Field update: Community outreach mission in Maintirano

Across the world, Blue Ventures has been mobilising to face the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis amongst the coastal communities that we work with. Whilst some of our team have been repatriated or are having to work from home, many of our field staff are still able to access field sites and provide vital support to the isolated communities with whom we work. 

The main objectives of our field teams are: to reduce community transmission of the virus; to protect the most vulnerable people; to strengthen healthcare systems and support continued delivery of essential services; and to adapt existing livelihood programmes to ensure that communities can sustain channels of income. More information on our response can be found here.

In Maintirano, northwest Madagascar, the Blue Ventures community health team visited three local villages – Soahany, Ampandikoara and Beloba – to distribute soap and hand-washing units to the community health huts, as well as to the newly established ‘Komity Loharano’ who are responsible for disseminating and collecting information about COVID-19 to the local communities. Blue Ventures teams brought along loudspeakers to share key messages about hand washing, social distancing and the essential role of the Komity Loharano.

To combat the loss of livelihood opportunities that COVID-19 is causing in the area, the Blue Ventures Maintirano team also trained local data collectors in COVID-19 prevention, including hand washing and social distancing, and provided them with face masks, soap and antiseptic hand gel. This means that they will be able to continue collecting fishing and market data, so that fishers are better able to navigate and adapt to changes in markets.

The team used loud speakers to ensure the whole village could hear their messages

Following the first outreach mission, the Blue Ventures Maintirano team have replicated their response for other communities nearby, including in the Barren Isles. They found that a lot of people were still unaware of the pandemic, emphasising the need to continue raising awareness of the virus and how to prevent it in a way that works for these communities.

Speaking to communities in the Barren Isles

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