In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and thanks to the support from our generous donors, GAIA has served as a critical partner to the government of Malawi in the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the three southern districts where we work since March 2020.
Maintaining access to Essential Primary Health Care Services
GAIA’s commitment to maintain essential services in the face of the pandemic, while doing so safely by implementing COVID-19 prevention measures, built community confidence during a time of widespread uncertainty. To protect our mobile clinic staff and their clients, GAIA equips our team and government partners with full personal protective equipment (PPE), trains GAIA and district health facility staff on COVID-19 transmission and prevention guidelines, and implements rigorous social distancing, hygiene, and safety protocols at mobile health clinics. (Additionally, GAIA frontline field staff were among the first vaccinated in the country in mid 2020.) These strategies have allowed GAIA to continue to safely deliver primary health care services to a catchment area of 1.5 million people throughout the pandemic.
Distribution of Essential Prevention Commodities
GAIA’s deep community roots allowed us to distribute essential prevention and hygiene supplies - generously donated from supporters in the U.S. - in the districts where we work within weeks of the first Malawian COVID-19 case. In the first six months of the pandemic alone, GAIA supplied more than 10,000 locally sewn cloth face masks, 10,550 hand-washing stations, and 218,000 tablets of soap to priority households with elderly family members.
Mobilization for Vaccination
GAIA mobile clinic staff have been working to dispel misinformation surrounding the vaccines and increase clients’ awareness on the importance of vaccination through clinic and community health talks. GAIA coordinates with government community health workers responsible for administering vaccines at many of the GAIA clinic sites, facilitating on the spot vaccination opportunities following individual health consultations or community health talks.