Challenging times require challenging measures. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many predict that Bangladesh is at the brink of devastation but SNV partners and stakeholders take impact-oriented initiatives to fight back.
Preparing for COVID-19
A value-driven 33-year-old national non-government organisation, SAJIDA Foundation, a partner under the Working with Women-II project, took some prudent and prompt decision in this challenging time and acted accordingly.
Some of the significant initiatives they have taken over the past month are:
- providing 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for health service providers across the country,
- preparing 50-bed in SAJIDA Hospital in Narayanganj as a quarantine and treatment center for the patients infected with COVID-19,
- setting up hundreds of handwashing facilities in the community and installing washbasins for 4,000 ready-made garments (RMG) workers,
- distributing emergency food, hygiene pack and other essentials, and
- community care website service and building a one-stop knowledge and services hub through a chatbot to provide with necessary information.
Working with Women-II project’s new Inclusive Business model partner, Ella pad, has taken the initiative to produce and distribute free masks. In response to COVID 19, Ella pad has sensitised nine large factories to produce masks to distribute among the poor for free. Good quality fabric scraps and leftovers from garments are being used to produce these masks. With an understanding of the Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Project (ESDP) of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), the Prime Minister’s Office agreed to distribute these masks in all 64 districts in the country. As of 30 March, 33,000 masks have been handed over to BIDA. Learn more about Ella pad initiatives.
Acknowledging the work of our partners, it is also worthy to mention the efforts of the Working with Women-II team of SNV in Bangladesh, for being the knowledge and technical assistance partner to the Institute of Health Economics of the University of Dhaka in their efforts to raise funds, procure and distribute PPEs for the frontline workers in government and private hospitals. The procurement of 3,000 N95 masks along with high-quality gloves and face shields has also started.
Written by: Farhtheeba Khan and Sourav Sarker.