United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), on Monday, donated 46 laptops and 5,000 PCR test kits to support the Maldivian government's ongoing nation-wide effort to contain COVID-19.
According to UNICEF, the laptops would be utilized for the 17 working groups of the Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) including the Rapid Response Team (RRT), Call Centre, Contact Tracing, Media and Communication, Medical Supplies, and Planning and Coordination.
The supplies handed over were worth MVR 1.73 million.
UNICEF announced further funding to the Ministry of Health in the coming weeks, in order to assist in acquiring additional human resources in addition to two shipments of medical equipment for Intensive Care Units (ICUs).
Previously, UNICEF noted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic extended beyond the 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
UNICEF’s total support to the health sector for Maldivian COVID-19 response now exceeds MVR 17 million.