Preparing countries in south and southeast Asia
Further afield, in other countries where we’re working, teams are preparing in case of an outbreak of COVID-19. In several countries, predominantly in south and southeast Asia, we are in contact with the health authorities and offering support should it be needed. This includes training of health workers on infection prevention and control measures and health education for vulnerable and at-risk groups.
Lower middle-income countries like Cambodia or Laos have under-resourced health systems. They struggle to provide services to their populations even without the threat of a COVID-19 outbreak. If a major epidemic occurs, these health systems could collapse. Precautions and preparation are critical at this stage to avoid healthcare facilities contributing to the spread of the disease. We are assessing the existing capabilities and might provide support to countries to develop their preparedness and response.
We are already speaking to our patients, such as our Hepatitis C patients in Cambodia, about what symptoms to look out for to in order to provide them with accurate information and to help alleviate their fears.