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.
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.