COVID-19 BRAC Community Health Reach Project Launched

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By Jonathan Hindolo Kurabu

The official launch of BRAC Sierra Leone’s COVID 19 Community Health Reach project was recently held at the J&E Guest House in Bo. It attracted stakeholders drawn from the Bo DICOVERC, ONS, SLP, Bo District Health Management Team and Civil Society Organizations.

Country Representative for BRAC -SL, Andrew Chikopa, averred that BRAC is closely working with the Government of Sierra Leone in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. He noted that the efforts they are making are geared towards implementing activities of the project in order to ensure collaborative efforts towards achieving a Corona Free Sierra Leone.

Andrew Chikopa stated that the Non-Governmental Organization was founded 49 years ago in Bangladesh and started operations in Sierra Leone in 2008 adding that they have over the past years implemented a lot of programmes in many sectors ranging from Health, Emergency Response preparedness, youth empowerment and gender, agricultural projects and Microfinance with them being the largest micro finance organization in Sierra Leone with over 69,000 beneficiaries.

With a vision of a world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potentials, Andrew Chikopa, said their mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice, adding that they have so far ameliorated the overarching problems of employment faced by providing jobs to 444 staff including17 expatriates with 85% of staff most of whom he said, are women.

Project Manager for the COVID-19 Community Health Reach, Fatmata Sannoh said the entire project is funded by the Center for Development Philanthropy based in United States of America.

The project specific objectives ,she went on, are to support community based response among BRAC beneficiaries and the larger communities, increase knowledge of COVID 19 causes, symptoms and appropriate actions to be undertaken in the event of suspected or increased cases, increase awareness on enhanced hygiene practices at community levels among others.

Hon. Eric Jumu, who is the Bo DICOVERC Social Mobilization Lead, lauded the gigantic strides taken by BRAC SL especially at a critical time like this when the denial rate among Sierra Leoneans appears to be like a cog in the wheel of their operations and encouraged them to consolidate their efforts to ensure that COVID-19 becomes a thing of the past.

The Coordinator of the Bo DICOVERC, David Fortune commended the Management of BRAC for supporting Government in combating what he described as a medical and social menace and disclosed plans for the opening of two Treatment Centres in Bo where positive corona cases could be treated.

The duration of the project will span from May to November 2020.

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