COVID19

Emergency COVID19 Response

Background

As of November 16, 2020, there have been over 430,000 COVID19 infections in Bangladesh, and over 6,000 deaths. Our COVID19 response began in April, 2020 in the Southern Coastal regions of Bangladesh, an area covering 1.2 million people. WASH is the best first line of defense against COVID19 transmission, therefore we focused on strengthening our WASH response and utilised a mobile messaging campaign to reinforce the importance of hygiene.  

Mobile Messaging Campaign

The centerpiece of our COVID19 response has been a mobile-phone messaging campaign. This campaign utilises our call center to spread messages on virus prevention, hygiene, safe motherhood, and nutrition to all households in our project areas. We also used this channel to combat misinformation, stigma and fear surrounding COVID19. Click here to read more about this campaign.

Empowering Entrepreneurs

We were able to negotiate exemptions to the lockdown for local entrepreneurs, allowing them to safely continue selling much-needed hygiene products in hard-to-reach communities. Through the entrepreneurs we ensured the provision of public handwashing facilities and soap at public tube wells, so gathering water would remain safe. These entrepreneurs continue to provide their local communities with hygiene supplies, ensuring that they have access to the WASH tools needed to prevent the spread of COVID19.

Results

Between April and June, the campaign reached 836,000 people. Over 40,000 of the households reached had children under five, and more than 3,000 households had pregnant or lactating women. In that same period, 20,497 MaxiBasins (handwashing devices) have been installed in households, allowing for more frequent and safe handwashing. Additionally, we distributed 35,000 bars of soap and detergent powder among very poor households through the entrepreneurs who now supply these goods.