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Brac initiates community resilience to prevent Covid-19

  • Published at 11:10 pm April 15th, 2021
Member of Brac’s community support team
Member of Brac’s community support team visiting a household for awareness campaign following their Community resilience initiative Courtesy

With Covid-19 cases on the rise in the country, the initiative for community level prevention with a central approach has become an emergency now, says the NGO

Brac has taken an initiative titled “Community resilience to prevent coronavirus” to support people living in the 38 Covid-19 high risk districts across the country.

Brac along with its partner NGOs are all set to implement the plan through a community driven Covid-19 response and local level health system strengthening initiative, said a press release issued on Thursday.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting with the recently formed platform Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Alliance on Thursday, read the press release. 

The emergency meeting was chaired by CSO Alliance coordinator and advisor to former caretaker government Rasheda K Chowdhury. PRIP Trust Executive Director Aroma Dutta, Ahsania Mission Executive Director Dr M Ehsanur Rahman, Hasin Jahan, Sultana Kamal, Maleka Banu, RDRS chairperson Shib Narayan Kairy and WaterAid Regional Director Khairul Islam was also present at the meeting. 

With the initiative, the NGOs together will work on spreading information on coronavirus prevention, proper use of masks and vaccine registration along with spreading awareness messages and addressing misinformation to around 58 million people living in the 38 high risk districts across the nation. 

The 38 high risk districts with case positivity rate above 10% are: Dhaka, Chittagong, Rangamati, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Narsingdi, Khulna, Narayanganj, Rajbari, Feni, Noakhali, Chandpur, Shariatpur, Laxmipur, Comilla, Barisal, Rajshahi, Bogura, Narail, Nilphamari, Gazipur, Faridpur, Brahmanbaria, Jessore, Madaripur, Naogaon, Rangpur, Kishoreganj, Natore, Tangail, Pirojpur, Patuakhali, Bhola, Manikganj, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, and Mymensingh. 

With the rising Covid-19 cases in the country, increasing number of deaths, overburdened hospitals and acute crisis for ICU beds in Bangladesh, the initiative for community level prevention with a central approach has become an emergency now.

While the healthcare professionals are struggling to manage the influx of patients, a huge number of people are still negligent in following the preventive measures and healthcare guidelines. 

For this purpose, a stronger focus on behavioural change and community engagement to prevent the spread of the virus has become inevitable. 

Regarding the initiative, Asif Saleh, the executive director of Brac said: “The fight against coronavirus requires long-term initiative. It is not possible to win the fight without participation from communities. We are mobilizing internal resources to initiate the program and calling on donors and partners to come forward to scale it up. This low cost model will lead to long term benefits if it can get proper financing, and will also speed up the government’s coronavirus prevention efforts.”

According to the press release, Brac in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the Government of UK and under a joint initiative with the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Community Clinic Trust has piloted a community driven Covid-19 response and health system strengthening initiative in six districts over the past five months.  

Based on the success of the pilot, Brac will now scale this initiative across the 38 high risky districts identified by the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR). 

The initiative will primarily have three key pillars of interventions: prevention, response to Covid-19 case management, and promoting vaccination, read the press release. 

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