Photo: Noor Awais Raza/Taraqee Foundation


How UNDP is ensuring adequate supply of protective equipment in Balochistan

The pandemic’s second wave is at least is as dangerous as the first, if not more. So far, it has been clearly proven that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has played a crucial role in protecting front line workers and general public from COVID-19 and minimizing its spread. PPE has served as the armour in our battle against coronavirus.

The broad use of the equipment necessitates a constant and continuous supply. But an increase in demand has resulted in a global shortage. The developed part of the world has been able to mobilize resources and procure the necessary protective equipment, whereas other countries have struggled in this regard. In Pakistan, UNDP and the Government of Balochistan worked together to of having an adequate supply of PPE.

Apart from the courageous frontline healthcare workers, there is also a need for PPE in other sectors such as education institutes. After a long duration of complete closure of education institutes of almost seven months (March to September 2020), upon the decision of Federal Ministry of Education, the Government Balochistan decided to reopen its education institutes on 15th of September 2020.

Photo: Noor Awais Raza/Taraqee Foundation

To prevent the spread of virus in the education institutes and to protect the frontline health workers, PPE was acquired and distributed amongst the staff of hospitals, clinics and education institutes in highly affected areas of Balochistan. UNDP Pakistan, along with Balochistan Command and Operation Center, and Taraqee Foundation ensured efficient and timely distribution of the equipment.

Feeling safe has boosted the morale of the healthcare workers. Muhammad Sharif, Lab Assistant, Rapid Response Team (RRT), Health Department, Mastung District said, “We have embarked on this critical mission to fight COVID-19 because we are frontline health workers. But we cannot win this battle against the virus without sufficient protection. Shortage of PPE had created a critical situation where not only we were at risk but were also risking the lives of those around us.”

Meanwhile, Syed Atif Ali Shah, the principal of Hira High School is happy for his students and staff having access to the Personal Protective Equipment.

“We are very thankful to UNDP for providing us the much-needed masks, sanitizers and disinfectants to protect our students and teachers from COVID-19. Parents have been concerned about the health and safety of their children. Having PPE has enabled us to follow SOPs properly”.

PPE supply chain is strained due to the ongoing second wave of the pandemic. It is important to take care that the equipment is not wasted or misused. Appropriate use would preserve the limited available stocks and ensure that we do not run out of the lifesaving personal protective equipment. While using PPE, we must not forget to adhere to all the other equally necessary precautions such as social distancing, handwashing, isolating suspected cases from others and appropriate disposal of used equipment to reduce the chances of getting infected and spreading the infection.

 

Authors:

Zulfiqar Durrani, Head of Office, UNDP Sub-Office, Balochistan

 

Dr. Dilawar Khan, Data Analyst Consultant UNDP with Balochistan Command and Operation Center (BCOC)

Edited by: Ayesha Babar, Head of Communications Unit, UNDP Pakistan & Tabindah Anwar, Communications Consultant, UNDP Pakistan 

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Pakistan 
Go to UNDP Global