COVID-19  China Project #44929

COVID-19 > World Vision's global response

by World Vision
COVID-19 > World Vision's global response
COVID-19 > World Vision's global response
COVID-19 > World Vision's global response
COVID-19 > World Vision's global response

"COVID-19 Response in Brazil" project enables health care to 272 riverside families in Manaus

Residents of communities located in the rural area of Manaus, received health care between December 1 and 4, during the third river trip of the project COVID-19 Response in Brazil, carried out by World Vision Brazil and funded by the Office of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In this action, 272 families benefited from the delivery of 565 personal hygiene and disinfection kits, 21 gel alcohol totems and 91 medical appointments.

Health care activities in response to the emergence of the coronavirus, one of the fronts of the Project, are of great importance for the riverside population in Amazonas, which already suffers from the distance from the capital and the consequent difficulty in accessing basic health services, even most affected in the pandemic. To make service possible, World Vision uses the structure of Solidarity Ship, an ambulatory boat maintained in partnership with the Presbyterian Church and which has been in operation for over 10 years. In 2020, all trips made by the ship were in response to the emergency of COVID-19.

Helping those most in need

When it reaches the communities, the health team mobilizes for care, prioritizing emergency cases. Residents undergo screening, measuring blood pressure and blood glucose, measuring temperature and weight, and then go to the appointment with doctor, who in addition to treating each case with attention, also provide guidance on daily health care for prevent disease.

Edgar, 36, resident in the Bela Vista community, was one of those who benefited of the opportunity and convenience that the Project brings. “I received excellent quality medical care. Here we are a little forgotten, so I was very happy to have been seen in my community, without having to leave here to go to Manaus to get an appointment ”, he comments. He says that, because of the pandemic, it became even more difficult to receive medical assistance, as the trips, which were monthly, were canceled. Besides him, his two children, Douglas, 10, and Gabriela, 13, benefited from the service.

Another assisted family was Cintia’s, a housewife who lives in São Francisco do Igarapé do Chita. She took her three children, João Miguel, 3, Jonas, 29, and Abraão, 8, for medical appointment and describes how much the action made a difference for them. “It is very important to receive health care. We feel assisted, since those who are not always able to go to the doctor when the municipality service comes to the community”, she reinforces.

The COVID-19 Response in Brazil project offers a complete service to promote the prevention of coronavirus, including lectures, workshops and donation of personal hygiene kits and home disinfection. For the doctor Camila Maia, a professional who was on this last trip of Solidarity Ship, these material resources make a difference for the riverside communities. “The fact that we can guide patients on preventive and detachment measures and bring the kits helps a lot, as many people would not be able to buy them, due to reduced income. The hygiene kit allows them to comply with the recommendation we are going through”, she says.

The completeness of the actions to support the population, the responsibility and seriousness of World Vision's work are the aspects that the project manager, Angela Karinne Mota, is most proud of. “It is a project that involves education, awareness and transformation with the material provision and the necessary guidelines so that these populations can have all the possible preventive apparatus against COVID-19. So, we are dealing with a complete action to revert the situation of vulnerability in this period of pandemic.”

In the three days of activities, 91 people had gone through health - 59 adults and 32 children and adolescents. 305 nursing procedures were also performed and 202 medications were donated. So far, 150 medical consultations, 404 nursing procedures, 31 blood glucose tests, 14 dental consultations, 50 dental procedures and 402 medicines have been delivered.

About the COVID-19 Response in Brazil project

With an initial duration of six months, the actions of the Response to COVID-19 project in Brazil include training, distribution of hygiene and cleaning kits and mobilization of urban and riverside territories in the municipalities of Manaus, Manacapuru and Novo Airão, in addition to attention actions health and medical and dental care on board the hospital boat.

The goal is to reach more than 76 thousand people in 21 territories in the three municipalities. The accumulated balance of activities, to date, totals 3,019 disinfection kits and 3,019 personal hygiene kits and 417 gel totems for small businesses delivered.

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Eunice (center) with colleagues at the dispensary
Eunice (center) with colleagues at the dispensary

For our latest global response update - see the attached report!

