COVID-19 prevention support given to Chin State’s border villages
24 November 2020 – The Chin Human Rights Organization provided COVID-19 prevention materials support for 13 villages along the Indian-Myanmar border and internally displaced persons in Sami, Paletwa Township.
The activities implemented in partnership with Local Resource Centre with the financial support of Access to Health Fund reached the remote villages where returning migrants from India and people travelling in and out of the two countries could be monitored and home-quarantined by the local committees.
Salai Van Biak Thang, CHRO project manager, said: “There are only a couple of official gates along this border. Actually, people came in and out crossing the border through these hard-to-reach villages having no official gates. So, we think that it would be important for these villages to be able to take necessary action in curbing the possible spread of the virus.”
The August-December project targets 4 villages in Tonzang Township, 2 in Tedim Township, 2 in Falam Township, 5 in Thantlang Township and Sami in Paletwa Township.
“We provided hand-washing basins and bars of soaps which were set up at the entrances to the villages; megaphone with pre-recorded messages in local languages which can also be used for instant messaging for regular awareness raising of COVID-19; washable masks and some materials such as vinyl posters and flyers,” added Thang.
CHRO’s initial plan was also to provide preventive materials for primary schools in the target villages but it was changed as all schools were closed.
“When the schools re-open, the hand-washing basins can still be used, which will help students not only prevent themselves from the virus but also get into the habit of practicing hygiene. This is our aim,” Thang said.
The materials were handed over to the local committees that would take overall responsibility for monitoring and raising more awareness of COVID-19 prevention measures in an effort to protect the communities from getting infected.
Thang said that it was more challenging to travel to Sami, Paletwa Township as restrictions were still in place following the sudden surge in the number of positive cases confirmed in Rakhine State weeks ago and the ongoing conflict.
“Our team are now on their way to Sami. We think that the arrival of COVID-19 prevention materials in the town is needed as new positive cases were recently found in Paletwa town. And it is great that we are going together with our partner, K’Cho Chin Women’s Organization, who are also providing some COVID-19 prevention support under the same partnership with LRC,” Thang said.
CHRO implements its current activities in the respective townships with local community-based organizations such as Thantlang Youth Association, Falam Youth Association, Tedim Youth Fellowship and Future Stars. – Reporting by Cerku and Naomy VT Chin