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AHAN Project - Newsletter #4

World Vision
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With tighter COVID-19 restrictions, the AHAN Project is adapting its intervention to the new normal in Laos. Check out the latest progress from the EU-funded project led by World Vision, transforming lives in the midst of COVID-19.

COVID-19 outbreak and project implementation: the ups and downs of development work in 2021

The last six months have been unfortunately marked by a large COVID-19 outbreak in Laos. With a second wave started in late April and still ongoing, the implementation of the project activities has been compliant with all restrictions. In addition a significant integration of the activities on COVID-19 prevention has been mainstreamed. The grains planted by the project over the last years are growing and blooming. COVID-19 has certainly changed the face of the world, and for such exceptional circumstances, exceptional responses are needed. With the support of the European Union and the Australian DFAT, the AHAN Project integrated and mainstreamed COVID activities to better counter and fight against the disease. Since the outbreak last year, the project provided numerous protective materials to support health workers and volunteers across its 12 target districts in Attapeu,
Saravane and Savannakhet provinces.

Infection prevention and control (IPC) items such as gels, disinfectants, and drinking water were included in the COVID-19 response to ease up the efforts of the workers in the frontline of the pandemic in Laos. To better prevent the disease at the community level, AHAN provided handwashing stations with soaps, as well as loud speakers systems to broadcast prevention messages on COVID and village signboards to display the social behavior change key messages adapted and produced by the project. With more vaccine supplies now available, the project staff are supporting Government health officers from our target districts to roll-out the vaccination campaign. Preparatory work with COVID-19 and vaccine awareness events with small groups in the villages have helped to increase the vaccine acceptance of the ethnic and remote communities. This will contribute to reach the target of 50% of the Lao population vaccinated by the end of 2021.