WHO recognised Long Covid !

  • Friday the 21st of August, I was invited to a WHO meeting to represent 4 European groups of Long COVID. I have been ill with long-lasting and debilitating symptoms of COVID-19 since mid-March and have been active in English and then French groups of long COVID patients to inform about the diversity and length of the symptoms

    As an ambassador from the French Group #ApresJ20, I was invited by LongCovidSOS (UK) to participate in a WHO meeting about Long COVID where Dr Tedros, director of WHO was present. I had the honour to present the perspectives and requests from Italy, Spain, Finland and France that can be summarised in 4 points: Recognition, Rehab, Research and Communication. I raised the point that patients with Long COVID need to be considered and treated based on their symptoms and not only upon hospital stays or test, and that measure and tracking of symptoms are necessary to understand and treat Long COVID. 

    Long-haulers from the US, the UK, India, Italy, Spain, France, Finland, Senegal, and South Africa were present at the meeting to share the same story and initiate changes: "I was young and active before this, and now I cannot seem to get better. I haven’t been able to get my doctor to believe me because I do not have a positive test result, and I need a lot of care that does not exist where I live. "
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/briannasacks/covid-long-haulers-who-coronavirus

     

    The meeting was a success as Dr Tedros recognised publicly in his press conference, the need to recognise Long COVID and to ensure countries deliver care and research on Long COVID.

    Covid19 can not be summarised to death or hospitalised patients, neither can symptoms be restricted to respiratory illness. Thousands of individuals are suffering with prolonged and diverse symptoms from GI issues to cognition.

    To conclude we cannot fight what we do not measure. We need statistics and research to exist. Therefore, large scales studies on long covid patients are needed in all countries based on the range of symptoms and not restricted to a positive test.

    Press conference by Dr Tedros: