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MSF steps up its COVID-19 response in Spain

Using its experience in managing epidemics in places with fragile health systems, MSF is stepping up its response to COVID-19 in Spain.

 MSF Flag ©Valérie Batselaere/MSF
We are seeking to share our experience so we can work to protect the most vulnerable

According to the latest official figures, the situation in Spain continues to deteriorate with a death toll reaching 2,696 people. Around 40,000 people are infected, 5,400 of whom are health workers, representing more than 1 in 10 of total confirmed cases.

Using its experience in managing epidemics in places with fragile health systems, MSF is stepping up its response to COVID-19 in Spain.

Firstly, MSF has reached out to national and local health authorities in view of providing them with strategic advice and technical support on strategies to manage this public health crisis.

"Our goal is twofold: to help relieve the pressure on hospitals and health centres so that they can focus on serving the most severe patients, and to strengthen the protection of elderly people, one of the most vulnerable groups in this epidemic", said Dr David Noguera, president of MSF Spain. "We are seeking to share our experience so we can work to protect the most vulnerable”.

One of the first priorities is to tackle the infection within healthcare structures and to help to reduce the risk for patients with other pathologies from getting infected.

MSF is also focussing on decongesting hospitals and healthcare centres by setting up temporary hospitals for mild and moderate cases so that ICUs can focus on treating those who are more severe.

Following the green light from Madrid’s Regional Government, MSF set up a 100-bed temporary hospital to accommodate moderate patients in one of the pavilions of the University of Alcalá de Henares, 31km at east of the capital.

Patients will be treated by the staff of the nearby Hospital Príncipe de Asturia and this will help relieve the pressure on the hospital’s emergency department. Similarly, another temporary hospital was set up in a sports centre nearby the Hospital Severo Ochoa in Leganés, 11km southwest of Madrid. Discussions with local health authorities are also ongoing to identify other locations to set up similar spaces in Catalanuya.

Thirdly, outside of healthcare facilities, MSF is providing advice to the steering committees of nursing homes for the elderly regarding the risk assessment and implementation of hygiene and protection measures to reduce transmission within residences, as well as improve patient care.  

Keywords

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Most of the world's countries have reported cases of coronavirus disease COVID-19 and MSF teams in over 70 countries are now racing to respond to the pandemic.  

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