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Subject Guro Hospital Spearheads the Efforts to Build Madagascar’s “COVID-19 Diagnostic Center”
Selection News Date 2020-06-18 Read 34

KU Guro Hospital Spearheads 

the Efforts to Build Madagascar’s 

“COVID-19 Diagnostic Center”

 

 

Korean Ambassador to Madagascar Sends a Letter of Gratitude to

 

President Seung-Kyu Han

 

 

Madagascar, which was unprotected against the COVID-19 pandemic due to

 

outdated medical facilities and thus unable to treat or even test patients,

 

established a quarantine safety net thanks to Korea University Guro Hospital’s

 

support.

 

 

In response, the Republic of Korea’s ambassador to Madagascar, Sang-woo

 

Lim, sent a letter of gratitude to President Seung-Kyu Han of Korea University

 

Guro Hospital.

 

 

Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean of Africa with a population

 

of 27 million and had its first COVID-19 confirmed case on March 20. And in

 

less than a week, the number of exposed people surpassed the nation’s testing

 

capacity, and as a result, the number of patients increased exponentially. In

 

Madagascar where medical facilities and resources are so scarce that just 10

 

critically ill patients would overwhelm the system, an only available option was

 

rapid screening and patient isolation.

 

 

It got test kits but couldn’t differentiate specimen

 

Korea University Guro Hospital supported the establishment of a

 

laboratory with negative pressure and stainer

 

 

Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Madagascar (Ambassador Sang-woo Lim)

 

secured test kits for 15,000 people thanks to the help of supporters and the

 

Korean government. But the test kits were just bullets and it needed a gun. The

 

test kit alone did not mean that patients could be diagnosed. Laboratory tools

 

such as pipettes were in short supply, so even with a collected specimen, a

 

diagnosis couldn’t be made. There were no infectious disease experts,

 

diagnostic and pathology experts, so it was difficult to know what kind of lab

 

equipment was needed and how to purchase them.

 

 

So, Ambassador Lim asked for advice from Missionary Jae-hoon Lee (51th

 

graduates’ class of Korea University College of Medicine) who had been

 

volunteering in Madagascar since 2005 to provide medical services.

 

When the missionary asked help from Professor Han-Kyeom Kim of the

 

Department of Pathology of Korea University Guro Hospital, Professor Kim

 

and his wife, Mrs. Young-sook Joo (38th graduates’ class of Korea University

 

College of Medicine) purchased and donated two negative pressure which is

 

absolutely needed for safe SARS-CoV-2 testing and also provided information

 

for the establishment of a laboratory. Then Madagascar was able to establish a

 

well-equipped laboratory for COVID-19 patients testing, and as of June 20,

 

approximately 12,000 tests have been conducted to find 1,162 confirmed cases.

 

When President Seung-Kyu Han of Korea University Guro Hospital heard this

 

unfortunate news of Madagascar, he helped building a laboratory that can

 

complement Madagascar’s suboptimal health care environment by sending

 

automated histology and cell stainer and a coverslipper.

 

 

Has been inviting and educating pathologists since 2016

 

 

In fact, this is not the first time that Korea University Guro Hospital supports

 

Madagascar. It invited and trained three pathologists from Madagascar to Korea

 

from 2016 to 2020. The trained pathologists will play a pivotal role not only in

 

Pathology but also in the medical development of Madagascar.

 

 

“Korea University Guro Hospital has been a great help in improving

 

Madagascar’s suboptimal health care environment. I express my sincere

 

gratitude for your help and interests in Madagascar from afar.” Ambassador Lim

 

stated in his letter of gratitude expressing his appreciation.

 

 

 

“We didn’t do much but you sent us a letter. I am truly touched by your letter of

 

gratitude.” President Han replied. “I hope the whole world will work together to

 

overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to support Madagascar

 

for its medical development.”

 

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