WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE—Thanks to existing funding and cooperation from UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), IMA World Health has been able to work quickly with Tanzania's Ministry of Health to set up a call center that will provide essential health information about COVID-19 as well as counter misinformation about the coronavirus.
IMA World Health received rapid authorization to use a portion of funding from its Addressing Stunting in Tanzania Early, or ASTUTE, program, a five-year project funded by DFID, to address the growing COVID-19 outbreak. The repurposed funds, which will not affect the operation of ASTUTE, will be used to purchase equipment to outfit a call center that will be one part of the Tanzanian government’s strategy to increase health communication for community awareness of COVID-19. Tanzania registered its first COVID-19 case on March 16.
This call center, which will be staffed by the country’s Ministry of Health, will help keep records on what is going on in communities, as well track any rumors being spread. It will be housed in a ministry building in Dar es Salaam.
"I think this is an incredible example of how quickly the British government, and DFID in particular, has responded to this crisis," said Audrey Sullivan, IMA World Health COVID-19 response team leader. "Our partnership with DFID and with Tanzania's Ministry of Health is outstanding and will save lives."
IMA World Heath is well positioned to respond quickly to COVID-19 in Tanzania. IMA Tanzania serves on the national Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Team working on the country’s COVID-19 response. IMA’s Tanzania team works closely with the Ministry of Health and has forged strong and trusting relationships with Ministry counterparts over time. IMA World Health also has blanket purchase agreements with preselected vendors in Tanzania and simplified procurement procedures for emergency needs, increasing its capacity to respond quickly.
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About IMA World Health and Lutheran World Relief:
IMA World Health and Lutheran World Relief have joined forces to increase our impact on breaking the cycle of poverty and promoting healthier families and communities. The two international humanitarian nonprofits are integrating IMA World Health's global health expertise and Lutheran World Relief’s work in rural economies and emergency response, creating a unified organization that will help millions more enjoy a healthier, more prosperous tomorrow.