As announced during the first Webinar session, UNFPA, National Health Commission of China (NHC) and Partners in Population and Development (PPD) organized a follow-up session on 8 May 2020 which helped to provide the most accurate and pinpointed responses to the questions asked by the participants during the first session held on 1st April 2020. The huge number of questions were broadly divided into 33 categories and segregated into five clusters according their nature and classes, all of which were specifically responded by five experienced physicians from NHC-China.
The responses were preceded by brief remarks by Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, UNFPA, Mr Adnene Ben Haj Aissa, Executive Director of PPD and Ms. Zhang Yang, Director General, International Cooperation of NHC-China. In his intervention, the Executive Director of PPD highlighted the role of Partners in Population and Development in sharing member countries experiences within the framework of South-South Cooperation which is defined by the United Nations, as an expression of solidarity between developing countries. He stated that the fight against COVID-19 would not be won without national unity and global solidarity as demonstrated by the Government and the people of China, showing the best example of how to defeat the virus and by assisting many PPD member and non-member countries with expertise, necessary supplies and equipment for protection and treatment of the coronavirus infections.
He declared that “We are facing an unprecedented global Pandemic engulfing all the countries and territories of the world and encompassing all walks of human life. This has posed serious public health emergency and greatly impeded the volume and efficiency of our fundamental activities as it completely restricted our movement”.
The Executive Director of PPD urged governments, partners and all stakeholders to engage themselves to effectively respond to this Pandemic without compromising their principal mission and commitments related to population policies and SRH programs. He added that relatively lesser response to SRH programs due to the Pandemic will definitely create additional burdens, such as huge unintended pregnancies, domestic and gender based violence and abuse including maternal morbidities and other related problems. He concluded by saying that history showed that confrontation of global catastrophes generated greater resilience and committed that PPD will address more resolutely the problems to catch-up with these additional challenges, once situation becomes favorable.
The participants were so enthusiastically and actively engaged in the session, asked supplementary questions and made significant compliments to the responses provided by the Chinese physicians on the nitty-gritties of the treatment of COVID-19 infected Pregnant Women. The exceptional success of the Webinars encouraged the organizers to think of organizing similar programs on different issues in near future.