UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo has appreciated the joint efforts in testing, tracing and treating patients, and thus keeping the pandemic under control in Bangladesh.
"I've been delighted to see how the support provided by the United Nations and our partners has enabled the government to employ innovative methods of testing, tracing and treating patients, and thus keeping the pandemic under control in Bangladesh," she said.
When Covid-19 arrived in Bangladesh in March 2020, Mia said, there were serious concerns over how the country's health system would be able to cope with the overwhelming challenges posed by the pandemic.
She made the remarks after a delegation from the Government, United Nations, and NGO partners observed efforts to combat Covid-19 transmission in Dhaka.
Senior Secretary of the Health Services Division Lokman Hossain Miah and Additional Director General of DGHS, Prof Dr Nasima Sultana also joined the field mission.
The Senior Secretary praised the Government's partners for their support in containing the pandemic in Bangladesh.
With funding provided by the World Bank Pandemic Emergency Funding Facility, USAID and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom (FCDO), the government of Bangladesh, several United Nations agencies (FAO, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP and WHO), non-governmental and civil society organizations are conducting an innovative initiative to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in communities across Bangladesh.
The programme – called the Community Support Team (CST) initiative – deploys teams of volunteers into low-income urban slum communities to help identify symptomatic Covid-19 cases and supports them and their families with home-based case management, hospital referral, telemedicine support, and screens for vulnerable individuals with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
CST teams are also assisting households with on-the-spot vaccination registration and vaccine card printing.
The teams consist of local volunteers and trained community health workers from a variety of NGO partners, including BRAC, CDP, Himu, and Platform. CST members also distribute locally made cloth masks, provide counselling and guide communities on preventing the spread of the virus by maintaining strict health and safety measures.