AKIPRESS.COM - The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) are initiating a combined $2.6 million response to COVID-19 in Tajikistan over the next twelve months, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe said.
USAID and AKF will work to improve care for patients, especially for the severely and critically ill, create employment opportunities, provide food support for the most vulnerable, and educate communities about COVID-19 to help reduce the spread of the virus. This brings the total direct U.S. government contribution to support Tajikistan’s efforts to combat COVID-19 to more than $5 million.
While USAID health programs focus primarily in western Tajikistan, AKF’s sister agency, Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) operates the largest health care facility in eastern Tajikistan as well as other clinics and a network of community health programs. To improve care in facilities treating patients with COVID-19 in this remote region of the country, USAID is partnering with AKHS and AKF to train health workers on infection control, use of personal protective equipment, waste disposal, and other ways to combat the virus. AKHS will also improve their capacity to diagnose and treat the virus and ensure that facilities are prepared to manage and treat larger numbers of infected patients.
With increased U.S. assistance, AKF and Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) will be better able to increase awareness about how to protect community members, such as improving access to handwashing facilities. Following guidelines by the Tajikistan Ministry of Health, AKAH and AKF will use social media, leaflets, other printed materials, and community-led informational sessions to disseminate accurate and timely information to help communities better protect themselves. AKF and AKAH will also distribute nutritious food and sanitary kits to the most vulnerable members of society. This will be complemented by AKF’s efforts to protect community and frontline health workers through the production of personal protective equipment alongside government and private sector partners.