When news of a new virus hit the headlines of the world, 30-year-old Eunice’s medical intuition kicked in. She sensed in her spirit, that it would be only a matter of time before the contagious virus arrived in Kenya, given the speed at which it was spreading across the globe. Since 2016 when she joined the Muusini dispensary in Machakos County, as Hospital Charge, her major role has been to work with the community to help treat and prevent the spread of diseases within Mwala Community.

True to what she feared most, Kenya recorded its first COVID-19 case and 6 months later the county is looking at a catastrophe with tens of thousands of confirmed cases, mainly spread by community infections. Eunice notes, “Mwala is only 2 hours’ drive from Nairobi City which is the epicenter of coronavirus and what the commu-nity needed most is proper knowledge and information on how to protect themselves from the virus as we all work to deal with this pandemic. That is exactly what World Vision provided to us.”

Given the potential for increased spread of coronavirus, World Vision initiated an emergency preparedness and response plan for COVID-19 for all the area programs in Kenya, including the Mwala Community. The response plan promotes preventive measures through awareness education and promot-ing good family and community hygiene and sanitation behaviors, all in collaboration with the ministry of health and the county governments.

Eunice confirmed that the COVID-19 response plan has greatly con-tributed towards stopping or slowing the spread of coronavirus amongst households in Mwala. She says, “What World Vision did, was a partnership between Ministry of Health, Church Leaders and Local Administration on the ground to scale up prevention measures as well as teach communities how to deal with child protection issues, now that children are at home.” World Vision vehicles were branded with COVID-19 safety information and fitted with public address systems to reach over 43,000 with the safety message.

Margaret, World Vision Kenya staff member, noted that during this time of the pandemic, the Mwala community has benefited from World Vision’s long-term water investment through the construction of Kangondi Water Project in the community. The water project supplies clean and portable water to almost all households including the Muusini Dispen-sary, providing the much-needed relief in the pandemic. Eunice notes, “I do not want to imagine what the community would do at this time without water. To fight this pandemic, access to water is key and I am glad World Vision did that long-term investment in this community many years ago.”

Eunice cannot hide her joy for what World Vision has done to make her work easier as she points to a hand washing facility with liquid soap, personal protective equipment and disinfectants that they use at the hos-pital. She says, “World Vision is helping us meet our target in providing good outpatient services to the community of Mwala. Now everyone in this community knows the importance of wearing a mask, hand washing and keeping social distance. What a gift to have World Vision in the community as a development partner.”

Margaret with WV's public address system vehicle
Margaret with WV's public address system vehicle

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Mugombwa, a refugee camp in southern Rwanda, currently hosts over 10,400 Congolese refugees. Gabriella, a 7-year-old girl in Mugombwa, smiles every time she washes her hands after using the toilet because she believes good handwashing is an effective way to prevent the spread of diseases, including COVID-19, Ebola, intestinal worms and diarrhea. The camp’s water supply system was constructed last year and has the capacity to serve the entire camp, plus the neighboring host communities.

“I am happy for World Vision and UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees], for they ensure we have good handwashing facilities with soap and clean water so that we can wash our hands every time it is necessary,” says Gabriella. “I wash my hands every [time] after toilet and before eating to prevent diseases. We have clean water near our homes which we use for bathing and [to] go to school clean without being late,” Gabriella adds.

Gabriella’s mother, Kayitesi, is a 27-year-old single mother of two. She lost one of her hands during the Democratic Republic of Congo insurgencies before her family fled to Rwanda in 2014. She thanks World Vision for the inclusive WASH program, which caters to people with disabilities by providing enough water points and sanitation facilities as well as easy access.

Before the inclusive program, Kayitesi says, “I could not fetch enough water using one hand. My daughter had the burden of fetching all the water before going to school. Sometimes I would skip washing her uniforms and she never felt comfortable going to school with dirty clothes or without bathing,” Kayitesi adds.

‘’Besides the refugee pain of losing belongings, I also lost my arm to rebels with a panga [machete] in Congo. In our first years in the camp, I had difficulties nursing my painful wound while caring for two-year-old Gabriella. When Gabriella turned five years, she started helping me with fetching water. I could not manage struggling for water at the few crowded water points. Gabriella was always there to wait at long queues at the water points, and sometimes she would miss her kindergarten classes,” Kayitesi says painfully.

