KAMPALA, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Evidence Action – an international NGO with its Africa regional headquarters in Nairobi – has launched the COVID-19 Prevention Hygiene Project in 11 Ugandan districts to support rural communities in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
This project is a timely opportunity to have a tangible, real-time impact on people who often do not have access to formal public infrastructure or adequate healthcare that are critical for mitigating the disease’s impact.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has quickly overwhelmed advanced health systems in Europe, the UK, and the US. Though African countries have reported fewer cases to date, time is of the essence to mitigate the devastating effect the virus could have on those in low- and middle-income communities.
Evidence Action will support communities in 11 districts across rural Uganda, where 44% of the population lives below the poverty line—face this unprecedented crisis by mobilizing the supply chain and networks underpinning its Dispensers for Safe Water program.
This powerful and efficient platform – reaching 1.3 million people across 6,339 villages in the 11 districts of Budaka, Butaleja, Butebo, Kibuku, Mbale, Manafwa, Namisindwa, Namutumba, Palisa, Sironko and Tororo – has been activated to ensure access to safe water and deliver soap and disinfectant to poor households thus helping to flatten the curve.
Through the project, Evidence Action will provide three key interventions; access to safe water, promote hand-washing and a disinfection programme.
Continued access to safe water
Continued re-stocking of chlorine to water points and conducting combined promoter and community education at all water points to address safe water behavioral habits and addressing any misinformation arising from COVID-19, as well as the impact of both of these on the continued use of chlorine.
Promotion of hand-washing
With support from county and district health officers, Evidence Action is distributing soap for handwashing to each household in its catchment areas, reaching 1.3 million Ugandans. In total, Evidence Action aims to distribute about 600 tons of handwashing soap, and support the training of communities on effective handwashing techniques and other COVID-19 messaging, including social distancing.
Disinfection of frequently touched communal places
The program’s community promoters will be mobilized to disinfect all frequently touched places such as dispenser valves, water pumps, communal taps, and posho mills, in their area 3–4 times per day. When delivering supplies, Evidence Action field staff together with the Ministry of Health team will conduct a brief hygiene training session, during which they will also work with promoters to identify the frequently touched places within their area.
Evidence Action scales evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of global poverty. They bridge the gap between research about what works and solutions for people in need to effectively serve hundreds of millions in the world’s poorest places.