U.S. Provides Ambulances to Help Chad Fight COVID-19
As part of its support for Chad’s continued fight against COVID-19, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) donated two new ambulances to Chad’s Centre for Coordination of Operations of Airports Sanitary Evacuations (CCOES).
The ambulances located at the Adji Kossei Air Base in the capital, N’Djamena, will help Chad’s response to cases of COVID-19 in the city of nearly 1 million. As of mid-July, Chad has reported just under 900 cases of COVID-19 and 75 deaths since the first case of the deadly respiratory disease was detected in March.
Chad has one of Africa’s lowest COVID-19 counts. It’s also among the continent’s most sparsely populated countries with one of its youngest populations. The median age is 16. COVID-19 has been found to be most prominent among densely populated areas and is deadliest to people in their 60s and older.
According to the N’Djamena-based publication Le Sahel, Chad has 11 COVID-19 patients under treatment. The country has gradually lifted lockdown restrictions and was likely to reopen entirely by month’s end.
Should COVID-19 see a resurgence, Public Health Minister Mahamoud Youssouf Khayal told parliament the country needs more medical equipment, according to Turkey’s Andalou Agency. The U.S.-supported training and equipment bolster Chad’s ability to respond to COVID-19 and other emergencies.
CCOES Director Col. Mahamat Brahim Haggar received the ambulances from Maj. Michael Hill, acting senior defense officer for the U.S. Embassy N’Djamena. Haggar noted the ambulances also will help Chadian military forces in their efforts to battle extremists in the western region around Lake Chad.
Chad is part of the G5 Sahel Joint Force fighting extremist forces across the region that divides the Sahara and North Africa from Sub-Saharan Africa.
The ambulances will help CCOES quickly transfer wounded Soldiers from the airfield to the main military hospital for treatment, Haggar told tchadinfos.com. “With these two ambulances at the Adji Kossei Air Base, CCOES will gain precious time receiving patients transported by plane from battle zones and can stabilize them, thanks to this vital medical assistance,” he said.
The U.S. has given Chadian forces a variety of vehicles and other support in recent months that can help them combat the spread of COVID-19 and the spread of extremism in the region.
The ambulances are part of the U.S. effort to invest in Chadian military forces’ medical preparedness. Last December, 12 Chadian Air Force medics completed the U.S. military’s rigorous Casualty Evacuation course. One hundred other members of the Chadian military received training in lifesaving battlefield trauma care from the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Security Cooperation. Haggar, who is a doctor, received training at U.S. medical centers.
“The United States continues to invest in saving Chadian lives by improving their military medical capabilities,” AFRICOM said in its Facebook post announcing the ambulance presentation.
Avec ces deux ambulances à la base aérienne d’Adji Kossei, le CCOES va gagner un temps précieux en recevant des patients transportés par avions depuis les zones de batailles, en les stabilisant grâce à une aide médicale vitale.