Update on COVID 19
Preparedness and Emergency Response
DMI – South Sudan
- Planning and Coordination
The COVID-19 preparedness and emergency response desk under the leadership of Sr. Lisa prepared the ground and the core team to launch the initiative. IEC materials were prepared as per government guidance and the team quickly ensured its availability for distribution. The planning meeting enabled the core team to accelerate the execution.
The intervention areas are divided into three zones – the Zone-1 consist of UN camps (PoC-1 and PoC-3), Zone-2 includes Mangateen, Rock city and Mauna and Zone-3 comprise of Kapuri, Joppa, Jopari, Lemangapa and Sukzante. For each zones, we have appointed a coordinator to prime move the execution namely Mr.Joseph for Zone-1, Mr.Tony for Zone-2 and Mr Isaiah for Zone-3. Since we have been implementing the program in the selected locations and have established good rapport, it was easy for us to select the frontline volunteers. The selected volunteers implement the program with the support of field staff – barefoot doctors and teachers.
- Our engagement with key stakeholders
Sr. Lisa and her core team met key stakeholders and explained about the COVID-19 emergency response plan and obtained permission from the ministry of health, ACTED-UN camp coordination, camp manager and village leaders. Ministry of Health initiated a public sensitization program in PoC-3 and overall IDP’s movement is restricted. Youth and children stopped playing football and camp manager also advised to avoid public gathering. So far COVID-19 high-level country task force has confirmed four cases and the government is pondering seriously to introduce lockdown to restrict the movements further.
- Summary of Main Events
On 15th of April, the emergency response team commenced execution by reaching out to zone -1 ( UN camps – PoC-1 and PoC-3)
On priority, the core team-oriented the frontline volunteers and staff team of UN camps about COVID-19, transmission mode, early symptoms and prevention methods. The team members were sensitized and explained about the IEC materials content and effective use of hand wash. Planning exercise with the frontline team helped in allotting families and ensuring family coverage for home visits to facilitate counselling, best practices and behaviour change. Necessary protections were provided for the frontline team such as – hand gloves, mask and sanitizer.
3.2.Coronavirus SMS short public awareness messages
We just finalized the short SMS messages and planning to disseminate the messages through MTN mobile internet services. We have initiated to negotiate with MTN mobile company to send bulk SMS messages monthly. Finalized SMS messages –
- Take simple steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 – regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap. DMI –Juba –South Sudan.
- Together we prevent COVID-19 by practising – social distancing, limit public gathering and staying at home. DMI –Juba- South Sudan.
- To prevent the spread of COVID-19 -avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Keep yourself and your environment clean. DMI –Juba –South Sudan.
A young girl from South Sudan learning how to properly wash hands to avoid infection by Covid 19
3.3.Sensitization through IEC materials
With the help of volunteers and local leaders identified prime locations to display banners. Even though, there are nine zones in PoC-3, we focus our interventions at F, H and I zones. Placed 30 banners at prime locations – front gate of UN camp, schools, shops, youth clubs, and drinking water collection point etc.. Volunteers distributed pamphlets during home visit and sensitized 923 members on the importance of hygiene, hand wash, need of behaviour change etc. Overall we were able to reach out in sensitizing 2800 members through using IEC materials. Volunteers and staff team played key role in explaining the content in the banner and pamphlets.
3.4. Hand Wash and Sanitation Facilities
At prime seven locations, we placed hand wash facilities with the help of volunteers. The volunteers provide orientation on the importance of washing hands a minimum of 20 seconds. Volunteers ensure availability of water; soap and sanitizer at hand wash locations. Volunteers also influence beneficiaries to practice hand wash at home. On the first day, 745 members availed hand wash facilities at seven locations.
In the coming days, we would intensify our emergency responses in reaching out to all 10 locations. We were the first one to kick start the COVID-19 emergency response initiative. We would also use mobile phone to provide orientation for volunteers and extend all possible virtual support to execute the program as per the plan.