Vaccine Diplomacy: Cameroon receives China-donated medical equipment to match COVID-19; WHO absolves AstraZeneca from blood clot

Yaounde Central Hospital, one of the largest designated hospitals for COVID-19 treatment in Cameroon received Monday a batch of medical equipment donated by China to fight against the novel coronavirus.

The equipment- ventilators, oxygenators, electrocardiographs, among others was handed over in a ceremony in Yaoundé, yesterday.

“This donation comes at the right time. We are all together in the fight against COVID-19, a difficult fight for the health personnel,” said Hassan Ben Bachir, head of the cooperation division of the Ministry of Public Health, who represented the Cameroonian authority to receive the Chinese donation. “We can only thank the Chinese government,” he added.

This donation is offered as part of the cooperation mechanism between Chinese and African hospitals, an initiative proposed by China to help Africa in the field of health. A partnership has been forged between the Yaounde Central Hospital and the First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University in China.

“This is the start of a collaboration which will be growing”, said Pierre Joseph Fouda, director of the Yaounde Central Hospital, “it is a great emotion and a feeling of joy to receive this donation. We will use it wisely.”

It would be recalled that earlier gestures has already been offered by China to Uganda, Tunisia, Zambia and other countries in Africa.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom has said that reports of blood clots in people who have received COVID-19 vaccines does not necessarily mean the occurrence is linked to the jabs.

Speaking at a COVID-19 briefing on Monday, Tedros said his organization was aware multiple countries had suspended the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines following reports of blood clots in people who had received the vaccine from two batches produced in Europe.

“This does not necessarily mean these events are linked to COVID-19 vaccination, but it’s routine practice to investigate them, and it shows that the surveillance system works and that effective controls are in place”-

The WHO chief announced that the organization’s Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety is reviewing the available data and is scheduled to meet tomorrow on the same.

Countries that have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca shots include Romania, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Bulgaria, Denmark and Norway, Luxembourg, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.


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