COVID-19: Response in Asia
International Medical Corps continues to implement programs in 14 of the country’s 34 provinces, with a focus on gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response and psychosocial support. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the country team has integrated COVID-19 awareness into its programming. Since we began our COVID response, we have reached 852,799 people with awareness messaging, and trained 364 community health workers and 160 community hygiene promoters, who in turn have provided information on COVID-19 symptoms and infection protection and control (IPC) measures to people in their communities. Through our telehealth hotline, we have provided COVID-related information to 2,381 people. Hotline staff members work in eight-hour shifts to provide 24/7 service to the community.
Since March, International Medical Corps has provided information to more than 47,000 community residents in our areas of operation about the symptoms and treatment of COVID-19, as well as how to protect against infection. We have also screened 17,695 patients for COVID-19. Our female doctors and health workers have continued to offer essential sexual and reproductive healthcare in five public healthcare facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to women and girls in need of urgent care, and our psychosocial counsellors and GBV case managers located in Haripur, Lower Dir and Mansehra districts continue to provide both mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and gender-based violence (GBV) case management and referral services to those in dire need, as cases of MHPSS and GBV have been increasing during the pandemic. We procured and provided approximately 70,000 masks and 2,000 sanitizers to our community volunteers and staff members in Haripur and Lower Dir. Working with a consortium of partners, International Medical Corps is implementing a project , “Improving National Capacity to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic in Pakistan (Cap-COVID),” under which we have conducted two training sessions for 97 participants, including first responders and members of consortium organizations, local NGO partners and the government.
International Medical Corps began COVID-19-related work in early March when our team first supported the Manila Health Department’s efforts to protect the central city area’s 1.8 million people from the virus. Since then, our team has provided a training-of-trainers course for health facility management staff on emerging infectious diseases, and installed triage tents where clinicians can screen all who enter and exit Manila’s Santa Ana Hospital, the city’s designated infectious disease centre. To help protect healthcare workers, we have provided full sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) and more than 500,000 separate PPE items, including surgical masks, gowns and goggles. We provided transportation support, as well as PPE, to the Maternal and Child Health team at the Manila Health Department, and provided PPE to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City following reports of COVID-19 infections among staff working there.
To support government efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19, we have distributed hundreds of washable masks, isopropyl alcohol and laundry soap, as well as information on how to prevent COVID-19, to residents of Manila, Quezon City, Dasmarinas, Rodriguez and Tiwi. We also distributed 500 hygiene kits with COVID-19 information and washable face masks to those affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in Taal, Batangas, about 50 miles south of Manila. Additionally, we donated 400 KN95 masks and 40 sets of PPE to San Lazaro Hospital in Manila. We also supported the city of Dasmarinas, in Cavite province, in its COVID-19 emergency response, providing 400 pounds of disinfectant and two sprayers to the Paliparan Health Center to help disinfect the homes of suspected COVID-19 patients. We continue to train government frontline workers and community health workers, focusing on IPC in home and community settings. We have so far trained 184 health workers from Cavite, Manila and Albay in infection prevention and control (IPC). We also have distributed COVID-19 hygiene kits (alcohol, washable cloth masks, soap and informational materials) to 1,278 households in Eastern Visayas. Our team also provided expanded hygiene kits (which include washable facemasks, alcohol and educational materials on COVID-19, in addition to standard hygiene items) to 492 households affected by Super Typhoon Goni and Typhoon Vamco in Rodriguez, Tiwi and Guinobatan. We also installed handwashing facilities in six health facilities in Manila, and distributed 18 hand-sanitiser dispensers (13 with temperature scanners) to 15 health centres and one district health office, including 149 liters of isopropyl alcohol. Through text messaging, we have provided information about COVID-19 and how to prevent it to approximately 3,000 people in Manila.