United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), on Wednesday, donated water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to support the Maldivian government's ongoing nation-wide effort to contain COVID-19.
UNICEF's Resident Representative Dr Munir Safieldin formally handed over the supplies, worth MVR 7.1 million, to Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen during a ceremony held at the ministry.
Consisting of over 150,690 items, the donation includes surgical masks, N95 masks, body bags for infection control, fog-resistant face shields, protective goggles, surgical gowns, clinical thermometers, hand sanitizers and hand soap.
Highlighting the risks associated with working in close proximity to infected individuals and close contacts, UNICEF emphasized the importance of ensuring the protection of front line workers through adequate supply of PPE.
According to UNICEF, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic extends beyond initially predicted public health risks. Based on observations from Maldives as well as around the world, UNICEF stated that food shortages, unemployment and limited access to essential services would severely affect progress attained by the country over the last few decades, particularly with regards to children.
Since the beginning of the emergency response four months prior, UNICEF has extended considerable assistance to the Maldivian government, especially with regards to education and social services. This includes:
- Supporting efforts to continue schooling via distance learning and the safe reopening of schools
- Supporting the continuation of essential health services for children and women including immunization, growth monitoring and ante-natal care
- Strengthening and expanding psychosocial support services
- Enhancing technical support to increase the capacity of social workers responding to cases involving children
- Provision of technical and financial support to ensure timely social protection
- Strengthening communication and community engagement to provide critical information as well as encouraging positive behaviours
Maldives presently records a total of 3,103 positive cases, with 676 active cases. Till date, the country recorded 2,397 recoveries and 15 fatalities.
On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 15.3 million people and claimed over 630,211 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 9.3 million people have recovered.