UNDP-UNFPA Joint Programme responds to COVID-19 Pandemic in Karakalpakstan

August 31, 2020

Image: UNDP Uzbekistan

"Stay home to save lives." The message is clear: we all can contribute to the fight against coronavirus by staying at home. But some are saving lives by putting their lives in danger to help the society. Since 2005, the Joint Program of UNDP and the UN Fund  “Building the resilience of local communities against health, environmental and economic insecurities caused by environmental destruction in the Aral Sea region”, funded by the Japanese government, actively cooperates with the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan in the prevention of various diseases. In 2020, a new topic was added to the agenda "Response measures to combat COVID-19 in Karakalpakstan."

In June, 85,000 information booklets, posters on the prevention of coronavirus in the Karakalpak and Russian languages, as well as in Braille were transferred to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, which was an important source of information during the strict quarantine and limited access to Internet connection in remote regions. Along with the informational material, we also delivered 20,000 medical masks. Today we handed over 6 types of information materials in the amount of 30,000 booklets and posters in the Uzbek and Karakalpak languages, with the aim of reaching the population of the southern regions of Karakalpakstan (Amu Darya, Beruni, Turtkul and Ellikala), as well as for preventive work in medical institutions.

With the support of the Joint Programme for the Aral Sea region, medical supplies and special equipment were purchased and transferred to protect health workers and community volunteers in 10 target areas from contracting coronavirus infection during work, that included: medical protective overalls - 1,200 pieces, safety glasses - 300 pieces, antiseptics -100 pieces, non-contact thermometer - 50 pieces and 570 pulse oximeters.

Given the new challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers who received knowledge from UN Volunteers help residents in regions with a complex environmental situation in Karakalpakstan to resist coronavirus and other diseases by informing about precautions and rules of respiratory hygiene, as well as providing online consultations through the Telegram channel. As of June 2020, volunteers have successfully held 2,136 information sessions on the prevention of various diseases, covering 1,646 households in 11 target districts of Karakalpakstan. Of these, 1317 information sessions were held online on the prevention of COVID-19.

As part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, over 500 volunteers were trained online using telegram group‘Volunteers of Karakalpakstan’. In addition, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan conducted online trainings for nurses, most of whom are also volunteers. In this way, we help to ensure the safety of the region by informing important respiratory hygiene practices.