COVID-19 : Populated public spaces become new testing sites

Mobile teams in Cameroon’s capital-Yaounde,  have begun screening persons for #COVID19 in markets, universities, motor parks, enterprises and other public places.

Mobile Testing, a new testing strategy  that will comb the country’s nooks and crannies of the Coronavirus , was  launched in Yaounde on July 28, 2020.

The exercise which began at the Mokolo market in Yaounde, will run for one month nationwide.

How does testing unfold?

Clad in blue Personal Protective Equipment, the mobile teams involved in the exercise work in four groups.

At the courtyard of the Mokolo market’s administrative building, the first group  educates  the public  on the importance of being screened for the disease. With megaphones strapped to  their shoulders, the health personnel who speak in French, Fulfude and other local languages, invite all and sundry , to have  themselves screened ,  free of charge.

Health communicator educates the public on the importance of being screened for the virus.

When persons consent to be tested for the virus, they are sent to the  reception unit in the administrative building of the Mokolo market. Here, they are briefly informed on why it is important for them to be tested for the virus.

The personnel at the reception will then lead them to the second unit where  a questionnaire is filled with key information about the person to be screened.

Individual at the reception unit

Among the important details required is their medical history and contact. Some of the questions asked include ;

Are you experiencing any symptom of COVID-19 like dey cough, headache, or  fever ?

Have you been in contact with an infected person ?

Has any family member been infected with the virus ?

Do you know any person who died of COVID-19 ?

Do you suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or any other known ailments ?

 

The health personnel collects samples at the testing unit by nose swab

After responding to all the questions, the individual  is directed to the testing unit  for sample collection. The sample is then  collected through a nose swab , and sent to the sent to the laboratory to round up the screening process.

After screening, what next ?

After going through the screening exercise, the individual is then told “Your result will be communicated to you after 72 hours,  via SMS”.

The officials say positive  cases will be promptly  admitted to the special treatment centres for treatment.

Mobile Testing , an initiative of public health officials, is aimed at stemming the spread of the deadly infectious disease in Cameroon .

Kathy Neba Sina

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