The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in collaboration with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), has been carrying out an intensive infection prevention and control (IPC) programme in Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) since the programme began in September.
The public health programme is being implemented across 31 health facilities, including three District Sadar Hospitals and 22 Upazila Health Complexes, in Khagrachari, Bandarban and Rangamati districts, said an ICRC press release issued today (29 October).
In view of Covid-19, the increased IPC support has come as a boon for people living in Chattogram Hill Tracts, who visit the facilities for their health-care needs.
The multilayered programme includes remote training for BDRCS volunteers. They, in turn, will train the sanitation staff at all government-run health structures while ensuring availability of PPE and cleaning/disinfection materials and tools.
Around 130 staffers have been trained so far.
Massimo Russo, water and habitat coordinator of ICRC (Bangladesh), said, "The objective of the IPC programme is to strengthen the existing health set-up. We have been providing training support for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and on-site technical assistance, besides donating disinfection materials to key health facilities throughout Chattogram Hill Tracts."
"The idea is to complement the efforts of the government, local authorities and community leaders to help the locals cope with the changes brought about by the pandemic," he added.
Currently, these health complexes are being operated, cleaned and disinfected as per the SOPs provided and the BDRCS volunteers are monitoring the implementation of the programme.
Besides, protective equipment like- chlorine, gloves, face shields, protective outerwear, gumboots and masks have been distributed at these places.
Razwan Nabin, programme analyst and IPC focal of BDRCS, said, "The IPC programme in Chattogram Hill Tracts is not only providing relevant knowledge to the staff members but also giving them the confidence to deal with infection in this new normal."
The ICRC, in partnership with the BDRCS, has been implementing community-based livelihood support programmes in Chattogram Hill Tracts region since 2014. In a bid to help the communities access safe drinking water and sanitary and hygiene facilities, an integrated programme approach was adopted in 2016.