Kayitesi is very grateful for the closer water points, especially because of her disability. “Now we access enough water all the time near our homes, and I am able to fetch enough water by myself for home use,” says Kayitesi. “My child now concentrates at school and she has enough time to play. I am proud that my child is safe and is performing well at school, being among the best ten in grade two,” Kayitesi adds.

Gabriella and Kayitesi are convinced good hygiene, regular handwashing and social distancing will help them survive the coronavirus. Pacifique, WASH Project Manager for the camp, credits the positive behavior change to the good partnership between World Vision Rwanda, UNHCR, the Ministry in Charge of Emergency Management and the refugee community. Concerning COVID-19, Pacifique and other World Vision staff will be busy continuing to teach these preventative measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.

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Africa Region > COVID-19 response update

World Vision is concerned about the impact that the COVID-19 health crisis will have on the poorest and most vulnerable, and the risk it poses to already stretched basic social services and pre-existing high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. This is especially the case amongst refugee and internally displaced populations.

We are active on the ground and scaling up our prevention and response work across Africa, including in fragile contexts. The coronavirus response comes on top of climate change effects such as recurrent drought, torrential floods and locust invasions – all destroying crops and livelihoods. Response work includes preventing loss of progress made towards the global Sustainable Development Goals.

World Vision urges the world to focus on the most vulnerable children, especially those living in communities with low access or weak health systems, and those already battling conditions such as tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS. They must not be left behind and funding for COVID-19 resources must not be diverted from their treatment, care and support.


Country update - SOUTH SUDAN

In South Sudan,World Vision has:

  • Reached 23,115 people with preventative behavior messaging.
  • Printed and distributed 2,416 information education and communications materials.
  • Distributed 136 handwashing supplies to the offices and 3,100 handwashing supplies to internally displaced persons’ camps.
  • Established 606 handwashing stations at critical points in internally displaced persons’ camps, food distribution points and market places.
  • Trained and supported 171 community health workers to provide community-based services.
  • Improved water, sanitation and hygiene services in 48 health care facilities using the World Health Organisation (WHO) tool.
  • Distributed 197,189 cash and vouchers, reaching 6,614 households. A total of 35,301 households received food.
  • Reached 3,182 children, women and other survivors through registration and care.
  • Partnered with the Episcopal Church and the Scripture Union of South Sudan on a COVID-19 awareness creation campaign. Operational zones are involving faith leaders in disseminating prevention measures.
  • Printed and distributed 100 pieces of large congregational banners through South Sudan Council of Churches.

For details on our impact in other African countries, please see the attached report.


529 health workers and faith leaders join World Vision’s campaign against COVID-19 in South Sudan

“It seemed a distant reality at first, but now COVID-19’s impact is felt in South Sudan’s communities. After the declaration of cases in the country and news from surrounding countries that we share borders with reached the people, there is a deeper understanding of the pandemic’s threats”, says Enid, World Vision’s Zonal Program Manager in Western Equatoria Zone.

The operational zone managed from the capital town, Yambio, has trained 330 community health workers and 199 faith leaders who helped reached out to around 30,000 people. The team, with the support of health workers, has screened over 10,000 people with the use of infrared thermometers.

“The staff are constantly reminded of the prevention messages so they can share them with family members and neighbors. It must start with us”, adds Enid.

She further explains, “We realized that for the prevention to be more effective, it has to become a way of life for the people. The task force we organized tries harder to visually show people how infection can happen around them in their daily interactions. The team doing this must also fully understand the messages to be able to illustrate to people and answer questions.”

World Vision, being the lead in the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Prevention Program in the zone, has now taken the role of migrating the existing structure intended for EVD and adapt the infection, prevention and control process for the campaign against COVID-19.

All existing World Vision program teams in the area have worked together to display information materials and banners, established handwashing facilities during activities and key areas and imposed social distancing.

Working with nine points of entries (POE) in the state, some of which affiliated with health facilities), one isolation unit and six holding units, World Vision’s EVD response has screened over 1million people before it was discontinued for lack of cases and threat having been contained.

