May 4th, 2020 ― Doha: The representation mission of Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) in Bangladesh has initiated an emergency intervention to deal with the risks of Coronavirus at the camps of refugees from Myanmar, with an initial budget of $65,000.
The new scheme is addressed to 106 workers at the health facilities run by QRCS at the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, 1,800 refugee families (11,000 persons), and confirmed and suspicious cases of infection. These figures are likely to increase as the activities are expanded with updated action plans.
Implemented in cooperation with Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the intervention is aimed at raising health awareness of Coronavirus risks and prevention, in order to reduce its spread among the refugees and QRCS health professionals.
Another purpose is to promote hygiene behavior and precautions against any potential outbreak in line with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and health authorities of Bangladesh. These include handwash, coughing technique, avoidance of face touching, social distancing, and staying at home in case of sickness.
To secure the necessary health care services, QRCS is establishing a 50-bed quarantine unit to isolate and treat mild and moderate Coronavirus cases. It is located at the QRCS-managed field hospital in refugee camps, which host around 1 million refugees from Myanmar and serves the region’s 400,000 population.
The mission continues to attend the coordination meetings with all active players in the Coronavirus pandemic response. Personal protection equipment (PPE) is distributed to QRCS’s medical professionals and community-based health workers, including masks, gloves, sanitizers, soap, and other safety supplies.
Health service providers are educated about preventive measures, how to deal with patients and control infection, and early warning and response in emergencies (EWARs). Also, 245 health education sessions were held for refugee families, and visits were made for 1,515 families. There are plans to distribute food baskets to thousands of local families negatively affected by the lockdown.
At the QRCS-operated health centers in Camps 19 and E8, the staff was divided into two shifts, to reduce the workforce on duty as per the instructions of the competent authorities. To avoid crowdedness, all the preventive measures were taken to reduce the number of patients at clinics.
QRCS is approaching contributors to launch another intervention, which would involve capacity-building for the medical professionals engaged in Coronavirus response, public health education sessions, PPE for staff at health centers, medications and medical supplies, hygiene kits and anti-infection posters, and maintenance of health facilities as needed.
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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.