As Lebanon reported its 73rd case of COVID-19 on March 12, citizens rushed to pharmacies across Lebanon demanding hygiene items which prices skyrocketed almost immediately. This project will conduct awareness sessions on the prevention of COVID-19 through improving hygiene behaviors ending with the distribution of hygiene kits that'll include: N95 mask, sanitizers, alcohol-based soap, antimicrobial wipes. A total of 35,547 cases of COVID-19 have been reported so far and numbers are still rising.
The financial crisis which Lebanon is experiencing has led to a dollar liquidity crunch, and scarcity in critical imports, including medical supplies like masks. On the day of announcing the 1st case of COVID-19 in Lebanon, the prices of N95 masks jumped to $5-6 due to suppliers' increase in price. Many refugees cannot afford any preventive items. Knowing that refugees are poor, crowded and lack basic hygiene knowledge, they are the most susceptible to diseases like COVID-19.
URDA launched this project in Al Yasamine refugee camp and a Lebanese poor neighborhood in Bekaa. Awareness sessions will be conducted, where each will end with the distribution of hygiene kits that will include: N95 mask, sanitizers, alcohol-based soap, antimicrobial wet wipes sufficient for 1 family of 5 members. Awareness sessions will include COVID-19 symptoms, how COVID-19 is transmitted, preventive measures, what to do if a family member displays symptoms, how to wash hands properly, etc.
Such a project can ensure the protection of vulnerable refugees in Al-Yasamine refugee camp and its surrounding communities, ensuring that such crowded places may not cause a national health crisis due to lack of basic hygiene awareness and preparedness if any member catch the COVID-19.