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Our organization has carried out and still carries out actions to protect everyone against COVID-19, the main ones of which are:

  • Raising the awareness of populations on COVID-19 protection measures and on UHC through awareness sessions, radio spots, voice messages and WhatsApp messages, town criers as well as SMS;
  • Deploying volunteers to market, near water points, and other public places to assist populations in observing COVID-19 prevention measures;
  • Training of community volunteers equipped with protective materials against COVID-19, who were in turn deployed to communities to provide advice and assistance to protect themselves against COVID-19;
  • Installing hand washing systems in remote areas while providing education on the need to wear masks, wash hands, observe social distancing, and other prevention measures;
  • Training tailors and rural dressmakers to produce conventional masks, including procuring raw materials;
  • Training girls, women and disadvantaged groups in soap production and providing hydro-alcoholic liquid soap in rural areas.

Many interventions for COVID-19 have been concentrated in the urban and peri-urban areas while leaving the rural areas where they live, which is the gap we focused on. What has worked in our approach is the involvement and empowerment of local rural communities through the training of community volunteers as well as supporting economic units (i.e. soap making and mask production), especially for those facing additional vulnerabilities such as women and people living with a disability. We have been challenged by the lack of material and financial resources to scale-up our approach.

These interventions should be maintained beyond the pandemic by means of funding for our organization and other civil society organizations to continue the action while setting up and supervising local structures and groups for the sustainability of composed interventions.

For more information, contact the author: François BENAO,

In the lead-up to UHC Day 2020 (“Health for All: Protect Everyone”), we are highlighting how CSEM member organizations are contributing to ensure the COVID-19 response protects everyone and keeping momentum going for universal health coverage amid the crisis. See more.

Join us for the virtual UHC Day rally on 12 December 2020 — share your commitment to UHC and call on decision-makers to protect everyone!