Friendship sets up COVID-19 sample collection booths


Kurigram, June 06: Development NGO, Friendship has taken some new initiatives in addition to its extant interventions for marginalized communities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Though it is easier to get tested for COVID-19 in developed, urban areas, that becomes tough in the extremely remote, riverine, deltaic char islands of the Jamuna and Brahmaputra rivers.

These communities do not receive aid as easily as the mainland during such situations. Given these circumstances, Friendship set up sample collection booths. In partnership with the `Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Friendship increased their health and relief activities in the chars of the Brahmaputra Jamuna starting in June.

Till December, 2020, food relief and mask distribution, sample collection booths of suspected COVID-19 patients will continue operating under strict WHO and Government procedures and guidelines; and comprise the main activities of this six-month programme.

Md Kamal Uddin; Director of Sustainable Economic Development of Friendship said, “this initiative is particularly important for the char communities that are isolated, deprived and cut off from the mainland.

Two Covid-19 sample collection booths are being set up in Kurigram and Gaibandha district. Also part of this programme, 20,000 face masks and food relief packages will be distributed to the these communities, and 400 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) will distribute to healthcare providers. Additionally, 50,000 people are targeted for awareness initiatives regarding COVID-19”.

Friendship Founder and Executive Director Runa Khan and Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh Director (Cooperation) Suzanne Muller, signed in the agreement on behalf of their organization’s whilst maintaining social distancing at the ceremony.

Runa Khan stated, “By recognizing the immense need of the communities in the chars of the Brahmaputra-Jamuna river, Friendship started special relief and health aid initiatives from the from the very beginning of Corona pandemic in Bangladesh”. She further expressed her gratitude to the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation for helping the deprived char community.