UNICEF delivers laptops and test kits to enhance the capacity of the HEOC to respond to COVID-19

16 November 2020
Minister of Health and UNICEF Rep holds laptop for a photo

Male’, 16 November 2020 – UNICEF has delivered 46 laptops and 5,000 PCR test kits to the Government of Maldives to enhance the response capacity of the Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) which is leading the ongoing national efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The HEOC is the heart of the COVID-19 response operations and the working groups within have been working under very challenging conditions such as limited staff and lack of computers. The laptops supplied by UNICEF would be used for the critical work of 17 crucial working groups including; the Rapid Response Team (RRT), Call Centre, Contact Tracing, Media and Communication, Medical Supplies and Planning and Coordination.

The supply of 5,000 PCR test kits will help increase the HEOC’s ability to widely test for COVID-19, a crucial step towards isolating, quarantining and managing confirmed cases.

The supplies handed over today are worth 1.73 million Maldivian Rufiyaa. To date, UNICEF’s support to the health sector for COVID-19 response exceeds 17 million Maldivian Rufiyaa. In the coming few weeks UNICEF will provide the MoH with funding for acquiring additional human resources in addition to two shipments of medical equipment for Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

Since March 2020, UNICEF’s support has been flexible and coordinated to meet the requirements of the partners due to the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic. UNICEF’s support to the Government in its response to the COVID-19 emergency includes:

  • Continuation of learning via distance learning and the safe reopening of schools 
  • Continuation of essential health services for children and women including immunization, growth monitoring, and ANC
  • Strengthening and expansion of mental health and psychosocial support services
  • Enhancing the technical support to build the capacity of national social worker force responding to cases involving children and adolescents
  • Technical and financial support to provide timely social protection
  • Strengthening risk communication and community engagement to provide life-saving information and influencing positive behaviours

The consequences and impact of COVID-19 go far beyond public health risks associated with a pandemic. From what is observed globally, and, in the Maldives, national recovery efforts need to consider the various but interconnected socioeconomic impacts such as limited access to essential services such as learning and health services as well as mental health issues faced by children and adults.

Media contacts

Mohamed Yasir
Social and Behaviour Change Officer
UNICEF Maldives
Tel: +960 790-5580


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and the work it supports in the Maldives, visit www.unicef.org/maldives

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