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DR CONGO: The ASSK Project Receives $ 1.3M to Contribute to the COVID-19 Response Efforts

Thanks to additional funding from Global Affairs Canada, the ASSK project will expand its activities in relation to COVID-19. The project team can thus offer even more significant support to its partners of the Province of Kinshasa, as they continue to implement their various response plans.

As soon as the first cases of coronavirus were reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the ASSK team set to work and did its part to contribute to the response efforts. In close contact with the management of its seven partner health zones, several targeted measures were put in place at the end of March. This included strengthening protection and hygiene actions in healthcare settings and ensuring that quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services were maintained despite the pandemic context.

With the new $1.3M budget, the ASSK project will be able to strengthen its interventions in support to the proper functioning of the health system, as well as improve preventive measures and community awareness activities by integrating messages focused on gender equality and violence prevention.

The project team will also multiply the capacity building activities already initiated for health workers, offering valuable knowledge on key themes such as hygiene, biomedical waste management and infection prevention and control for SRH service providers. Offered in the context of a tense and unprecedented health crisis, these trainings are welcomed with open arms by participants who are invited, once the sessions are over, to join virtual discussion groups where they can ask questions and continue their learning.

"ASSK has responded to a previously non-existent need: medical training on the subject that addresses the medical concerns of caregivers beyond the public health emergency. The creation of a medical exchange network on COVID-19 is the most obvious result in the fight against misinformation and the popularization of good practices," explains Dr. Innocent KASHONGWE MURHULA, guest trainer.

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All current ASSK activities are carried out in compliance with the prevention measures recommended in the DRC and in coherence with the Project’s ultimate result: improving the health of women, children and adolescents living in the province of Kinshasa. The Project is carried out in consortium with the International Health Unit (USI). It is planned over a 5-year period (2018-2023), with a budget of over $21 million, including the newly allocated funds.