Gambian doctor urges war against covid-19

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Dr. Mariam Jaw Mbowe, currently pursuing postgraduate programme in medical physiology at the Ankara YildirimBeyazit University in Turkey urges strong fight against coronavirus, saying together, “we can still change the course of this pandemic.” “We have to work together and break the chain in order to fight the deathly Corona Virus.”

In an interview with The Point yesterday she said: “There are many types of coronaviruses found in animals and humans. Seven have been identified to cause infections in humans. Some give the common cold others pneumonia and even severe respiratory distress syndrome.”

Two coronaviruses, she added, were responsible for outbreaks in the past SARS (2003 in China) and MERS (2012 in Saudi Arabia). The novel coronavirus responsible for the 2019-2020 pandemic causes an illness called covid-19 and the virus is called SARS-CoV-2. “The membrane of the virus (outer covering is made up of lipids (fats) which can be destroyed by soap and alcohol. When the membrane of the virus is destroyed it leads to eventually the death of the virus.”

She added: “Viruses infect the body by latching onto and entering healthy cells. The cell is the basic unit of life. Once inside the cell the virus makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout the cells in the body by making new proteins leading to formation of new viruses.”

The coronavirus, she continued, can gain entry into the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. It then grabs onto the cells by latching its spikey surface proteins to receptors on normal cells, especially those in the airways. Specifically, the viral proteins of SARS-CoV-2 enter into cells through the ACE2 receptors. Once inside, the coronavirus hijacks the healthy cells and takes over command. Eventually, they kill some of the healthy cells and new viruses will infect other healthy cells.

Dr. Mariam Jaw Mbowe, is a medical graduate from UTG School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences. She graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Medicine and Surgery. Dr Mariam is currently pursuing postgraduate programme in medical physiology at the Ankara YildirimBeyazit University in Turkey.

She is an employee of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and was once the medical officer overseeing the Emergency Unit.

Dr. Jaw Mbowe is also a health volunteer with Chosan Charitable Medical Foundation which is involved with medical charity work mostly in the hard to reach places in The Gambia. She believes in sharing knowledge and as results is involved in mentorship activities for medical students to help guide them through the profession.

She has special interest in Endocrinology, neurophysiology, maternaland child health and health promotion.  Recently she was part of the World Youth Forum in Egypt where she represented Gambia amongst thousands of youth from all over the world.

Author: Momodou Jawo