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Brac helping communities build Covid-19 resilience

  • Published at 10:09 pm April 6th, 2021
Member of Brac’s community support team visiting a household to provide health care services Courtesy

They distributed 1.2 million masks and installed 50,000 hand washing stations in seven districts

As Bangladesh is seeing a Covid-19 upsurge, Brac has stepped up its community-driven response to deliver essential healthcare services to those most vulnerable in an undisrupted manner.

“Brac will create community resilience to prevent transmission, improve home management and facilitate testing, taking other stakeholders alongside in the hotspots,” said Morseda Chowdhury, associate director, BRAC’s Health, Nutrition and Population Programme (HNPP).

Currently, community support teams formed under the HNPP are operating in six districts putting the communities at the front and centre of the mitigation strategy, according to a media statement.

The project, funded by UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), titled “Covid-19 response through community mobilisation and strengthening of community clinics” is operating in 51 upazilas in Bagerhat, Bhola, Sherpur, Narayanganj, Kishoreganj, and Bogra districts.

Brac’s community support teams, each with two community health workers, are visiting door-to-door to interact with the households under this project. The teams offer healthcare service messages, including maternal and child healthcare service packages.

It has also taken initiative to form Covid-19 prevention committees having both influential figures and common people from the localities as members, all of whom actively engage in sensitising people on coronavirus prevention through awareness messages.  

These committees along with community support teams are relentlessly spreading awareness messages on health and hygiene, including those to prevent coronavirus to 1.2 million households in this area. 

As part of the project, they distributed 1.2 million masks and installed 50,000 hand washing stations in these upazilas.

Referring to the economic hardship Covid-19 has brought upon particularly the low and lower-middle income people, Morseda Chowdhury said providing support through cash or other way can help make behavioural improvements among people.

Brac community support teams are offering health messages for behavioural change of its program participants in two upazilas in Gazipur under a separate project.

Under the project, 160 community coronavirus protection committees comprising 1,159 members, including local leaders and influential and general people are actively engaged in spreading Covid-19 awareness messages.

As part of the campaign, 78,000 masks were distributed which covered 60% of the households in the two upazilas. 

Between March 2020 and February 2021, Brac provided Covid-19 prevention information to 37.56 million households and has conducted 13,985 safe deliveries at Brac maternity centres.

So far, Brac has trained and deployed 659 Community Support Team (CST) members under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and 773 CST members under Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). 

In addition, Brac community health workers supported government teams to track cases and refer cases to national facilities.

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