UNICEF supports critical frontline care in Rakhine State during COVID-19 pandemic

UNICEF’s support to the COVID-19

Dr Thant Zin
UNICEF Myanmar/2020/Nan Khin Moe Lwin
12 June 2020

RAKHINE STATE - With intensified conflict in central and northern parts of Rakhine State, people are facing increased insecurity and raised needs, while delivering support becomes even more difficult for frontline workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UNICEF has been supporting the Government in its response to the COVID-19 outbreak and has provided a rapid response to reach affected populations and establish measures to reduce the risk of infection. For the frontline workers on the ground, this means finding new ways of working and providing essential services. 

UNICEF Myanmar/2020/U Win Win
In Shwe Kyin, one of the IDP sites in Rathedaung Township, MHAA staff conduct COVID-19 awareness raising activities including distribution of information posters.

By the end of April 2020, UNICEF’s partner organization Myanmar Health Assistant Association (MHAA) has managed to reach more than 36,000 people in collaboration and coordination with township health departments of Pauktaw, Rathedaung and Sittwe and using an innovative approach of working with local volunteers to support access to primary health care services. 

UNICEF Myanmar/2020/Htet Wai Aung
U Aung Zaw Moe and U Ko Ko Aung put up vinyl posters with key messages in front of IRC clinic at Chan Thar Kone Muslim camp in Sittwe Township.

Lifesaving information about the pandemic, including information on hand washing and wearing masks, is being distributed to raise community awareness and to protect vulnerable groups and prevent the transmission of the virus.

UNICEF Myanmar/2020/Htet Wai Aung
Information posters are put up at the entrance of an outpatient therapeutic feeding program site where malnourished children are treated, Baw Du Pha camp, Sittwe Township

People living in camps for internally displaced people are further exposed to the disease since basic essential and life-saving services often are limited. 

Children who have low weight for their height, and particularly those who are severely affected by undernutrition , are at a significantly higher risk of death from common childhood illness such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria and measles, and it is reasonable to assume that such children are at higher risk of COVID-19.