Contribution to the ICRC Afghanistan Covid-19 Program 2020
The Goal of the Project implemented by ICRC is to curb the spread of COVID-19 among people displaced or otherwise affected by hostilities and among detainees in Afghanistan.
The ICRC aims to achieve the following results through their COVID-19 assistance program in Afghanistan in 2020:
• Preparedness and operational continuity of five hospitals improved/guaranteed through provision of medical supplies/protective equipment;
• Response capacity (COVID-19) of five hospitals increased by setup of quarantine & disinfection areas as well as through infrastructure upgrades (e.g. generator);
• Hygienic situation for staff and 1,006 in-patients in five hospitals improved through upgrades of institutional water and shelter infrastructure.
• Preparedness of 47 health centers (clinics, field hospitals, etc.) for COVID-19 response improved with infrastructure upgrades, supplies and protective equipment;
• Project continuity in 47 Physical rehabilitation centers guaranteed
• Social contact of 29.000 detainees with their families is established maintained;
• Hygienic and medical situation improved for 31.240 people in detention;
With a contribution of EUR 2 Million, the ICRC will be able to reach the following results to benefit 150,000 People, 2 Hospitals and 15 Health Centers:
• Preparedness and operational continuity of two hospitals improved/guaranteed. Achieved through provision of contingency medical supplies for ongoing operations and personal protective equipment - PPE (gloves, goggles, gowns, etc.) and other COVID-19 related protection and response equipment;
• Response capacity (COVID-19) of two hospitals increased. They will be supported in setting up quarantine & disinfection areas as well as through general infrastructure upgrades to mitigate water and power outages;
• Preparedness of 15 health centers for COVID-19 response improved. These too will receive PPE and medical equipment as well as hygiene items and trainings.
THe ICRC works closely with the Afghan Red Crescent Society and carries out its program in Kandahar, Helmand, Sarpoza, Lashkar Gah, Farah, Herat, Kabul, Khost, Jalalabad, Ghanzi, Mazar-e-Sharif, Bagram, and Gulbahar.
To curb the spread of COVID-19 in Afghanistan, the contribution of the AutRC will among others (though not exclusively) be supporting the following activities:
- Provide medical supplies and equipment to hospitals, clinics, field hospitals and other health facilities in order to maintain contingency stocks for further emergencies;
- Provide protective equipment, infrared thermometers and hygiene items to Hospitals and primary health centers; set up additional handwashing points for patients and staff;
- Help build quarantine areas and/or disinfection facilities in hospitals and clinics, install generators and other means to mitigate interruptions to water and electricity services;
Additionally, the ICRC engages in the following activities in the course of the programme:
- help the authorities install handwashing stations, water tanks and/or medical Screening facilities in places of Detention;
- help the detaining authorities build isolation areas for detainees suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19;
- train prison staff on proper hygiene practices, infection control and COVID-19 case detection and management; help conduct hygiene-promotion sessions or campaigns;
- donate phones/cover phone credits to facilitate calls btw. detainees and their families;
The spread of COVID-19 poses an additional threat to communities in Afghanistan already dealing with humanitarian crises. Conflict affected persons may find it difficult to prioritize preventative measures, as they contend with daily and immediate threats to their safety and struggle to meet their basic needs. At the same time, health facilities already overwhelmed with cases of injury from clashes, will likely be unable to accommodate an influx of additional patients. A health system weakened by violence lacks capacity to detect, manage and follow up cases, which in turn increases the risk of transmission.
Internally displaced persons, refugees and migrants in general, are especially at risk of being severely affected by disease outbreaks, incl. COVID-19. In crowded camps or temporary accommodation, physical distancing may be impossible. They often endure poor sanitary conditions, have little access to medical care, quality nutrition, and information on recommended action in the case of an outbreak - leaving people from cost communities or in camps more exposed.
An outbreak of COVID-19 in places of detention would be devastating, especially in overcrowded prisons where general health conditions are poor and facilities lack proper sanitation and ventilation.