Chittagong Hill Tracts: Cleaners in 31 health facilities trained to control COVID-19
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in collaboration with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), has been carrying out an intensive infection prevention and control (IPC) programme in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
The first phase of the programme, serving around 1.6 million people, was implemented between September and December 2020 in all government-run health facilities across the CHT region. The current phase will run until mid-September 2021 in 31 government-run health complexes in Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban districts of CHT. The programme particularly aims at preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19.
Explaining the second phase of the programme, Massimo Russo, the ICRC's water and habitat coordinator in Bangladesh, says, "Our objective is to reduce the risk of cross-infection among patients, caretakers, visitors and staff within the health facilities. We are incorporating the lessons learned from the previous phase and integrating new best practices as per the latest international guidelines. Besides the immediate outcome, we hope to improve the application of proper disinfection protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs)."
As part of the IPC programme, around 160 cleaners from 31 health facilities have been trained in infection prevention SOPs. To avoid community transmission, hygiene items were also given to 1,200 households in the CHT region that are being supported under other joint programmes of the ICRC and BDRCS.
An awareness campaign was launched in the health facilities to encourage the practice of wearing masks and taking precautions against COVID-19. Among other efforts, we have also been engaging with community leaders via phone calls, sharing important information to help them keep their communities safe such as continuing to take preventive measures and seeking timely advice from health-care workers.