BRAC piloted a community-driven Covid response and health system strengthening initiative in six districts over the past five months

BRAC has taken up an initiative to support people living in 38 most vulnerable districts to prevent Covid-19 in Bangladesh.

BRAC along with partner NGOs are all set to implement the plan through a community-driven Covid response and local level health system strengthening initiative.

The decision was reached at an emergency meeting with the recently formed platform Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Alliance on Thursday (15 April).

The meeting was chaired by CSO alliance coordinator and advisor to former caretaker government Rasheda K Chowdhury. PRIP Trust executive director Aroma Dutta, Ahsania Mission ED M Ehsanur Rahman, Hasin Jahan, Sultana Kamal, Maleka Banu, RDRS chairperson Shib Narayan Kairy and WaterAid regional director Khairul Islam also attended the meeting.

With this initiative, the NGOs together will work on spreading information on coronavirus prevention, proper use of masks and vaccine registration along with spreading awareness messages and addressing misinformation to around 58 million people living in the 38 high risk districts.

The high-risk districts with case positivity rate above 10 percent are: Dhaka, Chattogram, Rangamati, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Narsingdi, Khulna, Narayanganj, Rajbari, Feni, Noakhali, Chandpur, Shariatpur, Laxmipur, Cumilla, Barisal, Rajshahi, Bogura, Narail, Nilphamari, Gazipur, Faridpur, Brahmanbaria, Jessore, Madaripur, Naogaon, Rangpur, Kishoreganj, Natore, Tangail, Pirojpur, Patuakhali, Bhola, Manikganj, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, and Mymensingh.

With the rising COVID cases, increasing number of deaths, overburdened hospitals and acute crisis in ICU facilities in Bangladesh, community level prevention with a central approach has become an emergency now, says a press release.

BRAC executive director Asif Saleh said, "The fight against coronavirus prevention requires long-term initiative. It is not possible to win the fight without participation from communities."

“This low cost model will lead to long term benefits if it can get proper financing, and will also speed up the government’s coronavirus prevention efforts,” he added.

BRAC in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the UK government and under a joint initiative with the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Community Clinic Trust has piloted a community-driven Covid response and health system strengthening initiative in six districts over the past five months, the press release adds.

Based on the success of the pilot, BRAC will scale this initiative across the 38 high risky districts identified by Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).