The program is being implemented across 31 health facilities in Khagrachhari, Bandarban and Rangamati districts
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in collaboration with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), has been carrying out an intensive infection prevention and control (IPC) program in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
The program, which began in September, is being implemented across 31 health facilities, including three district sadar hospitals and 22 upazila health complexes, in Khagrachari, Bandarban and Rangamati districts, said a press release.
Increased IPC support because of Covid-19 has come as a boon for people living in these districts, who visit the facilities for their health-care needs, added the release.
The multilayered program includes imparting remote training to BDRCS volunteers. In turn, they train the sanitation staff at all government-run health structures while ensuring the availability of PPE and cleaning/disinfection materials and tools.
Around 130 staffers have been trained so far.
Massimo Russo, water and habitat coordinator with the ICRC in Bangladesh said: “The objective of the IPC program is to strengthen the existing health set-up. We have been providing training support for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and on-site technical assistance, besides donating disinfection materials to key health facilities throughout Chittagong Hill Tracts.
“The idea is to complement the efforts of the government, local authorities and community leaders to help the locals cope with the changes brought about by the pandemic,” Russo added.
Currently, these health complexes are being operated, cleaned and disinfected as per the SOPs provided, and the BDRCS volunteers are monitoring the implementation of the program.
Besides this, chlorine, gloves, face shields, protective outerwear, gumboots and masks have been distributed at these places.
Razwan Nabin, the program analyst and IPC focal of the BDRCS, said: “The IPC program in Chittagong Hill Tracts is not only providing relevant knowledge to the staff members but also giving them the confidence to deal with the infection in this new normal.”
The ICRC, in partnership with the BDRCS, has been implementing community-based livelihood support programs in the CHT region since 2014.
In a bid to help the communities access safe drinking water and sanitary and hygiene facilities, an integrated program approach was adopted in 2016.