Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Metini, president of Ain Shams University and professor of liver and digestive surgery, confirmed that the university has developed plans to employ all of its capabilities to confront the infection of the Corona virus, where multidisciplinary research teams have been formed to manufacture industrial respirators and a number of medical devices supporting the teams of chest and emergency doctors, as he pointed out the equipment that It was done at the university transit hospital and transferred to an isolation hospital, in addition to making use of the university's reference analysis laboratory to reduce the pressure on the state.
He explained that all scenarios are available to transfer all the university capabilities to the centers for isolation and treatment of patients, in coordination with the Ministry of Health.
He also indicated that 90% of students ’curricula have been completed on college websites and mechanisms for teaching and distance learning have been strengthened
This came in an interview with Al-Ahram newspaper, which reads as follows:
With the emergence of infections to doctors and nursing teams in hospitals, what measures are you taking to avoid this?
What happened, whether the excellence doctor was infected in Demerdash Hospital or the Oncology Institute doctors and patients are facts that are likely to be repeated in all hospitals in Egypt and the world in light of the high rates of infection and viral infections, especially as the new Corona virus is rapidly spreading and stays on the surfaces for hours and has no targeted treatment even these the moment.
Consequently, all medical teams are susceptible to infection. Therefore, we have been keen, since it was proven that the doctor of excellence has been committed to adhere to full transparency and disclosure of any incidents that may arise related to the Corona epidemic and coordination with the preventive medicine sector in the Ministry of Health.
We also closed the fourth unit of the women's hospital in which the doctor of excellence was working and not receive any new cases until the results of the analysis of the workers appeared in addition to cleaning and purifying the hospital entirely by the specialized teams.
Also, all those who had been in contact with the doctor of excellence, including patients, doctors, nursing, workers and administrators, were 79, and by performing laboratory analyzes of them, their results were all negative.
On the other hand, this incident was preceded by several decisions taken by the university to reduce the risk of infection to the lowest possible degree as we reduced the number of clinics and operations to 25% of all hospital capacity to conduct only urgent surgeries that cannot be deferred while maintaining emergency clinics. These decisions contributed to Ain Shams University and Specialized Hospitals are directed in the current period, either to deal with urgent and emergency situations or the repercussions of the infection of the Coronavirus, because it is possible to discover that any emergency we are treating is infected with Corona and no symptoms appear or it is not discovered until after the patient enters the operating room. In addition, we have allocated a transit hospital to an isolation hospital for all potential infected with the Corona virus, whether from faculty members, university staff or hospital patients who may be found infected while receiving treatment for other pathological reasons as they will be transported directly by ambulances.
Moreover, Ain Shams University Obour Hospital has all the necessary equipment to deal with Corona patients who may need any medical or surgical intervention other than their treatment from the virus.
There is also an integrated medical team residing in the isolation hospital, and they are all the help teams to follow up on patients and treat them until they are sure that cases are cured according to the protocols approved by the Ministry of Health. He is likely to be infected with the virus in order to deal with each case according to occupational safety procedures and to follow all medical procedures in the detection and treatment.
What is the extent of the availability of medical supplies to reduce the transmission from the patient to doctors and nursing teams?
All medical supplies for protecting the doctor and nursing teams from masks, protective clothing, gloves, etc. The demand for them has increased greatly over the past months and weeks locally and globally, which has led to a deficit in many hospitals, including Ain Shams University Hospitals, thank God we have solved this problem in many ways where The Unified Procurement Authority has provided a large part of these needs, we have also purchased 40% of our needs from the market, and we manufacture 40% of our needs in Demerdash Hospital and masks and sterile clothes for surgeons and nursing teams, in addition to that it is expected that the demand for these supplies will increase. During the coming weeks, therefore, all medical institutions must come together to manage these supplies rationally. For example, there is a type of mask that is known as the N95 that may not be used in general for individuals. This type of mask is intended for doctors dealing directly with patients in intensive care rooms.
As for the general public, even the doctors in the outpatient clinics, the normal gaskets are sufficient to reduce the infection, in addition to that, a number of businessmen working in the clothing and textile industries have finally initiated contact with us and promised to produce gaskets and single-use clothing "gloves" for doctors and nursing teams and to direct their production within weeks coming to fill any hospital deficit in this matter.
