The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has through UNICEF committed US$6 million towards the ongoing COVID-19 response, specifically infection prevention and control measures including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, and child protection interventions in Zimbabwe.
In a statement, USAID Zimbabwe Mission Director, Art Brown said the 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.
“The United States remains committed to responding to ongoing healthcare and humanitarian needs. 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,” said Brown.
He added that the funding will help UNICEF scale-up psycho-social support and referral services for at-risk children, women, and survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
UNICEF Zimbabwe Representative Dr. Tajudeen Oyewale said his organisation will use the support to sensitize adolescent girls and young women on available post-GBV support and promote uptake of the services, including the roll out of a new mobile application.
“The availability of WASH in healthcare facilities, quality case management, and psycho-social 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.
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.