Piaget gets involved in the fight against Covid-19 in Cape Verde

UniPiaget of Cape Verde, one of the universities in the Piaget universe on the African continent, is working with local health authorities to respond to the effects of the pandemic.

With Covid-19 expanding in Cape Verde, the Piaget Institute is actively collaborating in the fight against the pandemic and its consequences for the Cape Verdean population, through its university in this Portuguese-speaking country. The Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde is currently involved in three studies in the field of public health, mobilizing its resources and the experience of its researchers and teachers in the fields of health, molecular biology, and the environment.

The pandemic is still on the rise, although controlled by health authorities, which are doing a close follow-up through diagnosis and contact tracking. The main negative factors are the lack of rigor of the population in complying with preventive measures and the difficulties posed by the mobility of people, especially in public transport and in places with large agglomerations”, warns Lara Ferrero Gómez, coordinator of the Disease Research Group Tropical UniPiaget since 2012.

Prof. Dra. Lara Ferrero Gómez

The researcher is also part of the technical team of the study on Covid-19 promoted by the Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), which surveyed, in record time, more than 5,300 people to assess the prevalence of the new coronavirus in the population, by detecting the presence of antibodies in blood samples at the fingertips of each person. The seroepidemiological survey of SARS-CoV-2 infection concluded that there is still a high susceptibility to the virus, with a very low prevalence rate (0.4%), as in studies carried out in other countries.

Mortality in Cape Verde is low, compared to other countries, partly because it has a very young population. But the continued increase in the number of cases may affect the elderly population”, warns the professor at UniPiaget.

The country has already passed the barrier of 2,700 positive cases since March 19, with 2,010 recovered, 27 deaths and two foreign citizens transferred to their countries of origin. The islands of Santiago and Sal are the most affected by the pandemic.

In addition to the support granted in the logistics area, Piaget’s participation in the study promoted by the Cape Verdean authorities extended to all steps of the seroepidemiological survey, from planning, organization, training of surveyors, supervision of the survey in the field, analysis and discussion of data, and writing of documents that are part of the project, still in progress.

Another study is underway, called “Mental health of the Cape Verdean population during and after Covid-19”. In this case, UniPiaget’s involvement is coordinated by that university’s professor Ana Suzete Moniz, director of the Science and Nature, Life and Environment Unit.

Finally, the institution of the Piaget universe is also participating in an international project on mortality by Covid-19, whose proposal for collaboration has already been accepted by the Cape Verde INSP.

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