COHEMO - Covid-19 Health Measures Mozambique
The project aims to provide vulnerable populations from 43 rural communities in Mozambique with safe and equitable access to local health services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1) 6.000 people from hard-to-reach rural communities in Chibabava and Buzi districts have improved knowledge about prevalent communicable diseases and preventive measures, and improved knowledge about the health benefits of vaccinations and access to vaccination, with a special focus on COVID-19;
2) Three health centers in Chibabava and Buzi districts have improved health infrastructure and capacity for managing vaccination programmes;
3) Improved capacity to respond to and cope with psychological distress exacerbated by Covid-19 and its socio-economic and health impact, including gender-based violence, among public sector officials, local communities and vulnerable or affected women and girls.
The intervention aims to reach a total of 14.047 people (62% female, 38% male) in the districts of Chibabava and Buzi directly and at least 138.000 people (52% female, 48% male) indirectly. The vulnerable population groups targeted by the project include elderly people, people with disabilities, people with chronic disease, and women and girls.
Exact location: Sofala Province: Búzi and Chibabava districts
Training for activists on Covid-19 and other communicable diseases related awareness-raising in local communities; Training for community leaders on Covid-19 and other communicable diseases related awareness-raising in local communities; Training for health center staff on Covid-19 and other communicable diseases related awareness-raising in local communities; Awareness-raising sessions through activists accompanied by community leaders; Conduct a door-to-door vaccination programme in hard-to-reach communities; Procurement of equipment for improved health infrastructure; Provide in-kind third-party support to governmental structures to increase medical storage capacity on district level; Install a medical cold storage system in the district health services and the 3 project health centers powered by photovoltaic energy; Introduce a digitalized management system for vaccination programme; Build multifunctional isolation wards; Conduct a gender analysis, including Action Plan and mapping of women NGOs; Build capacities of local actors in psychosocial awareness and basic psychological first aid for women; Raise awareness about women’s mental health and gender-based violence in the communities; Conduct Mindfulness workshops; Establish self-help groups for women’s mental well-being; Gender-based violence awareness training for public district officers, activists, focal points of education, health centers sectors and boarding schools.
Sofala province, where the project intervention takes place, has the second lowest COVID-19 vaccination coverage rate in Mozambique. The national vaccination campaign against COVID-19 still faces difficulties in achieving the target of immunising the population, with challenges most prevalent in rural areas of Mozambique, where aggravating factors include accessibility, structural deficiencies in health centers, inadequate knowledge of COVID-19 and vaccine effectiveness, and gender inequality in the health system. A further major barrier to vaccination is the long distance between homes and health centers. Additional problems include the lack of proper equipment of the health centers, lack of organisational structures, lack of registration systems and vaccination cards as well as lack of adequate storage systems, which limits adequate stock of vaccines in health centers. Apart from COVID-19, Mozambique is most afflicted by the infectious diseases malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, which are among the leading causes of death at 12% and even double in certain areas. Strengthening public health facilities with technical equipment such as electronic data systems or multifunctional isolation wards would help to prevent the spread of various infectious diseases in time. Besides the deficiencies in the health sector, inadequate knowledge about COVID-19 and the effectiveness of relevant vaccines is widespread due to misinformation and myths about COVID-19. Women and girls have been disproportionately affected by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, with gender-based and domestic violence having increased significantly, in turn increasing the psychosocial needs of women and girls.