COVID-19: At the Frontline – The German Experience

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Now engulfed in a second COVID-19 wave, the pandemic in Germany is ahead of Africa and the country has been praised for a low death rate and high science. There will be lessons to learn when renowned virologist Professor Dr Hendrik Streeck of the University of Bonn engages with the University of Cape Town’s Professor Linda-Gail Bekker during a Desmond Tutu Health FoundationMedicalBrief webinar to be held next Tuesday, 1 September.

Streeck, who is one of Germany’s leading virologists for COVID-19 research and is spearheading the most important studies, will discusses coronavirus research and how Germany has handled the pandemic – testing, tracking and free medical care among other responses. There are many lessons for medical professionals in Africa.

The webinar is part of a popular series involving the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation and MedicalBrief that is aimed at keeping medical professionals up to speed with research and developments around the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Attendance earns a CPD point. The webinar is from 18.00 to 19.00 on Tuesday 1 September 2020 – Central African Time.

Click here to register for the webinar: COVID-19: At the Frontline – The German Experience

 

It has become clear from interaction with practitioners and academics in South Africa that there is an enormous need to translate the developed world COVID experience into measures for a developing world context.

Germany’s low fatality rate, compared to fatality rates in Italy and Spain, has generated a great deal of discussion and explanations that cite factors such as the country's higher number of tests performed, higher number of available intensive care beds with respiratory support, free public health service and higher proportion of positive cases among younger people.

The webinar discussion might include: Streek’s ‘cluster study’ research; why Germany has performed better than several other European countries such as France, Italy and the United Kingdom; implications from a study in Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia, which was a hot spot for SARS-CoV-2; lessons to be learned from testing and tracking practices; and mapping an exit strategy.

The webinar

Streeck will be in conversation with Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, a leading researcher with the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town, and Chief Operating Officer of the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation. Among other accolades, she is past president of the International Aids Society and is on the board of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

Bekker will moderate the webinar, kicking off with a 30-minute interaction looking at how COVID is playing out in different parts of Europe, and Germany in particular. What are the implications are for countries in Africa, especially given their public health challenges? Also of interest will be an interrogation of the post-lockdown phase and new insights.

This will be followed by a public question and answer session. Previous webinars have attracted large numbers of questions. Participants are encouraged where possible to send ahead of time questions they would like Wood to address. Send to: janice@wmgmedia.co.za.

Hendrik Streeck

Professor Dr Hendrik Streeck is director of the Institute of Virology and director of the Center for HIV & AIDS at University Hospital Bonn. He completed medical training at the Charite in Berlin and did his doctorate at Friedrich Wilhelms University in Bonn.

From 2006 to 2009 Streeck completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Partner AIDS Research Center Retrovirology and was appointed assistant professor at the Ragon Institute of MGH – Massachusetts General Hospital – MIT and Harvard in 2009, as well as assistant immunologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In 2012 he was appointed Head of Immunology at the US Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) and was Assistant Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Washington DC and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In March 2015 he accepted a professorship at the University of Duisburg-Essen and founded the Institute for HIV Research until 2019. At the same time Streeck worked as specialist in virology, microbiology and infectious disease epidemiology. In 2019, he returned to the University of Bonn and became the director of the Institute of Virology.

He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German AIDS Foundation and president of the International AIDS Conference in Berlin 2021. He remains an advisor to the MHRP on HIV vaccine research. Streeck is one of the leading virologists in Germany for COVID-19 research and is currently spearheading the most important studies in Germany.

 

Click here to register for the webinar: COVID-19: At the Frontline – The German Experience

 


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