Regarding disinfectants, there has already been a shortage in the market because of the demand for the purchase of disinfectants. Indeed, the armed forces factories contributed to filling the deficit in the types of disinfectants on the market, and the supplying companies pumped their products of disinfectants and sterilization tools into the market.
How were the cases and the chronic disease patients who used to receive treatment and medical follow-up in university hospitals treated?
We have announced and advised our patients and scheduled appointments for follow-up and treatment in the coming weeks, especially if the cases do not require urgent medical intervention, and this was done over the phone or during the patients ’coming to the clinics, and the aim of all that is done is not only to rationalize the hospital’s energy and the effort of medical teams to deal with Corona injuries but Also to reduce the chances of infection transmission through contact with clinics and the hospital, we cannot prevent injuries and infection transmission, but we can reduce the daily and weekly rate for those affected by reducing daily contact in all vital places including hospitals, and thus to overcome the epidemic from What is important and necessary is to reduce the chances of infection transmission and focus on early monitoring of the injured and those who mix with them. These policies, in which the citizen and the doctor participate, all members of society will save the health system and allow us to reduce viral infection with minimal losses.
What steps did Ain Shams University take to benefit from its scientists in facing this global problem?
We have formed multidisciplinary teams of university scientists that include engineering professors in the fields of mechatronics and computers with professors of anesthesia, intensive care, virology, chest, internal medicine and professors of the research center in Ain Shams University in addition to the participation of professors of physics and biology from the Faculty of Science and professors of the Faculty of Computers and professors of the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Center for Drug Innovation. All of these experts were assigned to cooperate and work together to solve several research problems, including how to manufacture respirators quickly and benefit from what was announced by a global company to drop the intellectual property rights of one of its devices and currently the team concerned with this matter is studying ways to manufacture spare parts that may not be available in Egypt, as the engineering and medical team has reached some technical solutions and basic requirements in respirators and currently they are in the stages of assembling and testing the first models.
At the same time, we have contacted several car companies and three-dimensional printing to help us in manufacturing respirator components. The team is also working on designing and implementing simpler models of devices that are used in care units for respiratory distress cases, most of these devices we used to import and therefore if we could manufacture them This is a huge advantage for the medical sector.
Another research team is studying the strains of the newly introduced coronavirus, which have been monitored in those infected in Egypt. These studies, conducted by scientists at Ain Shams Medical Center, support the drug industry to identify the most effective potential treatments.
In support of the laboratories of the Ministry of Health to analyze samples suspected of infection, we are hosting a reference laboratory affiliated with the University Hospital Authority for research purposes within the university.
There are awareness programs for these medical teams with the beginning of the global spread of the virus 3 months ago. We have in the university a infection control team led by Dr. Samia Abdo has doubled their number to 90 doctors and divided them into 8 teams who conducted awareness campaigns at the level of all colleges and institutes for students and faculty and staff to identify the virus and ways to transmit infection and methods of disease prevention, and this matter is extremely important because the university includes 15 thousand faculty members and 40 thousand employees and 250 thousand students, so we have been keen for months to increase awareness within the university of the risks of the virus and ways to avoid infection.
As for the level of specialist doctors, the updated protocols for the steps to deal with people with coronavirus have been revised in accordance with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and the Supreme Council of University Hospitals. In addition, the specialized medical teams of consultants, chest doctors and intensive care have been strengthened. They have family medicine and general medicine specialties to help them manage the crisis and treat suspected cases if they are discovered in university hospitals.
What is the university's plan to provide additional hospitals for isolation and treatment of patients?
The university submitted a detailed plan of four axes, and it was sent to Dr. Hala Zayed, Minister of Health and Advisor to the President Dr. Muhammad Awad Tag Al-Din, which includes the following first. After a month after preparing the transit hospital as an isolation hospital and making sure of all medical equipment and treatment teams, degrees of readiness to receive any cases of the virus from university workers were raised during the past days or the absorptive capacity of the transit hospital is 200 beds and 40 beds for care cases Concentrated cases that deserve isolation will be received according to the protocol of the Ministry of Health, where there are positive cases without simple symptoms or symptoms and it is possible to follow them medically during the phase of isolation at home, and cases that suffer from moderate or severe symptoms and must be reserved in the hospital because they may need intensive care at any time.
What scenario is supposed to be implemented if the university casualty rate rises?
