GOAL is ready to respond to the Coronavirus crisis in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America
Irish humanitarian aid agency, GOAL, is joining the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in Africa, partnering with the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe and UNICEF on best prevention practices during the current crisis.
From today (Friday), in Zimbabwe COVID-19 awareness messages will be broadcast on two national radio stations in three local languages, reaching five million people. Supported by the Irish Government through Irish Aid, the one-minute ads will air for the next month.
GOAL is also part of a road awareness campaign with UNICEF due to start tomorrow (Saturday) where trucks will drive around communities delivering best hygiene and social distancing practice messages.
The trucks will operate in the capital Harare and in the Mutare and Chipinge Districts where GOAL operates food distribution programmes. Also supported by Ecobank, which is donating soap for this initiative, this campaign is expected to reach 1.5 million people.
The Country Director for GOAL Zimbabwe, Gabriella Prandini, said today: “Working in partnership at every level is fundamental to helping create awareness of how to stop the spread of this virus. We will also do everything we can to maintain our programmes during this difficult time, and to support and protect communities already in desperate need. The people of Zimbabwe are trying to recover from Cyclone Idai, and are also coping with ongoing drought and sky high inflation rates. Now is our time to act with speed and courage and to be there when we are needed most.”
She added: “It is absolutely critical that with the fragile health systems here and in other African countries, communities are informed as to how they can prevent the spread of COVID-19 before it engulfs them.”
As the pandemic spikes across the continents of Africa, the Middle East and Latin America in the coming weeks and months, GOAL said today it is likely that it will become much more difficult to reach the affected areas and communities, and that critically needed supplies will become harder to secure. The agency said it is responding as quickly as possible to help prepare the most vulnerable people for the coming outbreak.
GOAL’s COVID-19 response will draw on the agencies extensive experience of emergency health work and infectious disease preparedness around the world. It responded to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in 2014, rolling out prevention and infection control programmes, setting up and managing Ebola Treatment Units and engaging with communities on improving hygiene and health practices.
For more information contact:
Miriam Donohoe, Senior Communications Manager 087 2393914