April 11th, 2022 ― Doha: As part of its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in the world and protect vulnerable communities, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRC) has recently completed a project to support the efforts of the Gambian Red Cross Society (GRCS) to respond to the pandemic around the Greater Banjul Area: Banjul, Kanifing, and West Coast.
The response was centered on outreach activities in three regions/municipalities with key messages on COVID-19, using different approaches such as caravans, sensitization in public places, school sensitization, house-to-house sensitization, community meetings, social media pages, posters, and leaflets containing information on COVID prevention and vaccination.
In coordination with local authorities, the volunteers distributed sanitation and hygiene materials at key public spaces such as garages, bus and ferry terminals, markets/supermarkets, petrol stations, community centers, places of worship, schools, institutions, residences of infected individuals, health facilities, commercial vehicles, and police stations.
Influential community leaders (such as imams, school principals, village leaders, pastors, etc.) across the three regions on COVID-19 prevention and control measures, as well as the misconceptions related to COVID-19 vaccination. A total of 1,449 households, or about 18,000 people, were reached out in the house-to-house visits, and 12 caravans were deployed to markets, public places, community centers, etc., spreading sensitization messages in all different languages in the country.
GRCS works with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to support case transfers across the country. The volunteers and staff were trained to provide case transfers through its emergency ambulance and COVID-19 remains management services.
QRCS’s donation helped to purchase and distribute family hygiene kits containing COVID-19 control materials (such as soap, masks, hand sanitizers, bleaches, buckets, water purification tablets, female underwear, toothpastes, and toothbrushes).
Some inmates of isolation/quarantine facilities were provided with material assistance, such as gloves, masks, thermometers, hand sanitizers, water, and disinfectants.
Personal protective equipment (PPEs) were prepositioned at the branches to support family members in washing and preparing COVID-19 remains for safe burial, and for the headquarters/branch volunteers and staff, and the staff of the two major mortuaries, to operate under safe conditions.
This project supported both the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) and Kanifing General Hospital (KGH) with spraying tanks to disinfect the mortuary facilities (the two biggest hospitals in the country). Training courses were held to build the capacity of community volunteers to be able to actively search for COVID-19 suspects and other priority diseases, such as measles, acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), etc., in the communities. Finally, 43 health facilities received infection prevention and control (IPC) support.
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About Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS)
Established in 1978, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is a humanitarian volunteering organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination.
QRCS is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 191 National Societies. QRCS is also a member of several GCC, Arab, and Islamic organizations, such as the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO). In this legally recognized capacity, QRCS has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts — a role that distinguishes it from other local charities and NGOs.
QRCS operates both locally and internationally and has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. QRCS's humanitarian actions include providing support in disaster preparedness, disaster response, risk reduction, and disaster recovery. To mitigate the impact of disasters and improve the livelihoods of affected populations, QRCS provides medical services, healthcare, and social development to local communities. It is also active at the humanitarian advocacy front. With the help of a vast network of trained, committed staff and volunteers, QRCS aspires to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.
QRCS works under the umbrella of the seven international humanitarian principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.