COVID-19: Response in Asia
International Medical Corps continues to implement programs in 12 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. During the first two weeks of November, our 302 trained community health workers and 160 community hygiene promoters provided information on COVID-19 symptoms and infection protection and control (IPC) measures to 49,866 beneficiaries in four districts of Nangarhar and three districts of Balkh provinces, and provided 530 families with hygiene kits. Our team also trained 77 community health workers in Balkh province. In addition, 255 individuals received COVID-19-related information from International Medical Corps’ telehealth hotline at the 50-bed COVID-19 hospital in Nangarhar province. Hotline staff members work in eight-hour shifts to provide 24/7 service to the community.
During the first two weeks of November, International Medical Corps engaged 2,777 community residents in our areas of operation in discussions about the symptoms and treatment of COVID-19, as well as measures to protect against infection. We also screened 691 patients for COVID-19. During the same period, we conducted a one-day training session on COVID-19 awareness for 113 healthcare providers in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. On November 11, we held a one-day capacity-building training session for 28 healthcare providers on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) during COVID-19. We are providing additional training sessions and webinars for government healthcare providers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, working with Concern Worldwide to strengthen the technical capacity of medical and nonmedical staff engaged in COVID-19 response activities.
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 and Quezon City. We also distributed 500 hygiene kits with COVID-19 information and washable face masks to those affected by a volcano eruption near the city of Taal, 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 trained 39 health personnel in Cavite and 17 health personnel in Manila’s Tondo district. We also distributed COVID-19 hygiene kits (alcohol, washable cloth masks, soap and informational materials) to 678 households in Eastern Visayas and installed hands-free hand-sanitiser dispensers with temperature scanners in three rural health units in the same region.