ISLAMABAD: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it is supporting four government hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the newly-merged areas, for effective response to Covid-19 pandemic through the provision of material for infection prevention and control.

According to it, personal protective equipment, disinfection items, waste management material and other medical goods have been handed over to the four hospitals, including Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar and secondary healthcare hospitals in Bajaur, Jamrud and Parachinar areas.

The supplies distributed for the healthcare staff include 11,000 surgical masks, 2,000 N95 masks, 1,000 eye and face protective gear, 3,000 gowns, 175kg chlorine, 50,000 pairs of gloves, medical equipment and daily medical consumables for the triage areas. Moreover, 100 pairs each of heavy-duty boots and gloves have been given for the support staff.

Infection prevention and control items including hand sanitisers and soaps, waste management items and cleaning material have been supplied as well.

The first phase of the distribution has been completed and the second is under way.

Dr Zohra Muhamdi, who manages the health programme of the ICRC in Pakistan, said apart from the technical and material support, the organisation was also working on sharing useful information with the healthcare staff and the people to control the spread of Covid-19.

She said the ICRC was also planning to set up hand washing stations, develop a triage system, donate tents to the hospitals in merged districts, deliver food items for the healthcare staff and provide disinfection materials for the intensive care units.

Dr Niaz Afridi, director at the Directorate of Health Services (merged areas), said the hospitals in Bajaur, Parachinar and Jamrud were supported through the provision of PPEs and other preventive material.

The ICRC has been supporting and advising hospital management teams in better prevention and control of infectious diseases and has adapted its existing programmes for the same.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2020

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