnel to beef up the country’s medical squad.
The country, which confirmed its first case on March 30, has recorded 46 cases, 15 have recovered and no death yet as at April 25.
At a press conference on Sunday, April 26, the country’s Minister of the Public Service, Labour and Social Dialogue, Alio Mbodou Mbodoumi, said that 1,000 health professionals drawn from all levels had been recruited as directed by the president.
“Within the context of rapidly executing the head of state’s instructions, our ministerial department has immediately recruited and put at the disposal of the Ministry of Public Health, 1,000 health agents, drawn from all categories of the profession as part of the 1,638 authorised by the head of state,” Mbodoumi said.
Also, the Minister of Public Health, Prof. Mahamoud Yousouf Khayal, at his own press conference on Sunday, announced that the COVID-19 contingency budget of 15 billion FCFA (30 million dollars) had been raised to 31 billion FCFA (62 million dollars).
Kyayal revealed that the augmentation of the emergency COVID-19 budget was made possible by assistance from international cooperation partners.
“Following the head of state’s address to the nation of April 14, 2020, on the contingency health plan, Chad has benefitted from the increasing cooperation and support of our partners. The (COVID-19) budget has thus been reviewed upwards from 15 billion to 31 billion FCFA,” the minister said.
He said since the outbreak of the pandemic, health personnel in the country had put their lives at risk in the service of the people.
This has resulted in 10 of them being contaminated by the virus, with five successfully treated and discharged from hospital, the minister said.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Chadian government has taken various measures aimed at protecting the population against the spread of the disease.
Among the measures are the inauguration of a mobile laboratory, the commandeering of the Farcha provincial hospital to house COVID-19 patients, the training of 910 health agents, including 58 laboratory technicians, 275 chief district medical officers and nurses and 311 surveillance agents. Some 226 medical personnel are still undergoing training.
WITH DISPATCHES FROM N’DJAMENA, CHAD.