Islamabad:    (Parliament Times)   To strengthen the response of health sector to COVID-19 pandemic, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is supporting four public hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the merged areas by providing them with infection prevention and control material.

As part of the assistance, personal protective equipment, disinfection items and waste management material, among other medical items, have been handed over to the four hospitals – Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar and secondary health-care hospitals in Bajaur, Jamrud and Parachinar districts.

The supplies distributed for the health-care staff include 11,000 surgical masks, 2,000 N95 masks, 1,000 eye and face protection gear, 3,000 gowns, 175 kg chlorine, 50,000 pairs of gloves, medical equipment and daily medical consumables for the triage areas. Moreover, 100 pairs each of heavy-duty boots and gloves have been given for the support staff.

Infection prevention and control items including sanitizers and soaps, waste management items and cleaning material have been supplied as well. The first phase of the distribution has been completed and the second is under way.

Dr Zohra Muhamdi, who manages the health programme of the ICRC in Pakistan, said, “Apart from the technical and material support, we are also working on sharing useful information with the health-care staff and the public to control the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, we need to extend all the support, compassion and kindness to the health-care workers who are the most exposed to the risk of infection and may not be able to stay in contact with their families.”

The ICRC is also planning to set up hand washing stations, develop a triage system and donate tents to the hospitals in merged districts, deliver food items for the health-care staff and provides disinfection materials for the intensive care units. Posters in different languages will also be used to increase awareness regarding preventive measures.

Dr. Niaz Afridi, Director, Directorate of Health Services (Merged Areas), remarked, “The hospitals in Bajaur, Parachinar and Jamrud are being supported through the provision of PPE’s and other preventive material. We look forward to a meaningful collaboration with the ICRC to improve and deliver timely response to the pandemic for the most vulnerable population of these areas.”

The ICRC has been supporting and advising hospital management teams in better prevention and control of infectious diseases and has adapted its existing programmes for the same. The humanitarian organization is also providing technical guidance for improving the triage capacity, the conditions of isolation and screening and management of waste at hospitals.


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