This scenario is what we do not wish to happen, but we are preparing for it, which brings us to the second axis of the university’s plan, which is to supply places such as university cities that accommodate 2000 people and put them in several conditions, such as if the injured person is less than fifty years old and has no symptoms and his general condition is good and we also prepared a team Medically he will accompany these cases and the isolation hospital protocol will be applied, meaning that those who enter will not be discharged before 14 days and after ensuring that the results of the PCR are negative twice in a row.
As for the third axis, it is the establishment of a field hospital in a plot of land located behind Ain Shams Specialized Hospital, at a cost of up to 20 million pounds. We will start immediately, and it will include 200 beds with intensive care. This hospital is expected to end in just 10 days from making the start decision in it.
The beds and equipment were provided, and a medical staff was assigned to him. The fourth axis is the Student Hospital in Abdo Pasha in Abbasiya, which is a small hospital in which we have equipped about 120 beds and we may transfer it to a hospital to isolate cases such as Al-Obour.
Do university hospitals turn to isolation centers in case of high rates of infection?
All scenarios are on the table, and decisions change around the clock in light of developments that happen, numbers and conditions of patients, and universities coordinate fully with the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Health.
Distance education services
How did Ain Shams University deal with the decision to suspend studies, especially regarding distance education?
We can say that the consequence of the emergence of this virus in the field of education is the saying, "A beneficial harmful god". I think that the form of education will change in the pre-university and university education and postgraduate studies not only in Egypt but in the whole world after passing this ordeal and distance education and e-learning will become the basis, not the exception, and will develop significantly.
As for the decision to suspend the study, this decision was correct to reduce infection among students, and with a decision to stop teaching at the university, we have strengthened distance education services, this type of education is found in a large degree in some practical colleges such as medicine, engineering and pharmacy under what is known as the learning management system and perhaps the challenge What we currently face is in the practical and clinical part, and we are developing its tools now by incorporating some modern programs to evaluate students and test their skills from a distance. As for theoretical colleges, we are currently developing distance education programs and providing curricula, although there are challenges faced by some members of the faculty and some of the For students, the response was great, and the Department of Distance Education led by Dr. Mona Abdel-Al made a great effort with the education development sector and we were able, within two weeks, to make 90% of the scientific material available to all colleges on each college’s website and included only educational materials, then we developed them to include explanation and YouTube channels.
At the beginning of this month, the International Institute of Distance Education was opened in cooperation with UNESCO ... How did this achievement contribute to the development of the distance education project within Ain Shams University?
First, we make it clear that this institute, which operates under the umbrella of UNESCO in cooperation with a major Chinese university, aims to develop distance education. In Egypt, Ain Shams University was chosen to be the only representative in Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa, and the institute provides opportunities for cooperation with 14 centers in several countries. Ain Shams was the first president of this institute for a year, and the truth is that the launch of this institute was part of the plan of the University of Ain Shams in the field of distance education and we discovered during this crisis how this plan gave us a proactive step as we have what is known as the smart separation and the first models are already in college Engineering three months ago We had a robot, and all of this was available to us before the crisis and we knew their value very far and contributed to the educational process very far.
What is the position of postgraduate studies and research discussion considering the decision to suspend the study?
Postgraduate studies are following the same steps, but they may be a little slower and about 80% of the lectures have been raised on the websites of colleges. As for the discussion of the messages, they have not stopped, but regulations have been set for them, and they have become a maximum of two per day attended by supervisors and examiners, and three of the associate body of the department are held In a suitable room with good ventilation and so on to ensure safe borders and the application of spacing between individuals.
What are the projects of Ain Shams University during the coming period?
We have almost finished the design phase of the university’s expansion project in the city of Obour, which is located on 150 acres, 130 acres of which are devoted to establishing a modern university. The future is like artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of things, biotechnology and biomedicine.
In addition, 30 acres will be allocated to create the Science and Innovation Park «Science Park» to serve as a platform for all innovators and entrepreneurs. The designs developed by the College of Engineering have been completed and retracted with the largest consulting offices in England. A feasibility study has also been developed, where it is proposed that the project be funded with a loan from an international donor institution, and it will not cost the state a millimeter, it will cost 20 billion pounds and end in a period of 5 to 8 years. God willing, we will start implementation within two years. As for the expansion in colleges, we are in the process of the opening of new faculties, which is veterinary medicine, and we have already submitted to the Supreme Council of Universities in this regard and the Faculty of International Affairs and Political Economy, which will be established in cooperation with an ancient English university.