“Responding to incidents involving hazardous chemical, biological and radioactive substances.” This was the topic of the distance learning course prepared by the employees of the Belarusian State Medical University and the University of Civil Protection of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus.
This event was the beginning of cooperation on infection prevention and control in a sign of the spread of COVID-19 between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Colombia. The proposal of such cooperation was presented by the Belarusian side as part of an exchange of letters between the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and the President of the Republic of Colombia Ivan Duque Marquez. Great contribution to this event was made by the Office of the President of the Republic of Colombia, the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Republic of Colombia, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus, as well as by other interested parties. In total, the preparatory period took several months.
At a press conference that took place a couple of weeks before the scheduled event, Belarusian experts announced the topics of their presentations, which related to national experience in responding and resolving incidents with chemical and radioactive substances, liquidating the consequences of the Chernobyl accident, international approaches to management of such risks. Particular attention was planned to be paid to such topical issues as the provision of medical care to patients with coronavirus infection, ensuring sanitary and epidemic safety in the conditions of the COVID-19 outbreak in Belarus.
The following representatives of the Belarusian State Medical University shared their experience:
Igor A. Karpov, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases, doctor of medical sciences, professor;
Grigory N. Chistenko, Head of the Department of Epidemiology, doctor of medical sciences, professor;
Andrei V. Hindziuk, Dean of the Faculty of Preventive Medicine, candidate of medical sciences, associate professor;
Nikita V. Solovey, associate professor of the Department of Infectious Diseases, candidate of medical sciences.
Among the participants of the distance learning course were employees of the ministries of health, defense, transport, police, migration agency, President administration, specialists in the field of emergency response to natural and man-made disasters, industrial safety and civil defense, Colombian strategic security services, local administrations, teachers and students of Colombian universities. The format of video conference was chosen for the course with translation into Spanish and Russian languages.
The distance learning course “Responding to incidents involving hazardous chemical, biological and radioactive substances” was conducted for the period from June 29 to July 2, 2020.
At the opening ceremony on June 29, 2020 the participants exchanged welcome speeches. On behalf of the Belarusian side welcome speech was addressed by the Vice-Rector for International Relations of the Belarusian State Medical University, doctor of medical sciences, professor Vasili V. Roudenok.
Then the BSMU teachers gave thematic lectures and presented their achievements in COVID-19 treatment and prevention.
Summing up the results of the distance learning course, the parties noted its content-richness and usefulness in addressing various natural and man-made disasters. The participants expressed confidence that the cooperation of Belarusian and Colombian specialists will develop in future and result in various joint projects and actions that will meet interests of both states.
Author: Oksana Kurbeko, spokesperson
Photo: Dmitry Zelenkovsky
Translation: Varvara Boika