Containing the Spread

Containing the spread of the COVID-19 Epidemic and safeguarding livelihoods of vulnerable groups in slum areas.

Project Information

Project Status: Legacy
Start Date: June 2020
End Date: December 2020
CountriesSierra Leone

Good Health and Well-Being Clean Water & Sanitation Partnerships for the Goals

Reducing disparities & mitigating COVID-19’s detrimental impacts

As of May 2020, the COVID-19 situation in Sierra Leone was at 735 confirmed cases, 42 deaths. According to the GHRP Country and regional plan – New Plan (Sierra Leone), the priorities were public health and minimizing the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. Challenges lay in capacity and equipment gaps in the health system, the need to engage the public, the lack of personal protective equipment for health workers, and the need to maintain key social, health, and food services, which are especially important for vulnerable populations. 

This community-based social intervention will be implemented to decrease the impact of COVID-19 and to prevent further spread within several suburban slum regions of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Through improved hygiene and access to a safe community water supply, combined with community awareness on preventive measures, the community will be much better prepared to combat the virus.

The intervention is aligned with the Global Humanitarian Response Plan and will focus on strategic objective 1) Contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and decrease morbidity and mortality and strategic objective 2) Decrease the deterioration of human assets and rights, social cohesion, food security, and livelihoods.

Project Goals

1. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 through referral of COVID-19 cases, improved hygiene (access to safe community water supply, community awareness on hygiene, and improved WASH hygiene at two health centres in the surrounding slum areas Freetown region)

2. To safeguard livelihoods and decrease the impact of the COVID19 through the roll-out of community-based programming that provides social support services at the household-level to vulnerable families

Expected Outcomes

1. Contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and decrease morbidity and mortality and strategic objective

2. Decrease the deterioration of human assets and rights, social cohesion, food security and livelihoods

people total benefited from the intervention

people benefited from handwashing & community health stations

people received access to clean water and improved WASH

Community Health Workers were equipped with vital supplies

How It Works

Since 2017, Engineers Without Borders – Denmark (EWB-DK) and World Hope International have worked together in emergency response on clean water, hygiene, and sanitation (WASH) projects and climate adaption in the area of intervention, both with extensive experience in WASH and health-related interventions with vulnerable populations.

This intervention specifically targeted the community members using the health facilities, including specific vulnerable groups, – female-headed households; people living with disability; elders; pregnant women; those living with TB or HIV, etc.; health care workers; and community mobilizers engaged the community.

During the Ebola crisis, the country struggled to control the virus against the over-burned health system. From the lessons learned, community healthcare workers were supported with training and equipment as they play an important role at the local healthcare centers.

The majority of activities focused on prevention, including the provision of WASH facilities – latrines and proper waste management – to prevent the spread of COVID-19 along with other infectious diseases. For distribution of food, the health care workers, the administrative representative from the community, and World Hope’s project mobilizer helped identify individuals and families in need. A general awareness campaign was conducted for the general population in the communities.

The project was implemented in partnership with EWB-DK and funded by the Danish Emergency Relief Fund (DERF).

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