NATIONAL, HEALTH, VIQUEQUE

ADRA-VMHS successfully mobilize communities on Covid-19 mitigation

ADRA-VMHS successfully mobilize communities on Covid-19 mitigation

ADRA International Timor-Leste hands over hygiene kits, including Posters and Banners to Communities in Dasarai Hamlet. Tatoli's image//Filomeno Martins

VIQUEQUE, 26 february 2022 (TATOLI) – Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), through Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP), in partnership with Viqueque Municipal Health Service (VMHS) had successfully mobilized communities in Viqueque municipality on carrying out Covid-19 Prevention and Mitigation Measures to combat Covid-19.

AHP Covid-19 Response Project was financed by the Government of Australia, and implemented by ADRA International Timor-Leste in partnership with Caritas Australia (CAN-DO).

Project Manager of ADRA, Eliseu Silva informed that AHP Covid-19 Response Project implemented by ADRA International Timor-Leste was focused on Covid-19 Prevention and Mitigation Measures.

During the Covid-19 Emergency situation, one of the main activities carried out by ADRA International Timor-Leste was the installation of the water tanks and the distribution of face masks, hand washing buckets, liquid disinfectant, hand sanitizer, banners, posters, and other hygiene kits to SSMV, health centers, village clinics, and communities across Viqueque municipality.

“Since the signing of the Letter of Agreement (LoA) between ADRA, VMHS, and Water and Sanitation Service (SAS), ADRA has been working closely with VMHS to install four water tanks in Viqueque, including one at the office of SSMV, one at the Viqueque Health Care Center, one at Viqueque’s Quarantine, and another one was installed at Viqueque’s Community Clinic,” Silva told reporters at the office of Viqueque Municipal Health Service, in Viqueque.

He said the distribution of the hygiene kits was crucial to help the communities in combating the Covid-19 during the emergency situation.

At the same place, the Director of VMHS, Francisco de Carvalho said with the signing of the LoU, VMHS integrated its Health Promotion Program with the ADRA’s Covid-19 Prevention and Mitigation program to combat the Covid-19 pandemic in the municipality.

VMHS had previously cooperated with ADRA to carry out water well drilling in a number of village clinics and health care centers across Viqueque, including a water well drilling in Uma-Tolu village of Lacluta administrative post, one at the SP2 clinic in Luca village, one in Wain Kraik village, one in Wain Leten village, and another one at the Makadiki village: “ADRA did all the water well drillings simply through the cooperation agreement that we signed prior to the Covid-19.”

“Thus, when the government imposed the nation’s first sanitary fence, we already had water at a number of village clinics and health centers, which the health workers and the communities used for the prevention and mitigation of the Covid-19,” Carvalho said.

He said VMHS also coordinated with the Viqueque’s firefighters to support filling the tanks with clean water: “If we are running out of water, then we would contact the firefighters to support us with clean water.”

Community prevention and mitigation measures are designed to be used or deployed by individuals, organizations, and governments to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the community. These measures include physical distancing and mask-wearing, risk communication and disease education, and interventions like contact tracing, etc.

ADRA’s campaign on raising the awareness of communities on Covid-19 prevention

During the emergency situation of Covid-19, ADRA International Timor-Leste carried out Covid-19 Campaign across 18 villages in Viqueque municipality to raise the awareness of the communities on the prevention and mitigation of Covid-19: “We spread the information on combating Covid-19 through banners and posters. In a collaboration with the VMHS, we jointly informed the communities about the benefits of vaccination, at the same time convincing communities in the rural areas to get vaccinated against Covid-19,” said ADRA’s Project Coordinator, Eliseu Silva.

“Although the vaccination coverage in Viqueque is better than other municipalities, we keep convincing communities who hadn’t gotten their shots to get vaccinated against Covid-19,” he said.

The Director of VMHS, Francisco de Carvahlo said that: “During the Sanitary Fence, Covid-19 campaign carried out by VMHS and ADRA was crucial to raise the awareness of the communities on the severe impacts caused by Covid-19 and the advantages of the Covid-19 vaccines.

On the other hand, Francisco Marques, a community member from Dasarai hamlet, in Wagia village of Ossu Administrative Post expressed his contentment with the distribution of the posters and banners and hygiene from ADRA.

“We received soaps, face masks, hand sanitizer, banners, posters, and other hygiene kits that are important for us to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19. A total of 48 households from this hamlet had received these materials,” Marques said.

Installation of Covid-19 medical waste destruction site

In addition to the distribution of the hygiene kits, ADRA also cooperated with VMHS to install a Covid-19 medical waste destruction site in Viqueque.

The installation of the medical waste destruction site aimed to facilitate VMHS and Viqueque Health Care Center to separately destroy all the Covid-19 medical waste from the regular waste.

“We installed this Covid-19 medical waste destruction site because Viqueque’s Health Care Center doesn’t have any appropriate site for destroying such medical waste. We have seen medical waste being thrown everywhere here in Viqueque and this is not good for our environment and our health. Medical waste like Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and others now can be destroyed here in this particular site, said ADRA’s Project Coordinator, Eliseu Silva.

Silva stressed that Covid-19 medical waste has been proven to contain hazardous chemicals which might pose a serious threat to humans and environmental health.

In addition, the Director of VMHS, Francisco de Carvahlo said that the site would not only use for the destruction of the Covid-19 medical waste, saying it could be also used by the Viqueque’s Health Care Center to destroy its medical waste in the future once the Covid-19 was over.

“Covid-19 panicked us all at the beginning of the outbreak in Timor-Leste, so we urgently focused on the installation of the isolation center and the quarantine and we didn’t think of installing an appropriate site for the destruction of the Covid-19 medical waste,” he added.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo

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