The current COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in restrictions in movement which are impacting on the daily lives of people globally. The scale of this impact is likely to be amplified in economically developing countries and could threaten many of the gains made by development agencies and governments alike. As a result, in many cases efforts to support populations during this pandemic have led to the deprioritisation of current work schedules.
In low- and middle-income countries, where there is already a disproportionately heavy burden placed on local health systems, COVID-19 presents yet another challenge as resources are further redistributed to deal with the current pandemic.
In 2018, the lives of 272,000 children were lost due to malaria globally, and more are projected to be lost if the fight against malaria stalls. If anything, this global health crisis has emphasised the need to swiftly adapt and incorporate new ways of working to ensure that we can respond to the needs on the ground and continue to make progress in eradicating malaria, in effect, strengthening our programmes further.
With all this in mind, Transaid has been working to integrate a response to COVID-19 into existing programmes where possible, and ensuring all project staff stay safe and are appropriately protected.
In Zambia, where malaria season is in its peak, Transaid is working on a number of measures at the national and local level to ensure that a COVID-19 focus is incorporated into the MAM@Scale programme. This includes active participation in a community level national COVID-19 working group convened by the Zambia National Public Health Institute and Community Health Unit.
Transaid have been proud to contribute to the guidelines on the role of Community Health Workers in the context of COVID-19. Other local approaches have included the replenishing of food banks, setting up hand washing stations and the dissemination of messages on recognising signs and symptoms, and preventing the spread of COVID-19, as well as protocols to enable some programme activities to continue safely.
Transaid transforms lives through safe, available, and sustainable transport. As an international development organisation that shares transport expertise with partners and governments, Transaid empowers people to build the skills they need to transform their own lives. Founded by Save the Children, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), and its Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, the international development organisation shares 25 years’ worth of expertise in 23 countries.
This is an example of a business response from Transaid which we are sharing as part of our global best practice resource to help you think about and determine appropriate responses locally.