ADRA and Oxfam responded to the COVID-19 pandemic through their jointly implemented ACCEND project. The European Union funded, ‘Assisting Communities in Creating Environmental and Nutritional Development (ACCEND)’ is a four-year initiative carried out in Matale, Monaragala and Nuwara Eliya districts. The project focuses on both rural and estate communities there and aims to improve their health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation of the most vulnerable communities.
Through the project ADRA and Oxfam collaborated with public health institutions such as the office of the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) and the Regional Directorate of Health Services (RDHS) and implemented several activities in response to the pandemic in 3 districts.
The project supported government’s efforts to create awareness among public on the virus and how to stay safe from it. In Monaragala, ADRA and Oxfam funded the printing of 250,000 leaflets that were distributed through 11 MOH offices to all 100,000 houses and 25,000 workplaces in the district. In Maskeliya MOH area, 10,000 leaflets were printed and disseminated through home visits by the MOH staff and 1000 posters were displayed. In Wilgamuwa MOH area in Matale district, 50,000 leaflets on COVID-19 were distributed among the households.
Furthermore, thirteen (13) hand washing stations were established in public places of Maskeliya and Wilgamuwa while two more stations were installed in MOH office of Maskeliya targeting pregnant women visiting it and the Divisional Hospital. Responding to subsequent requests, the project set up five handwashing stations at the Divisional Secretariat, Divisional Hospital, Agrarian Service Centre, Pradeshiya Sabha and bus stand of Wilgamuwa. In addition, hand washing stations were established in poly clinic centres of Nugagolla, Aliyawala, Sonuththa, Madakanda, Mahawathanna and Lediyangala Gramha Niladhari Divisions of Wilgamuwa.
Public Health Inspectors and the Medical Officers of Health, who were fighting the spread of Coronavirus, were helped with sanitizers, N 95 masks, surgical masks, and goggles, by the project.