However, at the onset of COVID-19, 19 screening areas were established in health facilities in coordination with South Sudan’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Enid said there are still a lot of challenges ahead as the pandemic impacts communities. She says, “World Vision is very committed to doing the preparedness but it’s challenging to plan how to handle it on a large scale. The best thing is to get more people and groups to work with us for prevention messages to be disseminated all over the zone especially in remote areas. World Vision being on the ground with partners is better positioned to respond.”

She has noticed a lot of changes in people’s behavior and practices, which she considered very positive for the efforts that the teams are doing. “The people have started discussing COVID-19 in a very informed point of view and many are aware of the need for prevention considering the inadequate health facilities to handle an outbreak. Generally, handshake, which is culturally entrenched in communities, has stopped”, Enid explains.

In one of the meetings facilitated by World Vision, one faith leader Pastor Emmanuel of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, describing the pandemic says, “Ebola was a child, COVID-19 is an adult”. This showed how much people have now understood the gravity of the situation. The Western Equatoria State has a land area of 79,342.66 km and is divided into 10 counties with an estimated 1.6 million population.

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At a food distribution in Mongolia
At a food distribution in Mongolia

As a multi-mandated, child-focused organisation, World Vision has serious concerns about the immediate and long-term impact COVID-19 and ongoing response measures may have on the health and well-being of children, especially those most vulnerable, in both stable and fragile or conflict-affected contexts.

We urge the world to unite to focus on the most vulnerable children, especially refugees and displaced children. World Vision calls on governments, the UN and the international community to scale-up the global COVID-19 prevention and response measures for children and their families by strengthening health systems, maintaining essential health service delivery, equipping front-line health workers, engaging and communicating effectively with communities including children, and providing critical child protection interventions and psychosocial support.

In the Asia Pacific Region, World Vision has reached 1,144,486 children with preventative messaging and psychosocial support and assisted 330 medical facilities.

This week's country update shows highlights of our work in Bangladesh- see attached

Country Overview

World Vision acted quickly to disseminate prevention messaging to community leaders (including faith leaders) across its 56 Area Programmes with 152,614 sponsored children. In the refugee camps, our USAID-funded programme provides fresh food to more than 49,000 refugee households each month.Vendors are pre-packing food so refugees spend less time queuing in the shops, and are delivering food to quarantined households in the camps.

Lessons Learned, Best Practices and Innovations

Transitioning all staff quickly to productive work-at-home schedules was challenging, but teams are adapting. Many completed WHO on-line training on COVID-19. Overcrowded conditions in the Rohingya camps (40,000 people per km2) makes people particularly susceptible to the virus. The 335,000 people in need in the surrounding district—the poorest in Bangladesh—are also extremely vulnerable. Providing essential services is difficult as humanitarian access to the camps shrinks and the army begins to control NGO movements more.

Gaps and Challenges

We are calling on government, the UN and the international community to scale up prevention and response measures for children and their families. This includes strengthening health systems, equipping frontline health workers, and engaging and communicating with communities effectively regarding COVID-19 prevention and health services. We also urge that full humanitarian access be assured to NGOs working in the Rohingya refugee camps that are providing life-saving services to these especially vulnerable children and families.


Adequate testing continues to be a problem. The government is taking strong prevention measures and a national lock-down is in place until 25 April. All transportation is halted. All operations of World Vision development programs are on hold, while our COVID-19 emergency response has started in Cox's Bazar and is being rolled out elsewhere across the country this month. In Cox’s Bazar, World Vision is providing essential services in the world’s largest refugee camp that is home to 1 million Rohingya. Activities are restricted to food assistance, WASH, nutrition and protection case management. Some 200 staff continue to work in the camps following training on COVID-19 prevention.


I have to put on sandals to use the toilet and then wash my hands with soap. I need to avoid dirty places, crowds and going outside unnecessarily. -Nurankis, age 10, Rohingya refugee

Philippines - supplies for health care workers
Philippines - supplies for health care workers
Refugee camp in Bangladesh - distributing soap
Refugee camp in Bangladesh - distributing soap
Response highlights Asia Pacific
Response highlights Asia Pacific
Bangladesh update April
Bangladesh update April


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World Vision

Location: Federal Way, WA - USA
Project Leader:
Bernadette Martin
Federal Way, WA United States
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