Frontline health workers using Protective Equipment to combat COVID-19 in Sudan
Ensuring safety while delivering essential health services
Dr. Ali ElMutaz Ali, a laboratory technician is part of the Rapid Response team (under with the Khartoum Locality District Level Health Directorate) in combating against COVID-19 and other epidemic diseases.
At the healthy facilities, he is responsible for screening for COVID-19 and other epidemic disease outbreaks through household visits (on a case-to-case basis), a critical function. But without protective gear, he remains at risk.
Frontline health workers like Dr. Ali must remain protected with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they continue to deliver essential health services during COVID-19, that benefit communities.
In Sudan, UNICEF is working closely with partners to vaccinate 52 per cent of the population by December 2022. To reach this objective, UNICEF has been playing a key role in maintaining access to PPE kits, ensuring that essential health workers and vaccinators are protected.
“With these essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, the patients I support are always protected,”
In May 2022, UNICEF delivered over $785,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE), through ACT-A HAC flexible funding. PPE was distributed across Sudan to protect healthcare workers responsible for the continuity of essential health and nutrition services, including routine immunization against preventable diseases and various COVID-19 campaigns. Over two million pairs of gloves, 200,000 masks, 16,300 coveralls, 10,000 gowns and 4,000 goggles were distributed, benefitting about 7,000 frontline healthcare workers.
“As a lab technician, it is crucial to be equipped with masks, googles and gowns as this ensures my safety and protects my patients and the wider community,”
In Khartoum’s Omar Bin AlKhattab Health Centre, Dr. Aisha AbdelKhaliq, a laboratory technician also affirms the benefits of PPEs - “The arrival of this PPE in Sudan gives a sense of security to both the patients we support and to the team I rely on.”
“This PPE helps to strengthen the health centre by ensuring all frontline workers are staying safe and encourages more patients to seek medical assistance. We receive over 30 patients on a daily basis and we have recently noticed a decline in COVID-19 cases thanks to COVID-19 vaccines and more importantly to the preventative measures and equipment now in place,” she concludes.