Posted on: August 11, 2020 Posted by: Ivy Otieno Comments: 0

Amref health Africa in partnership with Mtaani Radio, launched a project that will enhance child protection and COVID-19 response activities. This comes due to the Corona virus pandemic that has resulted in disruptions of daily routines and prevention measures to control the spread of the virus. Home-based facility,zonal-based quarantine,isolation measures as well as partial lockdowns and curfews have continued to expose children,especially girls living in informal settlements,to protection risks,increased incidences of abuse and poor reporting as well as limited access to essential services. Psychological support for the survivors is also limited due to overstretching of gender-based violence[GBV],response call centres and an acute shortage of Personal Protective Equipment [PPE]s for first responders and security of night shifters at work. Although Community Health Workers have been in the frontline creating awareness at household level, their reach is also limited due to the shortage of PPEs.

The launched project seeks to address child protection and COVID-19 information gaps and to strengthen the capacity of the community-level frontline workers across informal settlements in Dagoretti sub-county in Nairobi. This project aims at bringing benefit at 3 levels;Primary,Secondary and Tertiary.At the primary level 3,500 girls and 3,000 boys below 18 years will benefit. At the secondary level 2,000 female caregivers and 1,800 male caregivers over 18 years as well as 250 female frontline workers and 50 male frontline workers over 18 years will get the benefit. At the tertiary level 15 female journalists and 15 male journalists over 18 years together with 30 female stakeholders and 18 male stakeholders over 18 years will benefit.

In the long run,the project investment expects to achieve 2 results. These are reduced incidences of child abuse and empowered frontline workers in child protection. To contribute towards these long-term benefits, the project will support 2 interventions:Child and family-level interventions and Community interventions.

At the child and family level,the interventions will entail the development and dissemination of child and caregiver friendly key messages about child protection and the creation of linkages of psychological support for survivors within the target areas.COVID-19 prevention,management and control messages will also be integrated into key messages on various platforms such as radio and social media in order to contribute towards improving the pandemic response and outcomes. Linkages to existing socio-economic support such as food,hygiene kits and cash transfers will also be established and strengthened in the target community to cushion vulnerable families during the pandemic.

At the community level,the interventions will include the training of frontline healthcare workers on child protection and COVID-19 prevention and response to improve response and outcomes during the pandemic period.Similarly,Personal Protective Equipment{PPEs} will be produced for healthcare workers thus enhancing their capabilities to respond effectively to COVID-19 clients.The intervention will also look towards strengthening child protection and COVID-19 prevention and response coordination by actively participating in the county and national forums to help highlight key issues in the thematic areas as well as contribute towards the advocacy for maximization of available resources for improved results.

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