UNMISS, partners discuss small-scale projects designed to improve healthcare facilities in Eastern Equatoria
The Relief Reintegration and Protection (RRP) unit at the UNMISS Torit Field Office has completed a series of meetings with health partners, civil society representatives, community leaders, women and local authorities in Nimule, Eastern Equatoria, to identify quick impact projects (QIPs) that will have tangible benefits for local populations.
Some of the top priorities emerging from discussions included the construction of a new isolation center for COVID-19 patients in Nimule as the town has porous borders which could lead to the virus potentially spreading, prison rehabilitation and the refurbishment of a maternity ward.
“Ever since the world has been hit by the global pandemic, UNMISS has been supporting national and local capacities to contain the spread of COVID-19 by scaling up projects to strengthen heath facilities within the community,” said Christine Foni, RRP programme manager, UNMISS Torit.
In the past few weeks, some 23 people, including frontline health workers, residents and staff from the United Nations have tested positive for the virus, making the mission’s interventions to fortify the national-led COVID-19 even more cogent.
Community representative Rebecca Chunyuwa agrees. “The health infrastructure in this region is already overburdened, especially the hospital. If the proposal to construct an isolation centre in Nimule comes to fruition, it would help greatly,” she stated.
Ms. Chunyuwa’s views are echoed by Onyango Lawrence, a clerk in Nimule town. “The spike in cases is telling us that we need a dedicated isolation centre so that people who are unfortunate enough to have contracted coronavirus can receive the care they need to recover. Our existing clinics and the hospital do not have these facilities. Therefore, the construction of an isolation unit would be of tremendous help to all residents,” averred Mr. Lawrence.
Next steps in this process include the selection of potential partners by the mission's RRP unit who wull be requested to submit project ideas; these will then be reviewed by appropriate committees in consultation with local authorities and community representatives to allocate appropriate local implementing partners.
UNMISS contributions to the national COVID-19 response include awareness-raising in remote areas across the country, disseminating information material in local languages by the thousands, renovating hospitals, installing water tanks and generators where people need them the most, handing over personal protection equipment, tents, hospital beds, vehicles and ambulances.