Ireland A Dakar, Didier Raoult offers a reception of Star

14:25  06 april  2021
14:25  06 april  2021 Source:   challenges.fr

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Professeur Didier Raoult © AFP Professor Didier Raoult visiting Senegal last week, Professor Didier Raoult was welcomed as an international summit, far from Toho-Bohu aroused in France by his positions. The researcher is used to staying in his native country every year as part of his work, but he passed so far incognito.

No scientific controversy, neither controversy on her heterodox personality. In Senegal, where he stayed from March 26 to 31, Didier Raoult was welcomed as an international summit, almost in Hero . And for good reason: the infectiologist is a son of the country, where he was born 69 years ago. An integral part of French West Africa (AOF), Senegal was then managed by Governor Lucien Eugène Geay. Of this childhood spent in the district of the Dakar plateau, facing the antenna of the Pasteur Institute, in the scents of Lalo and Bougainvillea, were born a strong tropism for Africa and, in corollary, a appetite for the Infectious and tropical diseases.

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Return to the native country for the Director of the Hospital-University Institute in Infectious Diseases of Marseille (IHU), but in a very particular context. If Didier Raoult has the habit of staying in Senegal every year as part of his work or to follow researchers in the making, he passed so far incognito. Its notoriety was limited to the scientific community. The appearance of COVID-19, at the end of 2019, coupled with its rapid offer of prophylaxis combining hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin have changed the perspective, placing the 2010 winner of the Grand Prix of Inserm under the fire of the media projectors .

Hydroxychloroquine defended spout and nails in Senegal

While this treatment has still not demonstrated its effectiveness in randomized studies, even raising a warning of the World Health Organization (WHO), it On the other hand, was defended by Senegal because of the first case identification. A massive remedy encouraged by the highest authorities whose director of the Center for Sanitary Emergency Operations (Cous), Moussa Seydi, who does not pass for a close to the French infectiologist.

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Has the prescription of Professor Raoult allowed to stop the hecatomb announced by all the preachers of the African misfortune massed on the other shore of the Mediterranean? With 39,000 positive cases and 1,100 deaths as of April 4, 2021, the "Pays de la Teranga" ("hospitality" in Wolof) can, in any case, boast of low morbidity although the second wave, from December last , did not spare it.

While a trip in Senegal in 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic, Didier Raoult was able to inquire about officials, including the Minister of Health, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, and the Director of Public Health Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye, of the device installed from the first signs. "The decision strategy was reasonable. It does not surprise me," he explained to the local media. "The member of the scientific committee are in their role. They do not replace politics. This led to what things are going well".

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Supported cooperation between the IHU and the Senegalese institutions

for several years the IHU conducts a supported cooperation in the country. A partnership is established with the local antenna of the Development Research Institute (IRD) led by Epidemiologist Cheikh Sokhna, otherwise a member of the IHU, and with the Institute for Health Research in Epidemiological Surveillance. Training (IRSEF) chaired by Souleymane Mboup. In 2012, the IHU of Marseille participated actively in the installation of the mass spectrometer of the Dakar Principal Hospital (HPD), the first of this type in Africa. Operation that now allows quick screening of bacteria.

While punting the early anti-Covid control (curfew, mask, border control, closures, after-midcae classes ...), Didier Raoult has put his visit to new research. With Sheikh Sokhna, he has samples on monkeys in the Bandia Reserve, sixty-five kilometers from the capital. Since 2016, the two men mutualize their knowledge of the circulation of pathogenic elements in primates.

At the end of his mission, Didier Raoult was raised by President Macky Sall at the rank of Commander of the National Lion Order, the highest distinction of Senegal, far from the Toho-Bohu aroused, in France, by his Position which are worth it in particular a continuation of the doctors' order of Bouches-du-Rhône for "erroneous information to the public".

by Frédéric Lejeal

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