The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided $6 million toward the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic through UNICEF to assist with infection prevention and control measures including water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), health, and child protection interventions.
This support will build on UNICEF’s overall role to enhance WASH in healthcare facilities as part of efforts to prevent COVID-19 infections. USAID’s funding will reduce the risk of infection and improve access to care by upgrading WASH infrastructure for 75 health facilities, providing staff training on effective infection prevention and control, and supporting improved COVID-19 case management.
Furthermore, the funding will help UNICEF scale up its psychosocial support and referral services for at-risk children, women, and survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). UNICEF will sensitize adolescent girls and young women on available post-GBV support and promote uptake of the services, including the rollout of a new mobile application.
“The United States remains committed to responding to ongoing healthcare and humanitarian needs,” said USAID/Zimbabwe Mission Director, Art Brown. “Together with our partners, USAID ensures healthcare facilities can continue to provide services in a safe environment for both healthcare workers and clients. We will also continue to protect those most vulnerable to the increased rates of gender-based violence that we have seen during the pandemic.”
The programme will mentor and train approximately 300 frontline healthcare workers on adherence to infection prevention and control best practices and COVID-19 case management guidelines, and support 100 facilities with personal protective equipment.
UNICEF Zimbabwe Representative Dr. Tajudeen Oyewale said UNICEF is grateful to the United States, as part of the global collaborative effort, for the support to fight the pandemic in Zimbabwe.
“The availability of WASH in healthcare facilities, quality case management, and psychosocial support services will go a long way in the protection of all – particularly women and children who are greatly affected by the impacts of COVID-19. The funds provided will be invaluable to help continue supporting the country with an effective COVID-19 response,” he said.