Reaching out to communities with soap, sanitizers and detergents to prevent coronavirus
UNICEF supporting Government’s efforts against COVID-19
Messages encouraging the general public to frequently wash their hands with soap and clean water are among those that are disseminated worldwide to combat COVID-19. Among those messages is frequent hand washing with soap and water. The practice of hand washing with soap and clean water is one of the cheapest, easiest and most important ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
But what happens to those children, families and communities that have no access to the much-needed soap and clean water? For many, soap is a luxury and for others even the basic water and hygiene facilities remain scarce. The risk of catching the disease among these groups is high.
With the gradual lifting of the lock down in Uganda, water, sanitation and hygiene interventions are critical. As such, UNICEF is supporting the Government with provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies like soap, detergents, hand sanitizers, chlorine and hand washing stations for health facilities, families and communities at risk. The supplies are dispatched to the districts to benefit the most disadvantaged communities.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, UNICEF is supporting the government procure and distribute water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to districts to protect communities from the disease.
Fiona Nakanyike, UNICEF Warehouse Assistant advises on amounts of supplies before they are dispatched off to the districts. She confirms that several supplies have been sent to districts across the country to support government efforts to curb the spread if COVID-19.
To promote effective hand washing with soap and clean water especially during COVID-19, UNICEF is responding by providing laundry soap to families and communities at risk including those in border districts.
The soap used to wash hands does not matter. In addition to the bar/laundry soap, UNICEF is also providing liquid soap. Hand washing with soap and water is one of the easiest and safest way to protect communities from coronavirus.
Health facilities are high risk places during the COVID-19 pandemic but should remain safe for patients as they receive treatment and health workers at the frontline of fighting the deadly disease. To prevent and control infections in the facilities and isolation centres, UNICEF is providing detergents and chlorine for use by health workers and patients. Over 100 health facilities have received these WASH supplies. An additional 300 health facilities will receive in the months of July and August.
In the absence of soap, hand sanitizers can be utilized by health workers and other frontline workers to clean their hands while on duty. UNICEF is also providing health facilities and isolation centres with hand sanitizers for use by health workers as they attend to patients. This controls infections especially during the pandemic.
UNICEF is also providing handing washing stations for use in communal places, health facilities and isolation centres. The elbow hand washing will support the practice of hand washing to prevent COVID 19 transmission.
Staff load WASH supplies onto trucks prior to dispatch. Almost every day, WASH supplies are dispatched off from the UNICEF warehouse to the beneficiaries. The supplies are accompanied with information on prevention measures. UNICEF support is needed now, more than ever.
To ensure communities have access to water, UNICEF continues to motorize boreholes into solar powered systems for increased water supply. With the adequate water supply and soap provided, communities can protect themselves from COVID-19 through frequent hand washing in addition to other preventive measures.