UNICEF & MoPH – Launch a platform “do your part”

Do your part

to receive feedback from the public on how to improve efforts in the fight against COVID-19

—Call to participate to the Knowledge, Attitudes & Practices (KAP) survey on COVID-19 response to give feedback and encourage behavior change

GEORGETOWN, MAY 3, 2020 – Partnering with the Ministry of Public Health, UNICEF launched a digital platform to facilitate community engagement, to improve efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect children from its direct and knock-on consequences. These include food shortages, strained healthcare systems, violence and lost education.

“From the inception of the pandemic, the Ministry has invited the public to be part of the efforts against COVID-19” said Public Health Minister Ms. Volda Lawrence. “The platform will allow receiving further feedback on how to improve efforts in the fight”.

The platform is being launched with a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey on COVID-19. It will seek finding what individuals know about COVID-19, how they perceive the situation and how they behave in response to it with an aim to provide a better understanding of how people experience the crisis caused by the Coronavirus.

Details include:

    • The survey will be conducted every two weeks, cover all ten regions, will take about 10 minutes to complete and no names will be recorded;

    • It will use combined methods: interviews conducted by phone (you may receive a call at home), online surveys (you may receive an email asking to complete the survey). In the hinterland, health-care workers, social workers, and or community leader may request your participation (using face-to-face interviews respecting social distancing);

    • Persons can visit UNICEF or MoPH website to take the survey during week-1 and week-3 of each month;

    • The interviewers will not request, money, cellphone credit or any other human, financial or material resources or request to see or meet respondents.

All the information will remain strictly confidential and only used for the purpose of this survey. While participation is voluntary, support from all is needed. It provides an opportunity to inform efforts and strategies towards flattening the curve and stop the spread of the pandemic.

Findings will go directly towards improving the response to fight COVID-19 as well as UNICEF’s emergency programs, including through the provision of hygiene items, protective equipment, life-saving information and other support to healthcare systems or access to continuous services.

A  report issued this month by the United Nations warned that children risk being among the biggest victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. While children have been largely spared from the direct health effects of the disease up to this point, the crisis is having a profound effect on their overall wellbeing. Children are being affected, by the socio-economic impacts and, in some cases, by the mitigation measures implemented to stem the spread of the disease.

In Guyana, UNICEF’s COVID-19 response focuses on working with partners to help reduce the transmission of the virus and mitigate its impact on children while ensuring that essential services for children continue. This includes:

    • Ensuring access and availability of key supplies and services for children, women and vulnerable populations.

    • Scaling up messages about handwashing with soap.

    • Supporting governments with the procurement of personal protective equipment for health care workers.

    • Supporting distance learning opportunities for children who can’t access school.

    • Providing mental health and psychosocial support to children and families affected.

    • Helping maintain essential immunization and other services for children.

“The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest struggle the world has seen in generations,” said UNICEF Country Representative Sylvie Fouet. “Children and young people are among the most severely impacted by the knock-on effects of COVID-19, so it is critical to hear from children and families on how they adjust behaviors and are coping”.

Notes to editors: About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit  www.unicef.org.

Follow UNICEF Guyana-Suriname

For more information please contact:

Jewell Crosse, UNICEF-Guyana (C4D),  jcrosse@uniceg.org

Frank Robinson, UNICEF-Guyana (Communications), frobinson@unicef.org