Project Description

Responding to COVID-19 in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Senegal

Project timeline: July 2020 – June 2021

Funders: Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada as an extension of the Canada-Africa Initiative to Address Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality (CAIA-MNCM) project.

Situation

Communities in sub-Saharan Africa are facing the COVID-19 pandemic within a challenging context: fragile, under-resourced health systems that can quickly become overburdened; a shortage of trained health care workers; and a lack of reliable access to clean, running water.

The head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has warned the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching Africa “full speed”. Support for vulnerable communities across the continent is needed now more than ever.

Action

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, Amref Health Africa in Canada is assisting vulnerable communities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Senegal with $3.6 million in additional funding from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

The response will be carried out in many of the same communities as the four-year Canada-Africa Initiative to Address Maternal, Newborn and Children Mortality project – communities that have come to know and trust Amref Health Africa. This response will specifically:

  1. provide personal protective equipment (PPE), such as medical-grade masks, gloves and gowns, to health workers and health facilities;

  1. rapidly deploy water and sanitation supplies like handwashing stations that are easy to install and maintain;

  1. train community health workers and health care professionals on preventing and treating COVID-19 using mobile and eLearning platforms, including the Leap mHealth platform. Leap uses mobile phone SMS and audio technology to connect users with the latest public health information on COVID-19, educational resources and the opportunity to share what they are hearing and learning with peers in other locations;

  1. recruit community leaders, local influencers, and educators to raise awareness on ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to use the Leap mHealth platform to report local cases of the virus and harmful rumours so community health workers and health care professionals can respond; and,

  1. educate communities about COVID-19 by producing content for local radio stations and print and social media, and posters, fact sheets and banners for display in high-visible areas, with a focus on communities that are remote, vulnerable or marginalized.

Results

The COVID-19 project reached 1,491,748 people directly.

Through this initiative we were able to provide a variety of COVID-19 supplies. Some of these supplies include:

  • 1,000 handwashing stations/facilities
  • 490 units of Infrared thermometer
  • 14,148 units/bottles of bar soap/liquid soap
  • 300 tippy taps (containers of water on a pole that tip when a string is pulled)
  • 38,900 disposable masks
  • 12,200 reusable face masks
  • 3,377 bottles of hydroalcoholic solution
  • And more

We were also able to train thousands of health workers:

Total Facility-Based Health Workers: 1,710

  • Ethiopia: 108
  • Kenya: 1,502
  • Malawi: 61
  • Senegal: 39

Total Community Health Workers: 25,413

  • Ethiopia: 1,000
  • Kenya: 16,016
  • Malawi: 7,247
  • Senegal: 1,150

Project at a Glance

Situation

COVID-19 risks overwhelming the already stretched health care systems of many countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Action

Our response will ensure health workers have the knowledge, skills and equipment to safely treat patients with COVID-19; provide community members with access to water, soap and sanitizer for regular handwashing; and, share accurate information about COVID-19 prevention with communities.

Results

The COVID-19 project reached 1,491,748 people directly.