(Rabat, April 28, 2020): As part of the crisis response actions to strengthen the capacities of member countries to withstand the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), in coordination with their partners, the Moroccan Society of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Resuscitation (SMAAR) launched an online platform to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing between medical teams from African member countries of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB). The initiative,that comes under the Reverse Linkage Mechanism and the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, was rolled out via the first of two webinars focusing on pandemic preparedness and response, whilst leveraging on international expertise in this field.

The E-Learning and Knowledge Sharing Platform on “Preparing for and Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic in African IsDB Member Countries” comes in line with the IsDB Group 3Rs COVID19 Strategic Program ; Response, Restore and Restart to support the Member Countries in their fight against the pandemic. In addition, it is in line with the AATB Response to COVID19 Crisis Plan as agreed in its Executive Committee Meeting held on 9/4/2020.

This also comes in partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco, Founder Member of the AATB Program, which adopted several other initiatives to counter the impact of the COVID-19 on the African and Arab countries.

The initiative aims firstly to build the capacities of medical staff in African countries on their COVID-19 response protocols and approaches. Secondly, the webinars are designed to encourage dialogue and scenario mapping to identify key challenges facing participating countries and to outline best practice approaches for successfully integrating response strategies in their respective countries. Additionally, the initiative will facilitate engagement between decision makers and practitioners in the participating countries and pave the way for increased global collaboration.  

Mr. Amadou Thierno Diallo, Acting Director General Global Practices, IsDB, stated: “To combat the COVID19 Pandemic, the sharing of experience, the transfer of technical expertise as well as the development of human and institutional capacities are as important as the supply of equipment and sanitary products. South-South cooperation is an effective and rapid means to achieve these objectives”.

The co-organizers include the Moroccan Association of Emergency Medicine (SMMU), the Moroccan Association of Medical Simulation (SIM),  the Morocco Red Crescent (CRM), The Society of Anesthesia-Intensive Care of Francophone Africa (SARANF), Tunisian Society of Anesthesia of Analgesia and Resuscitation (STAAR), and the Algerian Society of Anesthesia, Resuscitation, Intensive Care and Emergencies (SAARSIU).

From his side, Mr. Nazeem Noordali, COO ITFC commented, “COVID-19 has dramatically affected our lives and has forced us to embrace the new norm. We need to consider other parameters that are more focused on preserving the environment and social well-being. While we find the best way to communicate, work and operate amidst this crisis, we need to stay united and strong to get through this phase together. A heartfelt gratitude to all the unsung heroes, our healthcare front liners, for their unwavering dedication and sacrifices.”

The first webinar focused on the care of patients with coronavirus, detection, classification care, monitoring and interventions. It was attended by more than 4000 participants. It saw more than 130doctors, reanimators, emergency physicians and members of national committees from 17 African countries share experiences on how to manage the COVID 19 pandemic. These countries included Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Togo, and Tunisia.

The African E-Learning & Knowledge Sharing Platform provides for one-line training, coordination and monitoring meetings, the sharing of best practices, lessons learned, training and communication materials. It also allows medical professionals in IsDB member countries to learn and benefit from the experiences of countries that have already made significant advances in the preparation and response to the COVID-19 Pandemic; both within and outside of Africa.