Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Senegal reported its first confirmed Covid-19 case on March 2. As of May 8, there were 1551 cases, 611 fully recovered and 13 deceased persons (0,9%) with a significant increase in cases in the last two weeks. 34 out of 79 health districts are now affected. The Senegalese government is leading the response and prevention work with support of key partners including UNICEF. Many preventive measures have been announced including a state of national emergency, extended school closure to 2 June, night curfew and closed borders and international air traffic.
Negative social and economic consequences of the crisis is already seen in Senegal. In a first survey by the Center for Global Development, 87 percent of the respondents reported a loss of income and many families report a reduction in meal sizes. The survey also showed that a third of the children under 16 years don’t participate in any learning activities.
Recent field visits in the health sector has shown a reduction in utilization of services, such as antenatal care and immunization. Reports of stigmatization of affected families/communities are increasing.
Considering the rapid increase in the number of cases, a concerted effort is needed to scale up preventive messaging, hygiene and sanitation actions, child protection services for the most vulnerable children and support to homebased learning.
UNICEF’s COVID-19 response
UNICEF plays an important role in support to the coordination of the Covid-19 response. Out of the 8 commissions, UNICEF is leading the Risk Communication and Community Engagement commission. Together with WHO, UNICEF coleads the (1) Country-level Coordination commision, (2) the Surveillance, Rapid-response and Close Investigation and (3) the Infection Prevention and Control commissons. And finally,
UNICEF co-leads with WFP the Operations support and Logisitics. In addition, UNICEF co-leads the sectorial working groups on Education (with UNESCO) and on Social Protection (with ILO).
• With the Minstry of Health, UNICEF participated in two evaluation missions to the Covid-19 care centers in Kédougou, and Guéréo (Mbour).
• Technical support was provided for the elaboration of regional contingency plans in Kédougou, Tamba and Sédhiou.
• Together with AFD, UNICEF supported the Minstry of Education submitting a funding request from Global Partnership for Education.
Regarding the management of cases, our focus is to ensure the functionality of the treatment centers for children and to strengthen the capacity of health staff to manage covid-19 cases. This includes the provision of personal protective equipment, as well as medical and hygiene supplies. It is also of vital importance to support the continuation of essential health services, i.e. child, maternal, newborn health services, HIV services, vaccination and nutrition.
• The national strategy for case management outside treatment centers was finalised with technical support from UNICEF and WHO and will now be implemented.
• A field mission was carried out to Kaffrine and Dakar to follow-up the effect of Covid-19 on the basic health services for women and children.
The learnings have fed into the response plan for continuity of care.
• UNICEF and the Ministry of Health has provided technical support to the regional medical government in Kédougou for development of the regional response plan.