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3,000 Global Healthcare Workers Join Alibaba Online to explore COVID-19

22 April 2020 | News

Global MediXchange for Combating COVID-19 (GMCC) launches Alibaba’s Online Platform for medical personnel's to share their experience and knowledge on combating COVID-19

image courtesy: World Economic Forum

image courtesy: World Economic Forum

Amid the global spread of COVID-19, it has become more important for medical personnel with firsthand experience treating patients with the virus to share their knowledge with colleagues the world over.

That’s where the Global MediXchange for Combating COVID-19 (GMCC) comes in, with doctors and other healthcare workers from China and around the world gathering virtually to share medical insights, firsthand experience and best practices for treating coronavirus. The brainchild of the Jack Ma Foundation, the Alibaba Foundation with Alibaba Health and Alibaba Cloud, the GMCC platform was launched last month to combat COVID-19 with open knowledge and online communication.

Early signs are that it’s working ­– both attracting a growing number of healthcare workers and the value of information that’s being exchanged. Already, nearly 3,000 have joined the platform and hundreds of medical staff are participating in key live-sharing sessions.

Last week, Dr. Sunil De Alwis, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka,led a team of doctors in a video conference with Dr. Jinnong Zhang, director of the emergency department at China’s Wuhan Union Hospital. During the call, Dr. Zhang – who himself had recovered from the coronavirus infection – shared his personal uphill battles with the disease, his views on testing and his suggested treatment plans for COVID-19.

And hundreds of medical staff from hospitals across Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sri Lanka have participated in live exchange sessions organized by the GMCC in an urgent effort to understand the best ways to cope with a completely new and deadly virus.

"The experiences that were shared in this exchange were very valuable, and what I took away was the importance of preparation, prevention, and monitoring at all times," said Dr. S M Zungu from the South Africa National Department of Health.

On April 10, Ethiopia's health minister, Lia Tadessemore, and staff from more than 20 hospitals from the African nation tuned in to a two-hour online medical exchange session with the Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, to discuss best practices in treating and containing the spread of COVID-19. Another session was held on April 15 for hospitals in Rwanda.

"We have gained a lot, especially on how [SAHZU] coordinated and responded across the hospital, efficiently examined and leveraged limited resources, and managed their workers to protect them from getting infected when combating COVID-19," said Dr Sisay Betizazu from St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College in Rwanda.

Upcoming sessions are also planned between China and Nepal, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Egypt.

In addition, to live streaming sessions, the platform offers digital access to handbooks on epidemic prevention and treatment, videos on best practices for COVID-19 prevention, including videos by medical experts on specific topics and webinars between global healthcare professionals and industry experts sharing their knowledge and experience on COVID-19.  The live discussions with medical experts and hospitals worldwide are held through the International Medical Expert Communication Center on DingTalk, Alibaba’s enterprise communications and collaboration app. New to the platform are sections where medical personnel can ask questions and write their own articles about their experience in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The platform has also recently published a third COVID-19-related handbook. Called Construction and Operation Manual of Fangcang Shelter Hospitals for COVID-19 Summary,” it encompasses knowledge and experience distilled from the running of the Fangcang Shelter Hospitals in China.

“Global healthcare workers are doing their best to fight this pandemic. GMCC is our way of showing support and commitment to the medical community. It is designed as an exchange platform, we will continue to share different COVID-19 related manuals and videos and organize online meetings between China and overseas medical experts,” said Li Ma, Alibaba Health senior vice president, “We welcome more medical staff from China and all over the world to participate and to join forces in the fight against this pandemic.”

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